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How Toxic Parents Are Harmful For Mental Health

by The Holistic Psychologist 6 months ago in family
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Signs of toxic parents

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Children are often told by their parents to follow in their footsteps. But what happens when the footsteps they’re following are leading them down a destructive path?

While the term “Toxic Mom” might sound like something out of a horror movie, it’s actually quite common. Women who fit this description are usually excessively controlling, always finding ways to demean and undermine their children.

When you have a father who is constantly critical of you, it can be hard to go out and have fun. He may not mean any harm when he says something hurtful, but that doesn’t make life with him any easier. If you’re in a toxic relationship with your father, then read on to discover how to get passed the pain and live a happier life.

Although toxic relationships aren’t exclusively parent-child relationships, the toxic nature of these relationships can be the most destructive since parents are the ones who help influence how their children see their world and themselves.

Mother and father figures can mean different things in different families, especially in single-parent or multi-generational families. That said, we will look primarily at what it means to have a toxic maternal relationship. We’ll also look at how these relationships can impact a person’s self-view and how that relationship can carry into adulthood.

What is a toxic relationship?

Understanding what this word toxic relationship means with a parent is essential to comprehend the meaning behind being in an unhealthy relationship with anyone.

Put the definition of a toxic relationship where your mental, emotional, or physical health is put at risk. In many cases, toxic relationships may be born out of goodwill, for example, when a parent is too involved with your private life’s details since they aren’t willing to allow anything to go wrong. To be happening.

That said, this can easily transition into a relationship that lacks personal boundaries. Toxic relationships can also come from a lack of communication or happen when all means of communication are primarily in the form of critiques.

However, this could quickly turn into a relationship that isn’t able to define personal boundaries. Toxic relationships can result from a lack of communication or when all communication methods are mostly through criticisms.

While toxic relationships can be found in romantic relationships or even friendships, parent-child relationships which are toxic tend to be the most destructive because of the role that parents play in shaping your worldview.

The Signs of Toxic Parent-Child Relations

A study has found that those parents toxic towards their kids have depression themselves, showing how crucial it is to take care of your mental wellbeing. If you’re wondering whether you or someone you know has experienced an unhealthy relationship between parents and children, Ask yourself whether you’ve experienced or witnessed these issues:


Toxic parents tend to blame their kids of the creation of their problems. For example, if parents are constantly angry over a messy house and their house is filthy, they will likely blame the child, even though their child had no role in creating the mess.

A lack of empathy or understanding

The toxic parents usually don’t make the efforts to comprehend their children’s struggles and challenges. This is especially true for a child’s poor performance at school and sports or in any other activities. The worst part is that parents often complain to or scold their children because their behavior is poor. This means that the child might feel as if they’re without a place to go for help.


Toxic parents expect the best from their children, yet they don’t provide much in exchange. For example, they might be hoping their child will overlook their destructive behavior while refusing to accept the same behavior for their children.


Toxic parents don’t just feel negatively impacted by their children; they’re usually dissatisfied with the current conditions of this world. They typically express this to their children, which can cause stress for the child.

“Children who are not encouraged to do, to try, to explore, to master, and to risk failure, often feel helpless and inadequate. Over-controlled by anxious, fearful parents, these children often become anxious and fearful themselves. This makes it difficult for them to mature. Many never outgrow the need for ongoing parental guidance and control. As a result, their parents continue to invade, manipulate, and frequently dominate their lives.”

Susan Forward, Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

Poor Boundaries

Toxic parents can overshare with their children, treating specific issues that the child cannot control or comprehend. This could lead to adulthood and create problems for the child while they learn to manage their relationships.

If the issues persist throughout adulthood, it’s imporatant to be aware of the signs and inform your parents that you will not allow this behavior. If it’s affecting you constantly perhaps, it’s an appropriate time to limit the amount of communication you accept from your parent.

How these toxic relationships could cause harm

While you might understand the difficulties these relationships pose to handle but they could have significant effects, such as brain damage.

Doctor. Richard A. Friedman is a professor of psychiatry in Weill Cornell Medical College, wrote in an article “When Parents Are Too Toxic to Tolerate” that long-term exposure to stress and trauma may cause harm to the brain by killing cells within the area of the hippocampal brain.

Fortunately, proper therapy and treatment can aid in repairing the damage.

In the meantime that, here are some of the issues that kids and adults with toxic parents may face throughout adulthood:

Relationships can be difficult

In the book“ Poisonous Parenting: Toxic Relationships Between Parents and Their Adult Children,” the authors observe that a lack of confidence in early relationships can lead to children developing unhealthy relationships when they become adults. As adults, these children may experience fears of being abandoned, feelings of anxiety, violation, loneliness, and fear. They may also struggle to trust romantic partners or close friends.

Behavior Issues

One study looked at 10 loving and 10 abusive mothers in their interactions and with children within a child care setting. They discovered that the abusive mothers were inconsistent with their parenting methods and were less accommodating when their children failed to follow their instructions.

This resulted in children displaying more aggression than children who have loving mothers. The results suggest that this kind of parenting can adversely influence the child’s behavior in the future.

Toxic Stress

Another study revealed that the outcome from a toxic relationship is stress that causes toxic stress. In the study of adults who suffered from the effects of toxic stress as children, researchers discovered that it led to problems with learning and behavior and adversely affected people’s mental as well as physical health throughout adulthood.

How to Cope

Although seeking out a therapist is a smart idea, there are things you can take on every day to ensure that the way you handle your emotions is healthy. Journal will help you deal with parents who constantly display unhealthy behavior.

Set boundaries and adhere to these boundaries. If you are still under the parents’ care, You can set the boundaries. This is particularly important as you grow older. In both cases, you must clarify to your parent that if the boundaries haven’t been adhered to, the boundaries will be imposed on you. You’ll have to limit the amount of time you spend with them. A good example of healthy boundaries is limiting the number of calls you receive from your parents or telling them that they cannot visit your house unannounced. Be clear and gentle in explaining the limits to your parents, and then stick to the boundaries by sticking to your promise.

Be sure to take proper care of yourself: This is done physically by exercising and eating healthy and mentally by seeking therapies and engaging in activities such as meditation.

Discover ways you can convey your emotions: This could be done through exercises, sports, or art. The important thing is finding a productive method to express your emotions.

You can practice voicing your desires: Practice forming healthy relationships with other people by communicating your wants and expressing what you feel. This can assist you in not seeking continuous approval from people around you.

Remember that no matter the victim of what happened to you, You can conquer your past regardless of what has happened. Although it will require consistent efforts on counseling and daily routines, It’s feasible that you will never be regretting getting better for yourself by conquering this challenge.

Having a relationship with toxic parents is never easy, but it’s possible to take control of your life and become the person you want to be. If you are ready to start this journey, remember that there are resources available to help you every step of the way.


About the author

The Holistic Psychologist

Mental Health, Personal growth, Relationships.

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