Parents are the ones who’ve given birth to you, raised you, cared for you, and nurtured you throughout your younger years. There is something special and sacred about the relationship between children and parents, something that forever cements a memory that, in some way, shape, or form, informs how we experience the world.
However, having toxic parents can pose a challenge to this relationship.
Although it is obscure but there are some parents who are very narcissist and do not pay proper attention to their children, sometimes even abuse, either physically or verbally. This can lead to a lot of psychological problems that can be hard to deal with by oneself. It can feel heavy and burdensome and confusing. Because while you probably have love and care you also realize the way they impose hurt, pain, and ignorance on to you. And you feel that heaviness when they unfairly talk down to you, mock your accomplishments, or shame you for your choices. You might feel angry, frustrated, and trapped.
Unless the situation is abusive or dangerous, you often feel like you have to make the best of it. And this is where the process of working towards acceptance comes in.
Teenagers have the most difficult time dealing with toxic parents, since they are still dependent on them, both financially and emotionally; they can’t move out and live on their own like adult children, and are more aware than preteen children.
If you are a teenager who has toxic parents, here are some things you should know or do that can help you deal with the situation better:
1. Explain to your parent(s) how you feel
If you are having a strained relationship with your parents, the wisest thing to do first is to talk to them about it. It is possible that they are hurting you without realizing it at all, and once you explain it to them, they may change their behavior for better.
2. Rely more on your other parent if only one is toxic
It is rare to have both parents as toxic. If only one of your parents is toxic, it is better to talk to the other parent about it. If you are able to have a better connection with your other parent—rely more on them for support and maintain considerable distance from the abusive parent.
3. Don’t shout back- won’t help
When things are going out of control and the toxic parent is behaving very irresponsibly and aggressively, it is a natural instinct to reflect the same behavior to them. This won’t help at all. The best thing to do in such situation is to maintain calm and simply don’t engage in an aggressive war of words, mainly because if they are toxic, they won’t react positively to this.
4. Give the message through non-aggressive gestures
If they seem to be in a very aggressive mood, and are abusing you, either verbally or physically, instead of being violent yourself, it is better to show gestures that make them understand that you are hurt. Do not aggravate the situation e.g. simply walking away if they are uncontrollably ranting.
5. Ask adult relatives to intervene
It is possible that the parent(s) is not responding to you. But they are more likely to respond to an adult, for example, their own brothers and sisters or parents. If you are suffering even a little, and talking to your parents directly didn’t help, it is highly advisable to seek advice from your adult relatives and asking them to intervene.
If intervention from adult relatives does not help either, a mental health professional might. With the help of your adult relative, talk to a therapist about it, and try and convince your parent(s) to talk to them as well.
7. The good child- bad child syndrome—it’s not your fault
Your siblings may be going through the same thing you’re going through. Talk to them about it, and know how they feel about it. Sometimes they may not feel how you feel, because your parent is biased towards them. It is not uncommon for toxic & narcissist parents to like their one child better than the other. The reason for this is mostly that one child is always willing to obey their command; no matter how unreasonable the command may be, while the other child may not be willing to do the same.
8..Why are they narcissist and toxic, if they are?
By nature, parents are loving and caring. If they are behaving this way, there’s a reason for it. Most parents who are toxic and narcissist are so because they didn’t experience love and caring in their own childhood. They simply cannot connect to their children, or understand what parenthood is about.
If your parents had been very loving and caring in general, but have been behaving miserably for only some time, they may be going through a phase of depression and stress.
9. Try and be in their shoes; accept the situation
Many times, no matter how many attempts are made to improve the situation, it is not always possible to make the toxic parent change their behavior. In such cases, it is always the best to accept the situation as it is, and try to get independent of them as soon as possible.
Sometimes, it is possible that you are only assuming that your parent(s) is narcissist and behaving badly with you. It is normal for parents to exercise some control over their children, solely for the benefit of the children themselves. Their intention may not be to abuse you or hurt you in any way at all. If this is the case, following the above tips will help you sort this problem out.