As parents, we want the best for our kids, but sometimes, even the best of intentions can come around and bite us in the arse. If your parenting style is not the best fit or is even, dare I say, toxic, then there will be signs.
The sooner those signs are addressed and the sooner you fix the problem, the faster your child will recover from the damage that can come along with an incorrect parenting style. Not all parenting styles are one-size-fits-all, but experts do agree that authoritative parents, who are both nurturing and hold high standards for their kids, tend to raise the most well-rounded and happy kids.
With that said, here are 7 signs your parenting style is toxic.
1. You are constantly yelling.
Yelling is not the way to go and has similar outcomes as harsh punishments, like hitting. If you are constantly yelling at your kids, research shows they will likely end up with anxiety or be prone to outbursts of anger as well. Additionally, they will have less likelihood of succeeding academically.
2. You verbally abuse.
It’s one thing to get onto your child and something else entirely to verbally abuse. If you are gaslighting (making them feel crazy when they aren’t), name-calling, guilt-tripping, or otherwise manipulating, I hate to break it to you, but all of that is abuse.
3. You are self-centered.
Your children’s needs should be a priority to you. If your needs always come first, there is a problem. For example, if your child needs your attention, but you cannot be bothered to put your phone down for a time to emotionally support them, then you are unintentionally neglecting them.
4. You constantly criticize.
Sometimes, as parents, we must criticize. However, if you are constantly nagging your child and tearing them down, this is a problem. Our kids look to us to build them up, not tear them down.
5. You hover.
You might feel like if you are constantly standing over your kids, nothing bad can come of that, right? Wrong. This is known as helicopter parenting and it is a known factor in causing anxiety in children.
6. You let your kids do whatever they want.
On the other hand, letting your kids have free rein without any limitations is also a bad idea. Your kids need some boundaries and limits. Permissive parents end up with kids who do not tend to have discipline or structure in their lives, additionally, they are more likely to end up with self-destructive habits that include drugs, alcohol, or overeating.
7. You try to be your child’s friend more than their parent.
Your child needs a parent before they need a friend. If you want to be their friend too, that is fine. But if you value a friendship with your child over a parent-child relationship, your parenting style is toxic.