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We often encounter many toxic people and relationships in our lives. However, having a toxic relationship with your parents is by far one of the most damaging toxic connections you will ever have in your lifetime.

While all parents make mistakes, some go far beyond just simple mistakes. These parents are toxic and the relationship they have with their children can be quite damaging. Not all toxic parents are intentionally this way, but the damage they cause is just as harmful.

Do you feel like your parent was toxic? Here are 6 signs of a toxic parent-child dynamic.

1. They constantly criticize you.

We’ve all had our parents criticize us in an attempt to push us to do better. But a toxic parent will go out of their way to criticize everything you do. No matter how much effort you put in, or how hard you try- they will always find something you could have done better. Being overly critical of your children can be extremely harmful to them. It ruins their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. And if your parents constantly criticized (or criticize) you, the relationship could be toxic.

2. They aren’t empathetic.

Toxic parents typically aren’t very empathetic and find it hard to see from the perspective of their child. Rather than allowing you to express your negative emotions, they may be prone to telling you to just get over it.

3. They don’t respect boundaries.

Boundaries are important in any relationship, even in a parent-child relationship. Toxic parents may have a hard time understanding that, and will tend to trample over any boundaries you respectfully put in place.

This can be frustrating, and it can be confusing because you want to let your parents have their way- but everyone has boundaries that should be respected.

4. They publically humiliate you.

A toxic parent may humiliate you in front of friends, family, and strangers under the guise of a joke. However, their words are not funny to you, and instead, come off as berating. No one deserves to be humiliated.

5. They are emotionally unstable.

Dealing with an emotionally unstable parent is like dealing with a child. They may throw temper tantrums when they don’t get their way, or act out in terrifying ways when they are angry. You will likely never know what to expect from them, and that can be scary.

6. They are manipulative.

Your toxic parent will likely try to make you feel guilty when you do anything but what they want you to do. Or they might buy you something expensive, and hold it over your head. In other cases, manipulative parents will try to pit you against another person you care about out of jealousy. Regardless of the situation- this is toxic behavior.