By the time you reach adulthood, you probably have some serious thoughts about your upbringing. Most parents legitimately try their best, but there are unfortunately some exceptions to this rule. Knowing the signs you have a toxic father can help you heal from past trauma, as well as refrain from repeating these mistakes with your own kids.
Chances are, you'll already know it if you were raised by a toxic parent. Screaming outbursts, threats, and narcissistic tendencies can make growing up a living hell, and you probably noticed that not all parents behaved that way. Additionally, these toxic behaviors do nothing to promote your growth as a person; they probably did far more harm than good.
Fortunately, you aren't doomed to repeat your father's behaviors. Simply knowing the signs of toxic behavior, and being aware of your own actions, can go a long way. And if you're concerned, then there's always the option of getting counseling to address these past pains. Overall, you don't have to raise your children the way you were raised, and there's always time to learn healthy parenting techniques. Growing up with a toxic parent is rough on any child, but you can identify the signs and move on to a happier future.
1. He Is Overly Critical
It's a classic sign of a toxic parent. According to the The New York Times, parents who are overly critical and demanding are toxic. This behavior says way more about them than you.
2. He Gives You The Silent Treatment
There are plenty of healthy ways to address conflict, and the silent treatment is not one of them. As noted by Psych Central, the silent treatment is a sign of abusive control or punishment. It's a frustrating and ineffective tactic.
3. He Screams Threats
Out-of-control threats are not only the sign of a toxic father, but also wildly ineffective. As reported by Reuters, constant threats may cause older kids to pursue disruptive behaviors. Verbal hostility is real.
4. He Overshares
Boundaries are the cornerstone of every healthy relationship. So if a parent shares tons of information about their finances or personal lives, then this puts undue pressure on the child, as noted by Attn. It puts too much pressure on the young child to cope with adult responsibilities.
5. He Destroys Property
This is never a good sign. According to the Independent Living Resource Centre Thunder Bay, toxic people will sometimes destroy your property or sentimental items. If your father destroyed your things in anger, this likely points toward a toxic relationship.
6. He Has Violent Outbursts
Sure, anger can get the best of everyone now and then. But a toxic person may regularly experience violent outbursts and then blame you for the reaction, as noted by HealthScope. This kind of a bad temper is totally destructive.
7. He Neglects You
Absence is its own form of toxicity. According to Consistent Parenting Advice, fathers who are uninvolved in the life of their children, whether literally or emotionally, are also damaging. These parents may be unable to meet a child's most basic needs.
8. He Inspires Fear
Did you have to walk on eggshells growing up? If your father used fear as a manipulation tactic, then this is almost certainly a sign of toxic parenting. Remember, fear does not equal love or respect.
9. He Is Aloof
If your father had unchecked narcissistic traits, then it's likely you experienced some toxic parenting. According to Psychology Today, narcissistic fathers who are aloof and removed from their children probably did not provide the warmth and care needed by kids. It's pretty damaging.
10. He Is Self-Centered
As far as narcissists are concerned, they're the center of the world. According to The Huffington Post, narcissistic parents put their needs above everyone else's. Even after reaching adulthood, you may feel like your father's needs are larger than life — and far more important than your own.
11. He Is Controlling
Did your dad control your every move? According to The Huffington Post, overly controlling parents may lead to kids with higher levels of depression and dissatisfaction. If this sounds all too familiar, then you may want to seek counseling for support.