Can you gaslight your child?


Defined as an instrument of emotional and psychological torture that seriously harms relationships, it is called the mental manipulation technique of modern times. gaslighting, one of the most important terms of our time. In bilateral relations, one of the parties, if the other is right, “playing with your mind”; Gaslighting, which is identified with constantly manipulating another person to make them feel guilty, wrong or wrong, is not limited to good adults. According to psychology research and expert opinion, parents can also gaslight their children. parental gaslighting This situation, which is defined as…

Gaslighting parents often show examples of objecting or rejecting their children’s views and feelings parents who undermine their perception of reality, their feelings, their willThey may also ignore their experience. After such behavior, the negative consequences of emotional and psychological abuse to which children are subjected. may extend into adulthood. Moreover, even when children grow up parental gaslighting you can continue.

Signs and Effects of Parental Gaslighting

Children are better than normal adults both emotionally and psychologically. be more vulnerablecan complicate their struggle with gaslighting, in addition, it is much more difficult for a child to realize the various manipulations carried out on him than for an adult. For this reason, the gaslighting they undergo can last longer and pave the way for more devastating results. On the other hand, those who do not change their behavior over the years, which we can call toxic parents, parental gaslighting Parents who practice this practice can also maintain this attitude towards their children, regardless of their age. So, whether you struggled with parental gaslighting as a child or not, you can be emotionally and psychologically manipulated by your parents even as an adult.

Parents who practice gaslighting:

  • They do not respect the subjective experience of their children.
  • They interfere with what their children like and don’t like.
  • They push all conditions to keep control at all times.
  • They easily take on the role of the victim.
  • They reject the feelings and thoughts of their children.
  • They distort facts for their own interests and purposes.
  • They never, or almost never, apologize.
  • They ignore the feelings of their children.
  • They always think they are right.
  • They make their children have negative thoughts about themselves.
  • They often display accusatory, humiliating and abusive behavior towards their children.
  • They always think they know what is best for their children.

On the other hand, some discourses are also considered expressions of parental gaslighting. Gaslighting parents often use the following phrases with their children:

  • I criticize you because I love you.
  • You are very sensitive.
  • You make more out of nothing.
  • You are so sensitive.
  • You are being dramatic.
  • You look confused again.
  • You are making up something again.
  • I did not do anything. All this is in your head.
  • You remember wrong.
  • Are you tired; Go finish your homework.
  • Doesn’t matter; you’re overreacting.
  • It’s just a small cut. It does not hurt.
  • All for your own good.
  • Everyone knows that I am a good parent.
  • Not difficult; you’re just lazy.
  • No, you don’t need therapy.
  • Everything is fine with me; You should be more respectful.
  • Things don’t disappear by themselves, you are irresponsible.
  • I’m not wrong.

These and similar phrases may be the most common phrases a child hears from a gaslighting parent.

One of the most insidious aspects of gaslighting is the denial of reality; therefore, children may think that they have problems with such discourses. Parental gaslighting behavior can cause confusion, increased self-doubt, and reduced self-esteem in children; No matter what age… On the other hand, it can also set the stage for the formation of anxiety and depression. Worse, in severe cases, children can also experience mental health issues such as psychosis.

Ways to deal with parental gaslighting

Dealing with parental gaslighting can be more difficult than relationship gaslighting, given the family ties. However, effective results can be achieved in 3 actionable steps:

1. Recognize the problem: According to experts, awareness is the most important step in the fight against this kind of manipulation. Being aware of the signs of gaslighting on the part of your parents is crucial in recognizing that you have been exposed and then breaking out of this toxic cycle.

2. Fact Check: Famous psychoanalyst Babita Spinelli “Instead of relying on the distorted reality of parental gaslighting, turn to the facts to remind yourself what’s real.” He notes that it’s important to check reality and get support by talking to a trusted person if possible.

3. Setting limits: When relationships become toxic, leaving may be the best solution. Even if they are parents, it is necessary to set clear boundaries, define personal space and protect mental health. Babita Spinelli.Your mental health is a priority.emphasizes this important step.

While the experience of gaslighting in any relationship can be extremely devastating, becoming aware of the situation and taking quick mental health action can lead to significant recovery as it can be more devastating if practiced by a parent.

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