In a family there is generally one parent that tends to hang back and let the other parent take the reins. Those parents are the passive aggressive ones that allow behavior to continue, good or bad, and do not seem to care one way or another about it. If you are not sure if you are a passive aggressive parent here are some of the most passive aggressive things that parents do and what effect they have on children.
1. Ignore problems- When a passive aggressive parent is presented with a problem they tend to shy away from it. This means that if a child is acting out or doing something they shouldn’t an overly passive aggressive parent will chalk it up to a phase or some other excuse to avoid the problem. This makes the child feel like they can get away with just about anything.
2. Ignores bad behavior- This goes hand in hand with the first thing that passive aggressive parents do except for this time they ignore focused behaviors. This could mean that if a child is hitting another child the passive aggressive parent will make little to no effort to stop the behavior. This makes children act out even more because they know they will not get punished for it.
3. Ignores good behavior- Ignoring good behavior can be just as detrimental as ignoring bad behavior. Children are developing and as such they need to be conditioned to behave in a certain way and acknowledging and sometimes rewarding good behavior conditions a child to continue to behave appropriately whereas ignoring the behavior gives the child no motivation to continue that behavior.
4. Gives no focused direction- Children often need a strong figure to look up to or look to for guidance. Apathetic parents often give no direction to a child making it hard for them to know exactly what they are supposed to do or how they are supposed to act.
5. Tells but does not show- Often passive aggressive parents simply tell their child what to and what not to do, they do not always show the child what they should and shouldn’t do. This gives the child no real guidance and makes it hard for them to know what is expected of them.
6. Expect children to know how to act- Many passive aggressive parents do not actively tell their children how to act because they expect them to know how to act. By expecting your child to know how to act but not actually doing anything to help guide their behavior it makes it hard for a child to know what to do.
7. Counting- This is a passive aggressive behavior because the parent is giving the child the opportunity to correct their behavior before any real action is taken. By counting to three or whatever chosen number they count to, the parent is putting the power in the child’s hands. Depending on the child this could be good or bad. If you have a child that is beginning to be responsible generally they will correct their own behavior, but if you have a child that does what they want they will generally continue the undesired behavior.
8. Giving in to tantrums- When a parent gives in to tantrums it lets the child know that they are in charge. This is passive aggressive because rather than working to correct the behavior, the parent is giving in to stop the behavior. This is one of the main things that leads to children that do whatever they want.
9. Does not discipline a child- I’m not saying that you should spank your child or anything like that but when parents strive to baby or coddle a child by not disciplining them it makes it hard for children to assimilate into society. Discipline in some way or form in key to achieving the desired behaviors in a child.
10. Passing the baton- By passing off responsibility to the other parent or authority figure parents are letting the child know that they are the one that can be easily manipulated. This makes it easy for a child to turn parents against one another or to manipulate standards and rules that have been set forth.
Though none of these things leads to a necessarily awful child, it does make it hard on a child as they grow to come to terms with and grow with the things that are expected of them as adults. A great article that talks about the effects of passive aggressive parenting is,”Effects of the Passive Aggressive Parent” by Ladybeams. There are tons of sites out there that help you to determine your parenting style and offer tips to help make your child behave the way you think they ought to.
Ladybeams, Effects of the Passive Aggressive Parent, wordpress.com