Most of us have dealt with parents controlling our lives or at least trying to take control of our lives at some point in time. Some parents hold the belief to the utmost extent that they are the only beings in the universe who know what’s best for their kids and take all possible steps to control their children’s lives in all sorts of ways and steer them in the “right direction” (read: the direction they want). There’s a clear distinction between a parent being rigid or strict and outright controlling.
According to Esther Boykin, MFT, a marriage and family therapist, controlling parents are those who, simply, “don’t leave space for their children to have their own emotional experience and develop a sense of autonomy.”
Over controlling, parents can have significantly detrimental effects on their children. What essentially happens in the case of an overbearing mother/father is that their children do not have the necessary emotional growth needed to develop and flourish as an individual. This article provides much-needed tips and insights on how to deal with controlling and overbearing parents, be it a controlling mother, a controlling father, or both.
6 signs a person has controlling parents:
1. Their parents are constantly trying to control and dominate them:
In case their parents are downright authoritative with the life choices they make and constantly interfere in their daily life and activities they regularly engage in, they are, in fact, controlling. This goes on like a very normal activity even years after they reach adulthood. They simply refuse to let go of the control they have on their child, fearing they will lose the opportunity to dominate them. Why do parents develop traits as such? Chances are, they This will undoubtedly hamper their emotional growth in several ways and they are unable to develop a sense of being autonomous in their own life.
2. Constant invasion of personal space:
Controlling parents simply refuse to give their children the space that is necessary for their growth. They don’t believe in their child’s right to privacy, nor do they try to understand the meaning of healthy personal boundaries. Boundaries become a necessity once the children reach a certain age. However, these parents outright refuse to give their children the much-needed space and might even show displeasure or annoyance if the child expresses their need for space. They will end up stalking their child and their activities on social media in the name of supervising, which is clearly not the sign of healthy parenting.
3. The parents act as mediators or communicators on behalf of their children:
This is the case where the parents subconsciously believe that they have complete say and authority over the careers and personal lives of their children, and even take decisions on their behalf. They will take decisions for their children, without even asking for their suggestions. Controlling parents in adulthood can lead to severe anxiety in social situations. This is owing to the lack of confidence and at times even the trauma and depression that comes with the inability to make decisions for themselves at times. It can make a person feel inadequate and not worthy enough for the life that they truly deserve.
4. They will provide for their children but with certain terms and conditions:
The parents, in this case, will always remind you that they are providing for you and therefore, you are obligated to provide all of your attention, love and time to them – they act as if they have complete monopoly over you. An example of a controlling father-daughter relationship is one in which the father buys branded garments, expensive apparel, and the latest trending gadgets for his daughter but all these purchases come with certain conditions applied.