Parenting Tips

Here’s how to recognize a toxic parent and rebuild after their abuse

While preparing this article, a sadness and a sick nostalgia seized me. Indeed, when you have a toxic parent, your life can quickly become depressing and overwhelmingly negative.

I know, I’ve been there … So this subject particularly touches my heart. And I am saddened to see how many children suffer from the physical or emotional abuse of their parents.

Because, to be clear, whatever you do, your toxic parent will always find a way to put you down, criticize, or make you doubt.

I almost even want to say that it is a vicious cycle that cannot be broken. Indeed, when your partner or one of your friends is toxic, you can slam the door.

Yes, you are turning your back on it and investing a lot of time in your personal development and healing. And, over time, you can take back control of your life and the path to happiness.

But what to do when that toxic person is supposed to be the most loving person in the world? The one that’s supposed to protect and support you?

How is it possible to restrict, limit or cut interactions to stop the negative impact of this person on your life, when that person is your father or your mother?

You need to learn how to handle the situation in order to protect your emotional health.

How do you recognize a toxic parent?

Before tackling the subject of managing your relationship with a toxic parent, we will first try to define some guidelines that will help you understand if you have suffered from the abuse of such a parent.

1. A toxic parent tries to control everything

There is a strong correlation between toxicity and the need for control. The more toxic a parent is, the more they will try to control their child and his / her life.

This means that he / she has unreasonable demands on his / her child, unrealistic expectations and unachievable goals. And if the child does not accept all of this, it is the beginning of hell.

2. A toxic parent always overreacts and disproportionately

You need to understand one thing: a toxic parent is someone who has no control over their emotions. For him / her, everyone is suspicious and no one should be trusted, except close family.

He / she dramatizes issues and becomes mean, abusive / abusive and angry when things don’t turn out the way he / she wants them to. 

3. The toxic parent does not take responsibility, he prefers to blame others

The disharmony, disagreements, hostility and separation from family caused by the toxic parent is always someone else’s fault.

This parent cannot take responsibility for any issues but blames the rest of the family and distorts or manipulates the way others view these events.

4. A toxic parent doesn’t know what empathy is

When a parent is toxic, everything revolves around their needs and wants. The opinions and wishes of others (even children) are irrelevant.

In fact, this kind of person doesn’t feel any empathy and really has a hard time understanding why their behavior is seen as hurtful or destructive.

5. Criticism is a toxic parent’s favorite weapon

You would think that the toxic parent would be blown away by their child’s success (after all, he / she always set very lofty goals for him / her) yet this is not the case.

Indeed, a toxic parent continues to belittle his child and refuses to celebrate his success (even as an adult) because it is never enough.

What to do when you have a toxic parent?

If one of your parents is toxic, one thing you need to understand is that you cannot control or change that person’s behavior.

The only thing you can do is adapt your reaction and your lifestyle to this situation. So ultimately the question is not “how can I prove to my / my mother / father that his / her behavior is unhealthy?” but rather “how can I protect myself?”.

So, if you want to be able to meet your own needs, you have to take back your freedom. And that goes through acceptance.

Yes, you need to recognize that your parent has a serious problem and you cannot help them solve it. For you, there are no miracle tools that will calm the situation.

On the other hand, you can completely redefine the family relationship in order to get what you need on an emotional level. 

1. Take care of yourself

You have suffered enough under the toxic influence of your parent so you need to be lenient with yourself.

For example, you don’t have to spend all your free time with your family, choose positive people instead.

With them, you will feel good about yourself and they will accept you for who you are. 

2. Set clear boundaries

As an adult, it is much easier to set limits. In fact, as a child or teenager, you were not mature enough to understand the importance of barriers.

Make it clear to your toxic parent which behaviors are intolerable to you. Then, explain to him / her that you won’t be spending a lot of time with him / her if he / she doesn’t respect your limits.

In order to stay positive / positive you need to protect your sanity.

3. Take control of meetings

Now that you are an adult, your toxic parent should no longer be the one who makes all the decisions in your relationship. So, you need to take back control and it starts with where you are going to see yourself in order to limit problematic behavior.

For example, you can choose to only see yourself in public places. This will keep your toxic parent from getting caught up in their unhealthy habits.

And you will feel safe.

Here's how to recognize a toxic parent and rebuild after their abuse

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