The early stages of growth and development for a child are
crucial. This is when we learn various values that may follow us to adulthood
such as discipline, respect, and hard work. We also encounter unfortunate
situations like verbal abuse that shape our behaviour later in life. Children
distancing themselves from parents and siblings happens for reasons best known to them. Xtian Dela
has been in the entertainment headlines recently for terming his mother toxic
and netizens have had mixed opinions on the matter. Do toxic parents exist?
Here are signs of a toxic parent.
Never proud of a child’s successes
Parents make sacrifices for their children. However, a parent
should also be a child’s number one fan.
The world is cruel enough and we do not need more unkindness from mothers and
fathers. It would not hurt to be openly proud of your child. It makes them feel
valued and loved. Never acknowledging your child’s efforts and always pointing
out their mistakes and failures is horrible. A parent’s approval can mean a lot
to a child, whether young or older. Making your child doubt their worth in an
already messed up world does not make things better.
Shames the child publicly every other time
Shaming your child privately or publicly is not good. You can always correct a child without making
him or her feel worthless. Some parents, for whatever reason, even body shame
their children for being too big or too slim. This messes with a person’s
esteem and can make a child even more insecure as an adult. Mainstream and
social media are already doing their part in shaming people for different
reasons and parents should not join them. You should be your child’s safe place
to be and express themselves.
Being angry and frustrated in life is understandable,
considering the difficult times we are living in. However, parents should not
take out their anger on children. Yelling at a child for hours with short
breaks in between does not solve the problem. It is worse when a parent
constantly compares a child to their siblings, especially during adult life.
Children are gifted differently and our life stories differ. Parents should
learn to correct with love and appreciate that every child is unique. One may
be more successful than the other, but they are all great. The plight of
firstborns is a topic for another day.
Blaming the child for their misfortunes
No one chooses to be born. We are all in this world because
our parents got intimate and we are the result of their actions. Blaming your
child for making your life challenging, especially financially, is not a good
habit. Constantly reminding your children how you make sacrifices for them and
how they changed your life for the worst is never a good idea. It makes them
feel like a burden yet it is not their fault. That is why some children decide to
relocate far away from their parents the moment they find ways to fend for
Expecting perfection from your child is unfair. It is worse
when parents want to achieve their dreams through their children. Perhaps one
wanted to be a doctor but for whatever reason did not make it. The parent may
put so much pressure on a child to ensure they end up in the medical field. We
can only do our best in life. Appreciating your child’s abilities and talents
goes a long way in boosting his or her esteem. You can have expectations but
also accept your child’s capabilities.
Parents want the best for their children. They do everything
they can to help their children succeed in life. However, toxic parents also
exists. They put so much pressure on their kids, expect perfection, compare
them with others, and even shame them constantly. We can always do better as a
society and be better at parenting.