What can we do to avoid becoming “toxic parents”?

2017.02.20

Are you aware of the term “toxic parents”? In order for our children to live up to their full potential, it is very important that we, as parents, break away from this “toxic parents” model. In this article we will explain the term and also introduce some actions parents should take to avoid becoming “toxic parents”.

What are “toxic parents”?

一般的には「子どもの可能性を狭めてしまう行い」をしてしまっている方を毒親と表現します。
以下の例に該当する方は毒親の可能性が高いため注意が必要です。

These are parents who end up trying to hold their children back from reaching their full potential. Parents who fit the following examples have a high possibility of becoming a “toxic parent”.

・Parents who treat their child as a possession
Everyone loves their child very much. However, parents who feel strongly about the following: “I am happy that my children listen to me”, “I am the only one who can protect my child”, have a tendency to impose their opinions on their children. When this happens, children will lose their sense of intention. Also, allowing children to live as they please and not over-controlling their every move will help them develop the skills needed to think on their own.

・Parents who impose their expectations on their child
For example, many parents feel that if their child enters a good school they will lead a good life. However, it is important that parents do not impose these expectations on their children. These actions will prevent your child from choosing his/her own opportunities and how he/she wants to live in the future.

・Parents who compare their children to others
It is important for children to be competive but if parents continue to tell their child that “so-and-so can do it” and “why can’t you be more like so-and-so” it can be dangerous for their child’s growth. Although parents use these phrases because they want their children to try harder, children will take them to mean that they are being compared to other children and are not as good as they are. If they internalize these feelings then they may stop trying at subjects that they are not good at.

What can we do so that we do not become “toxic parents”?

If any of the above actions apply to you, it is important to think of your child’s potential and avoid performing these actions as much as possible. Please take the time to communicate with your child and understand his/her personality and way of thinking. Attending classes at an early-childhood center is a great way to find out what your child excels at. Let’s work together for a bright future for our children.

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