Signs of Toxic Parents. Any of these sound familiar?

These traits apply to both moms and dads. While cultural barriers may cause these qualities to differentiate in other regions, these are characteristic in North America.

1) Pushing Insecurities on You

Parents who do this can be insecure, unconfident, and jealous. Their passive comments about weight, clothes, and relationships may sometimes be framed in a joking way because they want to be able to backtrack by calling their kid “too serious” or “humorless”. Making jabs at your confidence OR appearance of lack thereof are characteristic as well. It’s a toxic parent cop out so that they don’t have to address their insecurities by continuing to push them on you. These comments can have dramatic and long lasting complications for adults in the future.

2) Being Co-Dependent

Making you believe that you are responsible for their happiness. It’s a mind game for parents who don’t want to be alone or don’t want you to move on with your life. Those who succumb to this feel guilty whenever they are following their own plans in life.

3) Gas Lighting

Twisting your words around to make you look/feel/seem crazy or wrong. You need to trust that your logic is right (unless it isn’t and you know for a fact that you’re wrong). It is important to be able to trust your argument when confronting a parent and not letting them twist it to suit their benefit. This is counterproductive and harmful. The faster the situation can be addressed and hopefully solved, the better.

4) Pitting Sibling(s) Against You

When you confront a parent, they will try to evade you and include your sibling as a way of pushing their will onto you. This usually happens when a parent knows that they can’t win an argument. Sometimes parents run lies between siblings to create a sense of mistrust in order to take the pressure off of them. It is a move that can establish tension between siblings, especially when both parties are reluctant to go against each other.

5) Making Negative Comments (About things that you are sensitive about)

Making comments about clothes, weight, relationships, and jobs simply because they are shallow or really insecure about areas they feel inefficient in. Maybe this happened to your parents when they were younger.

6) Being paranoid and untrusting

You might be thinking that a parent has every right to be responsible for their kids and this assumption is generally true. However, as their kid develops into a young adult or AN adult in a position of responsibility, these parents feel that you aren’t mature enough to handle yourself in many situations. While some people are very immature as they become adults, it is toxic to lack some semblance of trust. They panic and induce panic in those around them because they can’t imagine that someone can get along without them.

7) Not Wanting You to be Independent

While half of the time this comes from a good place, this is a tell tale sign of a toxic parent. Some parents do not want their baby to grow up and not need them anymore. So they do anything in their power to ensure that their young adult/adult needs for nothing by making them soft (very detrimental to people going into adulthood) or suppressing them emotionally by holding things over their heads (money, property, etc.). Other parents do this out of malice because they don’t want their adult to sustain themselves or rely on someone other than them. This is a characteristic that stems out of fear and sometimes jealousy.

EDIT: Some parents who embody these characteristics tend to be control freaks.