Skip to main content

Codependency in any form is toxic, and it is especially toxic when it manifests in a parent-child relationship. And since the parents who end up in a codependent situation with their children most often have the best intentions, understanding the reality of the situation is the first step towards correcting it.

According to the dictionary, codependency is defined as excessive emotional or psychological reliance on another person. Experts on the subject believe this happens because the parent who is exhibiting the codependent behaviors has likely learned it from their parent. Another theory is that they are trying to make up for other failed relationships. Regardless of the reason why the relationship paradigm is unhealthy.

1. You are constantly trying to appease your child.

You are constantly trying to please your child at all times. You go above and beyond to make sure they are always happy, even when it isn’t good for them. In some cases, you let your own needs fall to the back burner to make sure the child is happy and satisfied. And while it’s okay to want your child to be happy- it isn’t possible or healthy for them to always be happy.

2. You have a hard time discerning your own emotions from your child’s.

Your emotions are so enmeshed in your children, that you cannot tell the difference. If you are going through something, so are your kids and vice versa.

3. You have no clear boundaries with your kids.

You don’t set clear boundaries and limits with your child. You share everything with them, even things they shouldn’t be aware of.

4. You are always trying to fix everything for them.

Rather than allowing them room to grow, problem-solve, and make mistakes, you try to fix everything for your child. If something isn’t working out for them, you go out of your way to fix the situation for them, even if it inhibits them from learning.

5. You micromanage every detail of their life.

You are constantly overshadowing your child, watching their every move and controlling every aspect of their life. You don’t allow them to make plans or decisions for themselves, and instead, you do all of those things for them.

6. You yell at your kids to keep them under control.

When your children are upsetting you or acting unruly, one of your go-to parenting moves is to scream and yell at them until they calm down. And while all parents do this from time to time, it’s unhealthy to use this as the primary method for correcting bad behavior. And by doing this, you are not teaching them anything.

7. You lean on your kids for emotional support.

When you are upset, you vent to your children. Venting Alone isn’t unhealthy, but some topics should be off-limits, and your children shouldn’t have to carry the weight of your struggles.

8. You involve your kids in adult conflicts.

During conflicts with other adults, you share the details with your children. You may even pit your children against the other adult, even when it’s someone they are close to.

9. You stonewall your children.

When you are talking to your children, and they say something you don’t like or agree with, you give them the silent treatment or tell them to go away. You use stonewalling to get them to change their behavior or beliefs.

10. You play the victim.

Codependent parents may bring up situations in which they felt unhappy to get sympathy from their children. In these cases, they will put themselves in the place of a victim to their children to get their attention.