How Do You Know if Your Parents Are Too Controlling?

Reviewed on 6/23/2021

What is a parent's role in a child's life?

Controlling parents make it really hard for their kids to do well in their personal, school, and professional lives.
Controlling parents make it really hard for their kids to do well in their personal, school, and professional lives.

Parents and caregivers have a crucial role in their child's life. Usually, parents put their child's wants, needs, and concerns before theirs. The wealth of experience they have can serve as a guiding light for their children. This makes children more aware, knowledgeable, and prepares them for challenges they might face in life. Although guiding children is a great quality, expecting them to behave and make choices exactly as their parents want is not justified. Not only are children born in different times from their parents, but they also have distinct qualities, likes, and dislikes. It is natural to have disagreements with your parents. There is a fine line between guiding, manipulating, and controlling. At times, you may be left perplexed, wondering whether your parents are trying to control your life.

What effects do controlling parents have upon their children?

Controlling parents may do a lot of damage to your psyche.

  1. They may make you indecisive.
  2. This may result in low self-esteem.
  3. You grow up being scared of taking risks and challenges.
  4. You lose confidence.
  5. You feel the need to have someone to guide you all the time.
  6. Not getting the freedom to choose may make you anxious, frustrated, and dissatisfied.
  7. You tend to lose the ability to own up or take responsibility.
  8. You may end up being a people pleaser.

Controlling parents may make it really difficult for their children to do well in their personal, school, and professional lives. If your parents are controlling, it is wise to confront them firmly yet politely and get help from a professional such as a therapist or family counselor when needed. Establishing healthy boundaries and making people aware of them are ongoing tasks. It's important to be clear about how much interference you can tolerate in your life.

What signs indicate that your parents are too controlling?

Some of the signs that show your parents are too controlling are as follows.

  1. Your parents behave as though they know best. From choosing your career or stream at a school or college to choosing what to eat, your parents have a strong opinion about everything related to your life. They always undermine your choices and don't let you decide anything for yourself.
  2. They make you doubt yourself. Controlling parents may make you feel that you know nothing and are doomed to make mistakes if you don't listen to them. They may find fault with everything you do.
  3. They are overly dramatic when you do not do as they wanted. Controlling parents may get infuriated, behave irrationally, and even pretend that you not doing what they told you to has harmed them mentally.
  4. They tend to exaggerate your mistakes. Controlling parents will make you regret even the smallest of your mistakes. They will repeatedly remind you of your mistakes and try to make you believe that it all happened because you did not listen to them.
  5. They interfere in your relationships. Getting relationship advice from parents is normal. Controlling parents, however, go way beyond that. They may try to control your relationships and may interfere against your will. Their nosy behavior may even annoy your partner. They do not leave you alone with your friends and may eavesdrop on your conversations. They do not establish healthy boundaries such as knocking on your door before entering your room.
  6. Their love and affection are often conditional. They will shower you with love and praise if you do as they want. If you ever follow your heart, they become annoyed and may even threaten to take away their monetary support from you.
  7. They make rigid and irrational rules. They may fix your time to read, play, or go out with friends. There may be no flexibility in those rules. They may even threaten you or make you feel guilty if you try to break their rules.

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References
Chavez, Holly. "13 Signs of a Toxic Parent That Many People Don't Realize." Lifehack.org. <https://www.lifehack.org/350678/13-signs-toxic-parent-that-many-people-dont-realize>.

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