Many parents unwittingly gaslight their children. Gaslighting is controlling a person to the extent that they cannot depend on their own sanity.
While parents don’t deliberately do so, sometimes they go overboard trying to protect or discipline their children.
10 common examples of parental gaslighting
1. Telling children, a falsehood in order to make them act as you wish.
2. Lying to them that it’s okay when it is really not.
3. Preventing them from shedding tears no matter the circumstance.
4. Scaring them to make them listen to you.
5. Force-feeding them when they don’t want to eat.
6. Thrusting your religious beliefs upon them.
7. Not taking them seriously even when they are passionate about something.
8. Advising them to blindly obey adults and people with authority.
9. Warning them away from all strangers.
10. Telling them what to feel and when to feel it.
10 ways to avoid parental gaslighting
1. If your child is throwing a fit, don’t try to make them stop by intimidating them. Let them deal with the situation so that it becomes a learning experience.
2. Allow them to analyze and express their thoughts and feelings in order to enhance their mental development.
3. Understand that crying is also a way for children to articulate their emotions. Don’t make them repress it.
4. Your children actively look to you for guidance so be the person you want them to become.
5. Encourage them to choose wisely by themselves so that they can make their own decisions when they’re older.
6. Don’t swoop in and save your child from everything. Help them by teaching them to help themselves.
7. Don’t make your relationship one based on ultimatums.
8. Avoid manipulating your child into doing what you want them to do.
9. If you feel that there are no major repercussions, give your child time to think about it and come to their own conclusions.
10. Lastly, try to be as clear and straightforward as possible in your communication with them. Also, make the effort to truly understand what they are saying.