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While most of us only want to do what is best for our children, some of us have a warped view of what exactly that is. Sure, we all think our children are content but are they?

Gaslighting, for those who do not know, is a form of psychological abuse. It is a tactic many abusers use to make someone feel as if their reality is completely incorrect. This is a very manipulative tactic, and it takes a big toll on the victim. While some of this happens in romantic relationships, it is also often present in parent-child relationships as well.

Gaslighting is something that is done slowly and leaves the victim practically brainwashed. People who are gaslighting their children may not realize they are doing so because for some it could even be part of a cycle, but it is something that needs to stop. If the following list of signs stands out to you in your relationship with your child, you need to do better and really change your ways.

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5 Signs You Are Gaslighting Your Children:

1. You mock your children.

Humiliating your children whether you realize you are doing so or not can be considered gaslighting. Mocking your children leaves them feeling confused and upset. This is not an acceptable thing to do. Just because you don’t think they should be upset over something doesn’t mean you should make them feel like what they are feeling is invalid.

2. Being too controlling.

Sure, as the parent you are the one in control, but you should not be over-assertive. While we all are afraid of our children branching out and taking flight on their own, we need to accept that it will happen. Don’t make your child feel like, by being more independent, he or she is doing anything wrong. You should not make your child feel helpless without you, one day you will not be around. Your children need to know how to function without you.

3. You never apologize.

As parents, even we can be wrong from time to time. It is important to say sorry when we make mistakes. We should not be making our children feel like they are always doing things wrong, even when they aren’t. While it may be hard to apologize to your children, it is important to do so in some cases.

4. You are too hard on your child.

Sure, sometimes kids make mistakes, this is perfectly normal. Flying off the handle each and every time is not going to help the situation. Don’t make your child hide things from you if you are constantly overreacting, they will stop sharing things with you. Sure, discipline is important, but only to an extent. It is not the end of the world every time your son or daughter forgets to do a chore or something of the sort.

5. You dismiss their emotions.

You tell your child he or she is overreacting when in all reality he or she is not. This is not a good way to parent. You should not tell your children what they should or shouldn’t be feeling. Their emotions are their own, you cannot change them. This goes hand in hand with the parents who try to tell their children what they do and do not like, it does not work like that.