People Share The Warning Signs Of Toxic Parenting

Parenting is an arduous, often thankless job.

If it's not something you ever really wanted, or even if it is, you have to be careful.

Toxic parents create toxic people.

And that is born from a lot of unresolved trauma.

RedditorGemJoltik34wanted to spread the word on the ways we can recognize toxic parenting.

They asked:

"What is a sign of toxic parenting?"

I know I wasn't built for parenting. That's ok. It's just not for me.

Know it All

Knowing Cedric The Entertainer GIF by CBSGiphy

"Always believing they're right because they're the adult and therefore not letting the child have any say."


Not Bad

"If you feel like you can't be open and honest with them, even over things that are not bad."


"I can’t remember the last time I was deeply honest about my feelings or things I was struggling with. Somehow they always either 1. find a way to use it against me or 2. they find a way to blame it on things that are unrelated when in the end, it’s usually their crappy way of parenting."

"This is mainly about my mom. But in my dads case, he is emotionally cut off. He doesn’t express himself like ever. My mom is the complete opposite."



"Being unable to apologize, setting and enforcing standards they themselves don't follow."


"When I tell my parents about something I feel like they should apologize my dad listens to me, if he disagrees with what I said he tells me why and if he thinks that my reasoning is correct he says 'you're right, I'm sorry,' my mom yells at me, cries, 'you're talking back, I would've never done that to my mother.' Guess who I have a better relationship with."



"When they constantly invalidate your feelings."


"This one in a huge way… my feelings were never validated. Every time I cried it was 'stop the crocodile tears, you’re just looking for attention.' Every time I was mad 'you don’t have real reasons to be upset.' Hell, even when I was physically hurt it’d usually be something like 'rub some dirt on it.'"



frank costanza seinfeld GIF by HULUGiphy

"Never actually teaching your kids anything, just criticizing, 'I told you so' and 'because I said so.'"


"This was my life just about every day until I moved out. My parents expected me to know things and got pissed when I did something wrong."


People should be required to take parenting classes. Seriously...

Mental Space

Doctor Help GIF by Apple TV+Giphy

"Parents not understanding kids have bad days too. They may not have a bad day like an adult would, but to their little minds they can get just as overwhelmed as we can mentally."


Learning Bad

"Not being allowed to make mistakes and constantly being shouted at for them."


"My significant other has legit PTSD from not meeting his parents standards and being yelled at and screamed for it. Apparently if he didn't clean to their standards they would trash the room and make him start all over again instead of just getting the parts he missed."


I Feel It

"Treating kids like they aren't supposed to have emotions."


"Damn... felt this one. My mom was this way and reacted with anger anytime I tried to talk to her about my feelings, whether it be something she did to me that traumatized me or just something that upset me during the day."

"Then had an ex who did the exact same thing (not relevant to parenting but yeah). So the treatment I received from my mom and ex made me put up a wall around my emotions. Completely ruined my recent marriage. Just hope my son always knows he can talk about his feelings around me."



"The 'I guess I’m just a bad parent' line."


"Or 'Well, I wasn't perfect,' or 'I don't think I ever claimed to be perfect,' or 'I know I was not a perfect parent,' always with the implication that the only reason their offspring have a problem with them is due to their expectations of perfection, and therefore, the problem is with the child and their unrealistic expectations."


Just say it!

Sorry Pop Tv GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy

"Never apologizing. Own up to your mistakes!"


"Seriously. Like my mom will give a somewhat apology, it'll be along the lines of 'I was in the right, but maybe I shouldn't have blown up and overreacted like I did.' Like sometimes she's right with that but other times she's just trying to only take partial blame."



"Refusing to let them grow up. My Mom did this with me and I see it in kids I babysit. It’s one thing to enjoy the occasional sick cuddles. It’s another thing to keep them in diapers because you don’t want your baby to grow up."


"My parent still asks 'Do you need to go potty?' In freaking public and I graduated high school and sometimes people I know are around and I'm even more afraid of leaving the house now."


"Trying to restrict my drivers license, not allowing me a job, and trying to limit my money intake so I won’t have enough money to move out. I always have the military as a back up option but man I don’t want to have to choose between living with my mother and potential death."


Okay... So?

"Parents who press their personal beliefs and practices upon their children. Maybe your daughter doesn't want to wear dresses all the time. So what? Maybe your son doesn't want to be the doctor that you weren't able to be. Okay... So? For example, my parents are very religious and everything would be about religion and honoring God."

"Yet, the ironic thing is, that my parents are extremely abusive- physically, verbally, mentally, and emotionally. Don't force beliefs upon your children. Widen their perspective. Show them what's out there. And let them make their own decisions. Don't yell at them or hurt them if they're not doing it your way."


Bad Instructors

"Telling your child to do something, then getting mad when they do it wrong. One time my mom made me fold her laundry, then got mad at me because one her shirts was inside out. I think about that every time I fold clothes now."


"How my dad 'taught' how to pile firewood. Told me to pile firewood, after me saying I'm done, looked at the pile, yelled at me, destroyed the pile, THEN showed me how to pile the firewood. Now when anyone asks me to do something I try to get as explicit instructions as possible."


Shut up Dad...

Oh No Facepalm GIF by AminéGiphy

"Crap my dad has said to me growing up were definitely red flag toxicity. Crap like 'Your grandpa embarrassed me in public growing up, now it’s my turn!' and 'I think your friend is gay, he better not make you gay!'"



"Comparing your kid to someone else’s or vice versa."


"My parents did that, but what made it worse is that I'm neurodivertent and I was being compared to the academically gifted kids. It's an unbelievably unfair comparison to make because I will never be like them, I know I'm smart in different ways but mom wanted a kid with straight A+'s; basically someone she didn't have to put too much effort into helping them learn.

"Like I get it mom, your upset cuz I'm much different than you expected; throwing it my face and making me feel bad I couldn't learn like the other kids is so shi**y."



"Authoritarian need for control over their children. Belittling and nasty psychological warfare that gets personal for no reason. 'I'm your parent not your friend' mentality."


"Yeah my mom wanted me to drink some tea she thought would help with a cough when I didn't want to because it was nasty. Now at this time I was like 7-8 and she was heavy on that mentality of... I'm not your friend."

"She thought well we live in the middle of nowhere, why not take him out side with a hammer and threaten to break his fingers one by one that's not traumatizing at all then she just forced it down my throat. And told me it was for the best it was terrible like I don't even know what was going through her mind."


One Sided Looks

"Victim blaming, only seeing the wrong things and ignoring the accomplishments and good and such."


"This is true my mom yells at us when we can't read her mind and guess what she wants tells us she will always support us. Then I went to state for science Olympiad and took 4th in forestry and 6th in rocks and minerals 7th in ornithology and 14th in bridges. And all she did was complain about how I didn't call her during the award ceremony. When they asked us to mute our phones she also complained about giving me a ride."




"Telling you to take responsibility without giving you freedom. Responsibility is only possible if you have the freedom to make the wrong choice but choose to make the right one."


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