Few people realise how much our lives are influenced not only in childhood but also in adulthood by the family and educational environment we grow up in. Thus, many traits and behavioural patterns are not due to genes per se, but mainly to the attitude our parents had towards us in childhood.

manipulative parents

Parenting should be based on love and creating a safe environment that allows the child to grow into an independent, happy and mature adult. However, the coercion and repression that is widely used by manipulative parents is not conducive to this.

Manipulative parents include so-called helicopter parents who are overprotective and who feel the need to be in absolute control of their children’s lives. Thus, not only do they constantly control what their children do, but they also iron out all their problems for them, handling all important and unimportant matters, including homework and school projects. They simply try to create a carefree life for them. Unfortunately, despite their good intentions, they are hurting the children a lot.

Another group is the narcissistic parents who take all the attention on themselves. When someone challenges their sense of superiority, they react with aggression. They humiliate others to make themselves stand out. These people often outwardly appear to be exemplary, conscientious, caring parents, and few can detect what their children are really experiencing.

Narcissistic parents may be capable of heartfelt moments with their children, but they do not have true, unconditional love for them. They are often jealous and envious of their children, often to the point of throwing sticks at them themselves.

What are the effects on children of being raised by manipulative parents? What are their defining characteristics?

– Difficulties with decision making

If you grow up in a family environment where others make decisions for you, you will find it hard to find your own autonomy. Instead of being able to make your own decisions as an adult, insecurity takes over.

You will find it very difficult to take the reins of your life and every change will turn into a very challenging obstacle. A great fear will accompany every first step, and sometimes you may not be able to overcome it.

– Comparing yourself to others

Dysfunctional parents often use comparison techniques. If your parents compared you to other children and constantly told you that you were not as smart, skilled and brilliant as others, then this will usually affect your adult life. This is because you will continue to automatically compare yourself to others and repeat your family dynamics, which will have a very significant negative impact on your self-esteem.

– Feeling unloved

People who are brought up by particularly narcissistic parents then have trouble forming lasting and happy relationships themselves. Thus, love can sometimes be agonizing and painful for them.

– They need validation from others

Even in adulthood, they need confirmation from others that they are doing the right thing and being good. This is the fuel they need to boost their self-esteem and self-concept. But it can be very draining for others.

– They control the others

They often unconsciously adopt the behaviour patterns of their manipulative parents. According to an article published in the journal PLos One, these psychological conditions can also be inherited.

The key is whether the individual is aware that they are repeating the same dynamics their parents applied to them.

– He can’t express what he feels

Children who are brought up to believe that their needs and feelings are not important then have difficulty expressing their emotions as adults and often have to deal with a great deal of inner anguish.

– Emotional ups and downs

Many of those who have grown up in such families carry psychological trauma into adulthood, which can lead to serious problems with emotion regulation. Those involved can easily become trapped in stress and anxiety.

There is simply nothing more damaging to a child than growing up in an environment where love is conditioned and where the needs and opportunities to develop autonomy and a healthy identity are violated.


Can these wounds be healed?

Yes, but it is always a long-term process. One must first decide what kind of bond one wants to maintain with one’s parents in adulthood. Sometimes he sees it as the best thing he can do for himself to distance himself from them.

If you want to work on your own well-being and fulfilment above all, it is a good idea to follow these steps:

– Work on your assertiveness.

– Work on your self-esteem.

– Practice emotional intelligence.

– Take care of yourself.

– Don’t be afraid to rely on your own social circle, i.e. friends, partner, etc.

– Develop a strategy to improve your self-esteem.

– Learn techniques to help you solve problems and make decisions.

– Set healthy boundaries with your parents. Decide whether you want to continue seeing them and under what circumstances.

– Try acceptance and commitment therapy under the supervision of a professional or try other therapies to help you address your trauma.

– Give space to all the emotions you are experiencing because of your trauma.

– Don’t be afraid to seek professional help, especially when you yourself are aware that the trauma is not healing.


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