Growing up is all fun and games. Your childhood is your most prized possession, you feel loved, pampered, special, affectionate and important but it is not the same for everyone. Some people have scarring childhoods that morph them into morbid adults. Not all kids have a childhood filled with rainbows and unicorns. It is a known fact that the atmosphere of the house shapes a child’s mind and personality. Some parents shield their children from the negativity brewing behind the bedroom doors, others show it in the open. Everything that a child sees growing up affects their mental being in one way or another. Love, affection, relationships, fights, arguments, yelling, abuse, bad habits, whatever goes around in the house, the child seems to inadvertently pick it up and make it a part of their being. You never know what affects a child and in which way. It is a tough job to raise a child and you can’t always do everything right. It is human to make mistakes but how you correct those mistakes and take ownership of them is what stands out. As parents, you can’t control everything for your child but to help them through it, supporting them and being there for them is the least that you can offer.

Toxic Parenting

Growing up in the shadow of toxic parenting can be tough, draining and absolutely exhausting. It is something that you cannot run away from and have to deal with on a daily basis. A toxic household can ruin a lot of things for a child, especially the way they look at the world and envision themselves. A house ricocheting with fights, resentment, dominance reeks of toxicity and doesn’t allow the child to grow or develop a bond with the parent. Over time, kids get used to bad behaviour and consider it normal. But some things can never be viewed positively no matter how much you avoid it. Here are a few signs you must not ignore as parents and as children to nurture a healthy relationship.

1) Narcissism

Narcissistic parents can kill your creativity and hinder your growth. Narcissism is almost second nature to them and they can’t get enough of their achievements and success which limits your sense of self belief and faith. Parents are so blinded by their highs they forget that the child may not always be able to match up and these expectations bog down the child and they end up crumbling under the endless pressure. Children of narcissistic parents also grow up to become extremely self obsessed and are blinded by their self.

2) Criticism

Criticism can be your biggest teacher, but to what extent? Overly critical parents can pull you down with their negative remarks about your progress and achievements. When parents are extremely harsh about their child’s successes, it creates an unnecessary pressure on the child to only excel. The child starts fearing failure and loses the will to try because they feel like no matter what they do they will never be able to impress their parents. An overly criticized child loses the ability to appreciate and cannot find peace, happiness or will never feel satisfied or gratified with any achievement in life.

3) Threats

Threatening your child is the worst way of parenting. It is futile and only makes your child fear you rather than respecting you. Over time, your child will rationally be bothered by these threats and start contemplating worst case scenarios. They may also start hiding things from you out of fear of being punished. Transparency and honesty are the two main pillars of any relationship which help build trust. But if your child dreads coming to you with your problems, then your parenting methods are failing and you need to switch it up.

4) Guilt Trip

Guilt Tripping your child into making them do what you want is the biggest form of faulty parenting. When you make your children feel guilty for not pleasing you all the time, you make them feel like they have to work in line and do things that please people, irrespective of their personal choices and boundaries. You must give your child enough freedom to make their own decisions without them fearing they won’t get your validation or acceptance.

5) Control and Dominance

Control comes as second nature to parents, because they believe giving birth to a child gives them complete rights to exercise control and prove their dominance over the child. After a certain age, parents must allow their children to make their own decisions, be independent and stand on their own two feet. Independence and a sense of freedom allows the child to be their own person, stand out and not lose a sense of individuality.

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