Top parental behaviors that can be toxic to children
Parents who are unable to self-regulate, such as quickly expressing anger or being deeply upset, are unconsciously teaching children about acceptable behavior patterns. Extreme emotions that are normalized in a child’s mind can cause them to adopt uncontrollable forms of behavior, making it difficult for them to adjust to society.
In a classic case of role reversal, the child is forced to accept the parent’s role at an early age because the parents share too much of their feelings and responsibilities. These situations push them to become problem solvers, negotiators, and carers. Due to their self-pleasing and self-indulgent attitudes, they often find themselves in abusive situations as adults.
In Indian society, ‘SharmajiKa Beta’ is a common phenomenon. We have all come across situations where parents constantly compare their children to others. It could be a sibling, cousin, neighbor or classmate. Such children often lack confidence and are dissatisfied because they were never made to feel worthy.
Breach of trust:
When parents cross boundaries and stalk their children, major trust issues are created. Checking cell phones, reading children’s diaries, and revealing secrets are serious breaches of trust. These children grow up to be rebellious or may be prone to bullying even later in life.
Challenging situations parents face: Non-toxic ways to deal with it
Often, when parents encounter unhealthy behaviors, they tend to overreact. Other times when children try to tell their parents about their problems, they may not be taken seriously. Judging, punishing, and ‘I told you so’ behavior only pushes kids away. Parents should create a safe space for their children and listen without judgment. When parents are calm and empathetic, it helps children communicate without hesitation. Share set of rules and consequences, help children understand unacceptable behavior while maintaining trust.
Addiction to Gadgets / Cell Phones:
In this digital age, mobile phone addiction has become a common phenomenon. It is understandable that parents are worried about its consequences. However, resorting to threats and punishment will not bring much benefit. Parents should keep a consistent approach to discipline. Children often become addicted to devices when they want to forget the world around them. If a child is going through important transitions or difficult experiences, connect and help them cope with the situation.
Children need love, safety, and guidance to grow up to be healthy adults. Common toxic behaviors associated with working parents include lack of connection with their children, short temper, and lack of affection. Parents should consider investing quality time in building meaningful relationships with their children. Encourage children to communicate and share their feelings. Showing affection consistently while being disciplined by setting boundaries helps children understand expectations and feel loved at the same time.
Parenting can be a difficult task. There is no perfect bible or manual or training course that can make a parent perfect. Consciousness, kindness, dependability, and consistency are qualities that parents should learn to ensure their children have a healthy childhood.