Parent-child communication can be difficult, especially when kids get older and develop their own perspectives.
Toxic parents can lose themselves in their thoughts, which can affect their children.
Recognizing these triggers can make parenting easier. Dr. Bernstein thinks parents can see how their own frustrations affect their kids.
Every kid brings home a friend or two. According to Dr. Greenberg, criticizing your child's pals is poisonous. "Toxic parents criticize their child's friends."
Toxic parents confuse terrible behavior with a bad child and don't distinguish between the two. "Parents are 'on duty' 24/7," Dr. Bernstein says.
Toxic parents compare their children to their siblings and friends in hopes that they would behave like them.
Using statements like "You always" or "You never" limits a child's conduct. "You seem to be upset when..." or "How can we work through this issue together?" are growth-oriented phrases.
Toxic parents regularly criticize themselves about weight and appearance. Dr. Greenberg says children turn to their parents for examples of everything, including self-esteem.
Parents should be parents—not friends. Toxic parents may dress like their child, befriend their child's pals, or share too much personal information with their child.
Watching children grow up may be heartbreaking but beautiful, full of pride and nostalgia. Toxic parents, however, overprotect their children, stunting their development.