Parents who hurt us: how to communicate with them?
Mom and Dad are big, omnipotent, omnipotent, able to answer all questions, protect from any adversity, calm and console … Alas, they are not always like that. It happens that the closest people inflict enormous harm on the psyche of their children.
“A young child cannot live in constant emotional stress, and he develops various forms of protection,” explains psychologist Marina Meaus, “he learns to either justify the parent or emotionally withdraw, defending himself with coldness and indifference, which can spread to other people with age. “. To counter the toxic behavior of the parent, it is important first of all to figure out which manipulations are used.
1. Double messages
Often words and their accompanying emotions contradict each other. “Thank you, it was very tasty,” – said with an expression on his face, leaving no doubt about the opposite. The daughter shows her mother a new blouse asking if she likes it. The mother first approves, but when she sees her daughter in a new clothes, she criticizes her choice.
This parent is often distinguished by inconsistency, and it is difficult for children to predict how he will behave the next minute. The child learns to unravel the behavior of an adult in the smallest details: how mom or dad opened the door, in what tone they answered. For the smallest pranks, a child can be unexpectedly punished, while serious misconduct will get away with it. It all depends on the mood of the parent, and as a result, children grow up with a sense of self-doubt and a sense of instability of everything that surrounds them.
2. Indifference to emotional needs
The parent is completely alienated from the experiences of the child and monitors only to satisfy his basic physical needs. Trying to talk about what really worries him, the child is faced with total indifference. He understands that his mother is ready to communicate with him only superficially, ignoring his feelings.
3. Breaking the boundaries
The parent does not feel boundaries and takes away from the child the right to his own space. We are talking about the invasion of the nursery without knocking, and the desire to force the child to do something by force. Often children are forced to attend countless circles, just because mom or dad decided so.
They impose feelings on children that they do not experience. “You are tired, you are hungry,” the parent says, although the child does not feel hunger and does not want to sleep. Not wanting to believe the child and stand on his side, he is accused of lying: “You invented all this.”
One of the most severe forms of psychological abuse. When the closest person for him, called to be the guarantor of security, stops talking with the child, this destroys his world and causes an enduring sense of guilt.
6. Direct and indirect charges
“For your sake I had to live with your father / drop out of school”, “I spent my whole life on you”, “It would be better if you weren’t born” – manifestations of extreme forms of psychological sadism, which echoes of adults can’t easily cope with.
7. Disease simulation
The parent punishes the child with his sudden illness, attacks of which often happen immediately after the conflict. As a rule, this is how the somatic reaction of the “parent-victim”, which suffers from the “child-tormentor,” works.
8. Role Dissonance
Often occurs in single-parent families when a mother tries to make her daughter or son her adviser and best friend. The role of an adult is unbearable for a child, and he is injured not only by the divorce of his parents, but also by the fact that he is not able to help his mother.
The child trusts his secret to the parent and finds out that the mother or father told this to a third party. Another form of betrayal can be observed in families where the mother is neutral and does not protect the child from the cruelty of the father.
What do adult children do?
“First of all, it is important to be aware and soberly assess what is happening,” says Marina Meaus. – As soon as you begin to analyze your relationships in general and specific episodes in particular, you learn not to get involved in experiencing a conflict and not to duplicate the parental way of communicating with other people.
It is useful to keep a diary of observations in order to better understand what the manipulation was like. It is important to note all the positive actions of the parent for you out loud and not to skimp on kind words yourself. In the same way, use negative reinforcement, without disregarding everything that hurts you. ”
The psychologist is confident that the position of the detached observer will allow you to take control of the situation in your own hands and build more healthy relationships with parents.
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