Passive aggressive parents are parents who try to manipulate their children for their own needs or motives.
Passive aggressive is about being indirect about what you want instead of direct. It’s about being aggressive in a veiled way. That’s why they call them “veiled threats.”
What passive aggressive parents do is create a hostile and confusing living environment for their children, which leads their children to distrust other people as they grow older. It also leaves children feeling insecure.
Passive aggressive people tend to blame, make excuses, tell fibs and play the victim in many situations.
Here are 10 things that passive aggressive parents do and how it affects their children:
No. 1: What passive aggressive parents do is feign tears or exaggerate emotion to manipulate their children. A passive aggressive parent who is upset because she isn’t getting her way may refuse to tell everyone directly what she wants, and instead pout or cry. Although sometimes the tears are genuine, she exaggerates emotions or uses them to get her way instead of talking. She may need a class on how to communicate as a parent.
No. 2: Passive aggressive parents make comparisons that are unfair to their children or pit people against one another in a competition. A passive aggressive parent will try to manipulate one child by comparing him to a cousin or another child. If the parent wants the child to clean out the cabinet, she may talk about how good the cousin or sibling was at completing that chore.
No. 3: What some passive aggressive parents do is give their children the silent treatment. Part of the problem with passive aggressive people is that they don’t talk about what’s really going on. Giving the silent treatment is the ultimate passive aggressive move.
No. 4: Passive aggressive parents or manipulative parents agree to do something but then don’t follow through by making excuses. The parent may say he will attend the basketball game, even though he doesn’t want to and then call later, saying he got caught in traffic.
No. 5: Passive aggressive parents put down their children but do it with humor or with a smile on their faces. Instead of using constructive criticism, they may use sarcasm or humor to belittle or degrade their children. They may do this out of jealousy or anger. They need to learn how to communicate as a parent.
No. 6: What some passive aggressive parents do is run away from genuine conversations and attempts to resolve communication issues. He or she may physically leave to avoid conflict with a child or teenager.
No. 7: A passive aggressive parent may send a message to her child by having a conversation with the child in front of another adult. For example, the parent might tell the grandparent the child is never going to be a great lawyer, doctor or dentist one day if he does not do his homework. Instead of being a manipulative parent, the parent should tell the child directly to do his homework.
No. 8: A passive aggressive parent may lie to his children to avoid conflict. Instead of telling the child the truth about a situation, the parent tells a “white lie” to avoid an argument. The child begins to distrust what the parent says.
No. 9: A passive aggressive parent is a major procrastinator when it comes to things he or she does not want to do. If the child wants help with a project, the parent may wait to the last minute and then says something else came up.
No. 10: A passive aggressive parent may often “forget” to do things they don’t want to do.
If you act in a passive aggressive way, it’s important to recognize it and make a change for the better. Don’t send a terrible message to your children. You want them to grow up to be confident, secure and trusting.
Passive aggressive parents need to first realize the world does not revolve around them. They have to be an adult and provide a safe physical and psychological world for their children.
Passive aggressive parents then need to work on their communication skills. Be kind, yet direct. If you feel hurt, “perception check” before playing the victim or blaming. Tell the child what you heard and how you felt and ask whether that’s what the child intended to communicate.
Even if your parents were passive aggressive, you can develop the right parenting skills so you end the cycle. Children with passive aggressive parents may grow up feeling insecure and lack trust to develop healthy relationships.
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