How Toxic Relationships Between Parents Harm Children and 8 Ways to Avoid This
What is toxic behavior?
Establishing and maintaining a right and healthy behaviour with a child is a tiny thread to walk on, one step wrong you are counted as toxic parents and it may leave a scar on your kid for years to come. If we go by nature and definition, a lot of actions, nature, conversation, and feelings stand under the umbrella of toxic behaviour.
Especially when it comes to a relationship between parents and how it affects children, It is evident that most parents are misinformed and do not realize how toxic their behavior is until it reaches a point where the child becomes prone and starts showing consequential behavior in return.
If you observe your child showcasing rebellious and harsh behavior ask yourself where he or she grasps it from.
Toxic behavior can be of many types and forms
Toxic parents are always filled with guilt, fear, and lack of self-control, and all these are considered bad for children to go on with
Toxic parents often –
Overreact and create a scene while discussing.
Use inappropriate language.
Show a lack of interest in their children’s life and work.
Set their own benchmarks for kids and expect them to achieve them.
Try to control them.
Have a loud personality and yell too often.
All these are small and big examples of toxic behavior and consistently constitutes harming the upbringing of children. Parents do not realize how their fights and issues are creating an aura around their children and will completely manipulate and shatter the way he or she starts looking at things and how they feel about something.
How This Harms Children?
Family is the first society. Families no matter how big or small they are play a key role for a child in the understanding of how to perceive people, talk, interact and what is this world he or she is living in.
If the kid is growing around toxic parents for example being pushed, beaten, neglected, controlled, or abused, there are strong chances that these little episodes may put a scar on their personalities for their whole life.
- They always feel sick.
Children are as active as adults are, and we all should definitely drop the habit of saying – “oh, he is just a kid!”. In fact, in the initial years of growth, they are far more reactive and quick learners than most of the adults.
The toxic behavior they receive or see affects their mental health and in situations like constant fights, abusive environments, and quarrels they tend to go sick for days, crying and sobbing on their pillow not feeling well, and most importantly do not know how to vent it out and put in words how they feel.
- Wet their bed.
This is one of the most common traits children show as a fear and anxieties they have developed because of their parents, if a kid is old enough not to wet the bed and still he does, it is a severe warning that the child is experiencing something bad and needs to be addressed immediately.
Because it may go on for years to come and become very chronic and inclines towards impossible to cope up scenarios.
- Feel stress and depressed
People experience depression every day. Stress is the pressure that can be felt emotionally as well as physically. Children who had toxic parents become anxious in similar situations they have encountered in their childhood and thus it may lead to an emotional breakdown. Anxiety attacks can be lethal and are not good in social situations, not only for the embarrassment but it often counted as a weakness and people do not trust you to partner them in critical situations.
- Develop phobias
For example – a child watching their parents fight and getting physical with it every day, may bring phobias to him or her throughout life. They start perceiving pain and anxieties in different forms and start to lose their emotional capability and understand it as usual behavior.
A certain amount of fear gets settled in their mind regarding things and elements around them, it can be water, fire or even staircases! Such phobias are usually formed in childhood indicating their bad relationships, an incident, or family episode.
- Become silent and unexpressiv
Due to constant fights and scenes, they go through in house and try to become silent and do not express themselves to their parents, and soon this becomes their go-to behavior in social situations and thus are unable to manage and carry themselves in school, colleges and at work.
Ways To Avoid Toxic Behaviour
No matter how bad your experiences are with them, or how much your adulthood is under the influence of their toxicity, always remember that only you can change it.
- Establish boundaries
When you establish boundaries you make it upright clear what is okay and what is not? How you want to be treated and what are the things that make you uncomfortable.
This not only helps avoid toxicity but also helps you enable yourself to create a personal space around you.
- Do not appreciate them.
Every kid wants validation and approval from their parents. It’s okay. But don’t do it if you have toxic parents. You need to make your own choices and stand up to them.
- Let them be as they are
As things start to go worse, you need to understand that it is not on you to change them, they were toxic for a long time and it has become their first reaction to everything and sometimes it’s best to leave things as they are and move on.
- Be wise around them.
Toxic parents are not to be trusted easily and having said that, you as a child need to play it wise around them, you need to understand what are the things that you should share with them.
Sharing every personal detail with them can lead to chaos, you can be friends with them but you shouldn’t trust them with all your emotions.
- Talk to them
This may sound contrary to leaving them as they are but talking to them can help if and only if you think that they are mentally stable enough to understand your point.
You need to sit with them and make them understand how their actions turned out to be pretty bad for you. At the start, this may seem pointless and tiring but you need to remember that it is only by saving them that you will save yourself.
- Don’t try to reason
You must learn how to avoid parents exhibiting toxicity and are irrational, there is simply no point in draining your energy trying to make them see what is right for them, it will break your heart to see how because of their toxic behavior they can’t form a healthy relationship but eventually, that is best for you.
- Escape out
Parents who fight do not care about the environment they are creating for their kids, if you feel that the relationship between your parents is toxic and they are those parents who fight, abuse and quarrel all the time, it is better to leave the house and go for a run, jog, a walk-in nature (if it’s possible for you).
This way you do not let them ruin your mental health and energy.
- Take care of yourself
This goes without saying that you are the master of your own life and you certainly need to amend changes if your parents fight often and there is a toxic environment in your home or was in your childhood you must take simple measures and give yourself a priority.
Parent-child relationships often get ruined because of immature behavior and vulnerable emotional capabilities of parents in their relationship. Thus, it is better to take one step at a time and change the equation of the parent’s relationship with the child for good, one that doesn’t harm their childhood.