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5 Toxic Behaviours Parents Engage In – Without Realising It

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19.07.2021

There isn’t a clear-cut definition of what it means to engage in “toxic” behaviours — or to be a “toxic” parent — because it’s not a clinical term.

When the behaviours or relationship are really toxic, though, it’s usually pretty easy to tell, like when parents are totally unsupportive, or when they manipulate their kids. In those cases, parents can inflict significant emotional and developmental damage, and may ultimately end up estranged from their adult children, a situation that is on the rise and more common than once thought.

Other times, however, they have habits or patterns of behaviour that are less obviously toxic but still have the potential to do real harm. With that in mind, here are five relatively common toxic habits parents often have, without even realiisng it.

1. Yelling

Of course every parent yells sometimes (particularly during challenging times like navigating Covid-19), but when parents fall into the pattern of doing it too often, it can take a huge toll on their relationship with their children.

“It’s important for parents to recognise the difference between a misstep and behaviour that does damage. In the best of all worlds, none of us would ever yell at a kid, but there isn’t anyone who hasn’t lost it now and again,” said Peg Streep, author of Daughter Detox: Recovering from an Unloving Mother and Reclaiming Your Life.

“But there’s a huge difference between a one-off moment (hopefully followed by some repair such as ‘I am sorry I yelled. Let’s talk about it.’) and sustained bombardment, which the parent falsely frames as ‘discipline,’” she added.

Yelling does work in certain situations, like when your child is doing something really dangerous or harmful and you need to get their attention fast. But beyond that, research shows it’s not an effective form of getting kids to change their behaviour. Plus, research shows it can lower kids’ self-esteem and ultimately lead them to develop more aggressive behaviours themselves.

It’s hard to know how much yelling is........

© HuffPost


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