In the nature of living beings, by divine design, both human and in the animal kingdom, with the exception of a few, the instinct to love, care for, feed, and protect the offspring is inherent. That parental instinct that moves us to sacrifice ourselves for the well-being and prosperity of our children; the one that keeps us awake by keeping vigil at his crib, or at the head of his bed, or at the side of the hospital bed when some disease strikes and threatens to take them away from us.
It is that maternal and/or paternal instinct that keeps us awake at night when the numbers do not close and we need to go out in search of more sources of income to ensure that there will be bread in the mouths of our children and that they will have a roof under which to shelter, or that it will allow them to have access to a better education, and toys for Three Kings Day, or that we will simply be able to offer them a better lifestyle that we did not have access to when we were children.
So, we start from the premise that every father loves his children and sacrifices himself for them, and this by divine design of the Creator. This protective instinct is what has ensured the non-extinction of the human race, and therefore that of the animal kingdom. Raising children requires sacrifice and infinite patience since the life of a mother and that of a father ceases to be one’s own, to extend into the life of the one or those whom one brought to burst into life and one’s home with all the privileges and responsibilities that implies. With their presence in our home, children bring happiness and a new meaning to our lives, but also, a bag full of challenges to conquer. With each child that God gives us, a new and different adventure begins!
However, there is an evil among these well-intentioned parents, a pernicious tendency that is harmful to the children in the long run. These parents who, in their eagerness to do things right, confuse and misapply certain principles of kinship that turns them, contrary to their intentions, into toxic parents. Toxic parents sincerely believe that the style applied in raising children is the best, without realizing that in the long term they only cause conflicts, resentments and permanent scars in the character and in the lives of their children.
The intention here is not to criticize, or embarrass, much less humiliate parents who identify that they have traits of toxic parentage. As imperfect and mistaken parents that we are, we can change, adapt, improve, and turn negative practices and trends into positive weapons that will result in great benefits in the lives of our children and in our relationship with them.
For this, in this series we will develop one by one 10 characteristics of toxic parentage that we must identify and which we must put an end to as soon as possible.
1- MANIPULATING PARENTS
A position of authority exercised in manipulation is one of the most dangerous combinations in the human relationship experience. This is how dictators have been created! Raising children by manipulating them is one of the most terrible things. The tendency to manipulate in parents seems subtle and innocent at first, but over time it becomes an obsessive and absorbing tendency. The manipulative parent extends its tentacles far and wide into their children’s lives and tries to control every aspect of it. In English, the term “guilt trip” is used when a person tries to manipulate another through guilt. This type of father embarks his children on a continual “guilt ride.” He makes his children feel guilty to ensure control over their emotions, and therefore over their behavior, in such a way as to achieve his submission,
There are many conscious or unconscious ways in which a toxic father emotionally blackmails his children, from the threat that the Three Wise Men will not bring them their royal gift, when they are still innocent gullible toddlers, or the threat when they are already teenagers that they will be will be thrown out of the house if they do not align with the tastes of music, way of dressing, friendships or choice of partner according to the preference of the parents, or until when, already made young adults and ready to take their own flight in life and they have decided on the career they want to pursue, they sadly have to change course because their parents threaten to withdraw their financial support because “that is not what we dream of” for our children.
The worst manipulation of all is perhaps the one in which a toxic father or mother threatens their children that they will lose or take away their love. Children are motivated and gratified to know that their parents love them, that they are loved. The perception of lack of affection and love from their parents or from the people they consider important in their lives makes them feel vulnerable and insecure. Parents who torment their children by telling them that they will no longer love them or that no one will love them that way, as a way of manipulating their feelings or bringing about a desired change, do not realize the tremendous emotional damage they cause their children. children, in the short term and long term!