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03rd May 2022

“The 5 toxic parenting behaviours I’m trying to stop doing”

Melissa Carton

I think we’ve all fallen into these traps in the past.

I have two children that I love to death, but parenting is not always easy.

My three-year-old is in the height of her defiant phase and will not do a single thing she’s told to without a temper tantrum. and it’s exhausting.

I’ve read up on how to deal with these kinds of issues in a calm way but I would be lying if I said I didn’t give into some of the “toxic parenting behaviours” that experts advise us not to do.

1. Yelling

Yelling is something I’ve definitely done out of frustration, but it is also a behaviour that I’m actively working on.

It teaches them very unhealthy coping skills when it comes to expressing negative emotions.

If they see it from us they in turn will do it to express frustration at school or with other people.

2. Comparing siblings

While it is easy to let slip something like ‘but your sister wouldn’t do that’ or ‘be good like your brother’, comparing children against siblings (or any other child for that matter) can have lasting effects on their self esteem.

It can lead to the child being compared to feeling inadequate or like they are never good enough.

3. Labeling

Labeling, be it good or bad, can take a toll on the mental health of children and adolescents.

Telling your child that they are always bold or that they are always so good or clever can put strain on them to live up to your expectations.

4. Quieting emotions

This is another one I think a lot of us do without even noticing that we are doing it; telling children off for showing emotions will only tell your child to bury their feelings, which could have dire consequences down the line.

Always allow your child to express themselves to you as having a healthy form of communication with parents or guardians is key to the positive mental health of children.

5. Putting the blame for your emotions on them

Phrases like ‘you’re making me mad’ or ‘you’re driving me crazy’ might seem like throwaway comments but they can stick with our kids.

Placing the blame on your child for your emotions is never healthy and is something that might cause resentment or distancing between your child and you in the future.