What is a toxic and dysfunctional family

6 Types of Toxic Parents and How to Correctly With Them

Poisonous parents hurt their children, treat them cruelly, humiliate, harm. And not just physically, but also emotionally. They do this even when the child grows up.

1. Infallible parents

Such parents feel the child's insubordination, the slightest manifestations of individuality as an attack on themselves and are therefore protected. They insult and humiliate the child, destroy his self-esteem and hide behind the good goal of softening the character.

How does the influence manifest itself

Usually children of infallible parents think they are perfect. They include psychological protection.

  • Rejection The child has a different reality in which his parents love him. Negation gives temporary relief that is expensive: sooner or later it leads to an emotional crisis.
    Example: "In fact, my mother doesn't offend me, but it does better: she opens her eyes to the unpleasant truth."
  • Desperate hope. Children with all their might cling to the myth of the perfect parent and blame themselves for all unhappiness.
    Example: "I'm not worthy of a good relationship, my mother and father want me well, but I don't appreciate that."
  • Rationalization. This is a search for good reasons explaining what is happening to make it less painful for the child.
    Example: "My father hit me so that I could not harm, but to teach myself a lesson."

What to do

To realize that your fault is for parents constantly turning to insults and humiliations, no. So try to prove something to toxic parents, there's no point.

A good way to understand the situation is to look at what happened through the eyes of an outside observer. This will make it clear that the parents are not so infallible and rethink their actions.

2. Inadequate parents

To determine the toxicity and inadequacy of parents who do not hit or tear the child is more difficult. After all, damage in this case is caused not by action but by inaction. Often such parents behave like impotent and irresponsible children. They make the child grow up faster and meet their needs.

How does the influence manifest itself

  • The child becomes a parent to himself, younger brothers and sisters, his own mother or father. He's losing his childhood.
    Example: "How can you ask to leave when your mother doesn't have time to wash everything and cook dinner?"
  • Victims of toxic parents experience feelings of guilt and despair when they cannot do something for the good of the family.
    Example: “I can't put the younger sister to bed, she cries all the time. I am a bad son. "
  • The child may lose emotions due to a lack of emotional support from the parents. As an adult, he experiences problems with self-identification: who is he, what does he want from life and loves relationships?
    Example: “I went to university but it seems to me that this is not the specialty I like. I don't know what I wanna be "

What to do

Internal affairs shouldn't take more time for a child than studying, playing, going for a walk, talking to friends. It's hard to prove toxic parents, but you can. Trade with the facts: "I will learn badly if the cleaning and cooking is all my own", "The doctor advised me to spend more time in the fresh air and exercise."

3. Parental control

Excessive control can look like diligence, discretion, diligence. But the toxic parents in this case only take care of themselves. They are afraid of becoming unnecessary, and so they do it in such a way that the child depends on them as much as possible, feels helpless.

Favorite Phrases of Toxic Controlling Parents:

  • "I'm only doing this for you and for your benefit."
  • "I did it because I love you very much."
  • "Do that or I won't talk to you again."
  • "If you don't do this, I'll have a heart attack."
  • "If you don't, you will stop being a member of our family."

All of this means one thing: "I do this because the fear of losing you is so great that I am ready to make you miserable."

Parental manipulators who prefer covert control achieve their non-direct desires and orders, but in a sneaky way that creates a sense of guilt. They offer "disinterested" help that is a sense of duty to the child.

How does the influence manifest itself

  • Controlled by toxic parents, children become unnecessarily worrying. They do not feel like being active, exploring the world, overcoming difficulties.
    Example: "I am very scared of driving because my mother always said it was very dangerous."
  • If the child tries to quarrel with his parents, to obey them, he is threatened with a feeling of guilt, a betrayal of his own.
    Example: “I left with a friend for the night without permission, and the next morning my mother came down with a sick heart. I will never forgive myself if something happens to her. "
  • Some parents love to compare children with each other, create an atmosphere of bitterness and jealousy in the family.
    Example: "Your sister is much smarter than you, who were you born in?"
  • The child constantly feels that he is not good enough, he tries to prove his worth.
    Example: "I always wanted to be like my older brother and, like him, even went to medical school, even though I wanted to be a programmer."

What to do

Get out of control without fear of consequences. Usually this is common blackmail. When you realize that you are not part of your parents, you stop being dependent on them.

4. Drinking parents

Parent alcoholics usually deny that the problem exists in principle. The mother, suffering from the drunkenness of the spouse, shields him, justifies frequent consumption of alcohol in order to get rid of stress or problems with the boss.

The child is usually told that it is not worth taking the dirty laundry out of the hut. Because of this, he is constantly tense, lives in fear of accidentally betraying his family, revealing a secret.

How does the influence manifest itself

  • Children of alcoholics often become single. They do not know how to make friendships or love relationships, they suffer from jealousy and suspicion.
    Example: "I'm always afraid that a loved one will hurt me, so I don't get serious relationships."
  • In such a family, the child can become hyperoperable and insecure.
    Example: “I always helped my mother confront the drunken father. I was scared that he was going to die, I was worried that there was nothing I could do about it. "
  • Another toxic effect of such parents is turning the child into "invisible".
    Example: “My mother tried to get her father off drunkenness, coded him, kept looking for new drugs. We were left to our own devices, nobody asked if we ate, how we learn, what we get excited about. "
  • Children suffer from guilt.
    Example: “When I was growing up, I was always told, 'If you behaved yourself, Papa wouldn't drink. "

According to statistics, every fourth child from the alcoholic family becomes an alcoholic themselves.

What to do

Don't take responsibility for what parents drink. If you can convince them that the problem exists, chances are they'll think about coding. Communicate with wealthy families, don't be convinced that all adults are the same.

5. Humiliating Parents

Such parents often insult and criticize the child for no reason or make fun of him. It can be sarcasm, ridicule, abusive nicknames, humiliation that they dish out for concern: "I want to help you improve." "We have to prepare you for a cruel life." Parents can make a child an “accomplice” in the process: “He also understands that this is just a joke.”

Sometimes humiliation is associated with a feeling of competition. Parents feel that the child is giving them uncomfortable feelings and combine the pressure: "You can't do better than me."

How does the influence manifest itself

  • This attitude kills self-esteem and leaves deep emotional scars.
    Example: “For a long time I couldn't believe that I was capable of more than clearing the trash, as my father said. And I hated myself for it. "
  • Children of competitive parents pay for their peace of mind by sabotaging their achievements. They prefer to underestimate their real capabilities.
    Example: “I wanted to take part in the street dance competition, I was well prepared for it, but I didn't dare try. Mama always said I couldn't dance like her. "
  • The driving force of the harsh verbal attacks can turn into unrealistic hopes that adults place on the child. And he suffers when illusions crumble.
    Example: “Dad was sure that I would become a great hockey player. When I was expelled from the section again (I didn't like and couldn't skate), he called me insignificant and couldn't do anything for a long time. "
  • Because of the failures of children, poisonous parents usually come to the apocalypse.
    Example: “I kept hearing,“ It would be better if you weren't born. “And that's because I didn't take first place in math. "

Children who grew up in such families often have suicidal tendencies.

What to do

Find a way to block insults and humiliations so they don't hurt you. Let's not catch the initiative in conversation. If you answer monosyllabic, do not manipulate, insult and humiliate yourself, the toxic parents will not achieve their goal. Remember: you don't have to prove anything to them.

End the call if you want to. And before you start to feel uncomfortable feelings.

6. Abuser

Parents who have a high degree of likelihood of violence as the norm have followed the same path. For them, this is the only way to get rid of anger, cope with problems and negative emotions.

Physical abuse

Proponents of corporal punishment usually dispel their fears and complexes in children or seriously believe that spanking is beneficial for upbringing, making the child brave and strong. In reality, everything is reversed: corporal punishment causes the greatest psychological, emotional, and physical harm.

Sexual violence

Susan Forward characterizes incest as “an emotionally destructive betrayal of trust between a child and a parent, an act of utter perversion”. Small victims are in the full power of the aggressor, they have nowhere to go and no one can ask for help.

90% of children who survive sexual abuse don't tell anyone about it.

How does the influence manifest itself

  • The child feels helpless and desperate because a cry for help can be fraught with new outbursts of anger and punishments.
    Example: “I didn't tell anyone until I was of legal age that my mother was beating me. Because she knew: nobody will believe. I explained the bruising on my legs and arms by the fact that I enjoy running and jumping. "
  • Children begin to hate themselves, their emotions are a constant anger and fantasies about revenge.
    Example: “I couldn't admit myself for a long time, but when I was growing up I wanted to strangle my father while he slept. He hit my mother, my younger sister. I'm glad he was imprisoned. "
  • Sexual violence does not always mean contact with the child's body, but it is no less destructive. Children feel guilty about what happened. They are ashamed, they are afraid to tell someone what happened.
    Example: “I was the quietest student in the class, I was afraid my father would be called to school, the secret would be revealed. He intimidated me: he always said that when this happens everyone will think I'm crazy, they'll send me to a psychiatric hospital. "
  • Children keep the pain inside so as not to ruin the family.
    Example: “I've seen my mother like stepfather a lot. Once I tried to tell her that he treated me as "adult". But she burst into tears so much that I dared not speak about it anymore. "
  • A person who experienced violence in their childhood often leads a double life. He feels disgusting, but pretends to be a successful, self-sufficient person. He cannot establish a normal relationship, he considers himself unworthy of love. It is a wound that goes on for a very long time.
    Example: “I always thought I was 'dirty' because of what my father did to me as a kid. To go to the first appointment, I decided after 30 years when I went through several courses in psychotherapy. "

What to do

The only way to escape a rapist is to distance yourself, to run away. Do not join yourself, but seek help from relatives and friends you can trust, seek help from psychologists and the police.

How to behave with toxic parents

1. Accept this fact. And understand that there is little you can do to change your parents. But you and your approach to life - yes.

2. Remember, their toxicity is not your fault. They are not responsible for the way they behave.

3. Communication with them is unlikely to be any different, so keep them to a minimum. Start the conversation knowing in advance that it may be uncomfortable for you.

4. If you are forced to live with them, find a way to blow off steam. Go to fitness training. Keep a journal, describing not only bad events, but also positive moments in order to support yourself. Read more literature on poisonous people.

5. Don't make excuses for the parents' actions. Your wellbeing should be a priority.