As parents we all have moments when we act passive aggressively with our children for one reason or another. Sometimes it is because we are avoiding a fight or do not want to answer the question, because we know the answer could start a fight or upset them. Sometimes it is because we are busy, we don’t want to stop what we are doing or just don’t have an answer. However, as parents when we do that, it can be very confusing to children, no matter what their age is. Especially as they become older and start figuring out our behavior.
Passive aggressive behavior is never a good thing to do to anyone, especially not our children. It leaves very little options for the other person to say or do anything in response to the other person. These are 10 passive aggressive behaviors that parents occasionally get caught doing.
Saying in a minute, hold on or when I’m done. Although there may be legitimate reasons to say this, it is not the best response to give. It explains very explains very little to the child and also leaves the door open to an extended period of time. There is no time limit at all.
Using the phrase because I said so. This one pretty much tells the child that their thoughts or feelings don’t mean anything. Even though it is not what the parent may actually be thinking, it puts the child on the defensive immediately since they were not given any valid explanation.
Walking away from the child and saying I don’t want to talk about it. The conversation is killed instantly at this point. There was no discussion and the parent just walks away instead.
Saying that something is okay to do and then becoming mad when the child chooses to do it. This one was a big one for myself growing up. I would be told it was okay to do something and then did and be in huge trouble. This is extremely confusing and broke all trust I had with my parents because I couldn’t really believe them.
Similar to the one above is when parents say you can tell me, talk to me, tell me the truth, you won’t be in trouble and then they are. Again, confusing and breaks the trust with the child.
Making comments about something that has happened, but in a joking manner, even though the parent has already said they were no longer upset or they were over it. Bringing up and continually harping on a topic that was already settled and the child told was already settled is uncomfortable and there is not a lot the child can say without looking like they can’t take a joke. However, in reality it only makes them feel bad and feel like nothing is actually ever settled in reality.
Saying yes to something the child wants, when the parent really wants to say no. Then being mad that they are doing it or becoming angry with the child that they are doing it or blaming them for something else that happens. If the task can’t be done with grudging the person, than it shouldn’t be done at all. Saying yes and then being mad hurts the child’s feelings and again breaks their trust with the parent.
Placing the blame on the child for something. This can get tricky, because there are times when a child gets in trouble. However, for example not picking the child up from school, even though they said they needed to be picked up, because they did not call again after school to be picked up. This is confusing and allows the parent to get out of doing something for their child, while placing the blame on the child instead.
Placing a punishment on the child that is open ended. There is no end until the parent feels like not being mad anymore. This does not teach the child proper consequences for actions, since there is never an end to the punishment. The parent then can also continue to add to the punishment if the child does anything else wrong.
Changing the punishment, again leaving it open ended and taking away privileges with no end in sight for the child.