Four Common Expectations Toxic Parents Often Share in "Parenting" Children
I recently got a comment on Facebook referring to my last video on parenting styles. I think it’s a good opportunity to talk about it because I believe a lot of us who have survived familial abuse can relate.
This blog is for educational and awareness purposes only. The terms narcissist, sociopath, and psychopath are used as descriptors to identify types and levels of toxic behavior. The said terms are not intended to diagnose anyone with any disorder.
The commenter stated, “obey blindly without asking questions. Children do not have the right to voice out their opinion or preferences because they are just living off of the breadwinners income. Dependents do not have the right to choose the life path (including college education) they wish to have. Parents are always right and honorable even if it meant the children will end up as emotional punching bag/scapegoat.”
That is a lot of toxicity in that one paragraph. I chose to speak on this because children should never blindly obey anyone. Adults shouldn’t either. I know a lot of us have faced similar upbringings to this and it’s important to express how wrong it is. We need to spread the awareness that it’s unacceptable, toxic, and places lasting scars on children.
1) Blind Obedience
If children are blindly obedient, they can be easily harmed and manipulated. It is actually good when a child asks “why.” A child isn’t always pushing against a parent when they are asking why. They are curious. They are learning. They’re observing.
When a child is blindly obedient, they are more susceptible to predators (that includes individuals who are well known to family members and family members) it’s actually more rare to have strangers harm children - even though it happens, “stranger danger” isn't the first place we should be looking.
Being blindly obedient can also cause children to grow up to form toxic relationships as they get older. Toxic and narcissistic people pray on individuals who are more willing to comply, give in to demands, sacrifice themselves, people please, and individuals who are desperate to have real love in their life. This blind obedience can also cause adults who have experienced this forced mindset to be more susceptible to cults because they are desperate to belong and fit into a community.
We need to stop the cycle of toxicity.
2) Freedom of choice and preference.
Children absolutely have every right to have opinions and preferences. Children are not mindless clones of their parents. They are intelligent beings who have their own interests and hobbies. It’s important to offer choices to a child. Kids NEED guidance. They are not getting it with parents who expect their children to be mindless clones who do whatever they are told or are forever forced to suffer cruel and unusual punishment. Children aren’t going to make the best choices all the time but they will be able to make good decisions when they’re older when they are able to learn from seeing their parents make those decisions when they are young: however, this is only possible for children with toxic parents when the child either has such a strong dislike or hatred for their parent's behavior or the child has other mentors in their life.
In toxic households, a lot of children are not even in a safe environment to have any individuality. Even small things like your favorite color can be a problem in dysfunctional homes.
3) Future Life Path
Dependents have every right to choose their future life path. The parent is not obligated to pay for those expenses. That is why loans for college are available. It is amazing when healthy parents help out their children and make sure their child can get the future they deserve by allowing the child to continue to live with them while they’re in school or in a certification program and sometimes providing them with some financial support, but toxic parents will either force their child to live with them to control their future and their future career or force their child to leave their home as soon as possible - which can set their child up for failure due to lack of financial security.
The parents who are at this level of toxicity are often repeating cycles they have experienced or they are wanting to live vicariously through their child. This is not okay.
4) Parents are Honorable No Matter What
The only parents who are honorable, are the parents who know that they are human. Parents who can make mistakes and hold themselves accountable. The parents who give their children love, respect, boundaries, guidance, and understanding are truly parents.
People who just reproduced a child that they may or may not have wanted are not honorable if they are not giving their child the essential nurturing love, life skills, choices, the freedom to have their own future, dreams, hobbies, and relationships. They are not honorable if they choose to scapegoat one of their children or use that child as their emotional or physical punching bag.
Respect is earned.
Respect is NOT fear.