Signs Of A Toxic Mother

Guilt-Tripping, Comparison And Other Signs Of A Toxic Mother That Can Negatively Affect Children

Lifestyle & community

August 8, 2019 17:34 By Fabiosa

Being a mother is no walk in the park. There are hundreds of decisions made on a day-to-day basis. And while you may not get it right all the time, you should definitely avoid being a toxic parent as much as possible.

Worrying statistics

One study found that over 22% of mothers were classified as toxic. This means that these women have been known to carry out certain behaviors that can affect their children negatively.

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While this is an unfortunate number, each mother's goal is to ensure she's not a part of the statistic.

6 signs of a toxic mother

Here are a few signs that you just might be adopting a toxic way of parenting.

1. You put a label on your child

This means that rather than seeing your kid as a good child who sometimes makes unfavorable decisions, you'll rather put a general label on them. In other words, you may call the child such things as lazy, selfish, rude, etc.

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Describing your child this way will cause them to be stuck with that negative identity. It can make them less motivated to make positive changes and can increase feelings of frustration, anger, and resentment.

2. You compare your child to others

You may think you're trying to make a point but comparing a child to their siblings, friends, etc can damage their self-esteem. Rather than do this, it's best you celebrate each child's individuality.

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3. You say "you always" or "you never"

This can also be demotivating and prevent children from changing their behavior. Always use languages that leaves room for change or growth such as "how can we work through this together."

4. You try to be your child's best friend

Being close to your kids is one thing, but they still need you to be a parent. So don't dodge parenting altogether and pretend that you're a friend. Codependent behaviors such as dressing like your child, befriending their friends or turning your kid to your personal confidante are a bad idea. Boundaries should be set and roles should be clear.

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5. Stifling their independence

Watching your child grow up can fill you with pride but also with a twinge of sadness. Toxic parents may become so desperate that they become overbearing. The fact is, doing everything for your kid isn't healthy. It can affect their confidence and keep them from developing necessary life skills.

6. You use guilt and money as a form of control

Buying expensive gifts for your child as a way to get something from them is manipulative. Toxic parents will get upset when the child doesn't do what they want then they guilt-trip the child with words like "after everything I have done for you."

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How to adopt healthy parenting

The best way to be a healthy parent is to avoid these toxic behaviors while also providing your child with unwavering love and support.

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Keep in mind that it's okay to make mistakes, but the good news is that now that you know better, you can start doing better.


The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.