Parenting can be difficult. But sometimes being around parents that are not good for our mental health, can be more difficult that it looks like. Relationships of any kind are built over respect and dignity, and when those margins are not respected and acknowledged, it can lead to traumatic experiences. This kind of family relationships later transition to childhood trauma, which we carry forward in life and pass on to the next generations. Hence, this becomes a vicious cycle of trauma which takes years and a lot of efforts to be broken down to stop it from continuing.
Dr Heidi Green, Psychologist and Trauma Specialist, in her recent Instagram post, addressed the signs which portray that sometimes parents can be harmful for our mental health and wrote, “If speaking to or spending time with your parents makes you feel drained, overwhelmed, inadequate, angry, or hurt, your relationship with them is bad for your mental health.” She further added, “Communicate with your parents in a healthy way to reach resolution with them, but sometimes that just isn’t possible. Have you had to create distance from your parents to protect your emotional well-being?”
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Dr Heidi Green further noted down the signs of toxicity portrayed by parents that can affect the child’s mental health in an adverse way. They are:
Criticism: While constructive criticism can benefit the child’s growth and motivate them to become better, constant negative criticism can affect them mentally and drain them emotionally.
Credits: often parents take credit for the child’s achievements or make it look less that they are. This can affect the child.
Failures: parenting can be difficult, and is a constant process of learning. Hence, it also brings with itself a fair share of failures. When the parents stop acknowledging their failures and keep criticising the child, it can get very toxic.
Reciprocation: Often parents do not reciprocate the child’s presence and importance in their lives. This can lead to childhood trauma and affect the child’s adult relationships at a later stage.
Disappointment: Toxic parents always portray their disappointments on the child. This further leads to stress, anxiety and the sense of hopelessness.
Boundaries: Boundaries in any relationship should be respected. But parents often do not respect it when it comes to their child. This can lead to traumatic experiences.