1) “Sweetie don’t play with that little boy, he doesn’t wear tweed.”
The worst thing that we can do as parents is to pass on our egotistical snide behavior. It is passive aggressive for a parent to say something aloud to someone else, about another person who is standing in earshot. They are not really trying to warn their child of the dangers of the world, but they are attempting to take a shot at someone, without directly doing so. These are comments that have to do with clothing, income, cleanliness, rowdiness, discipline issues, political beliefs, religion, marital status, and any other thing that could cause judgment. Parents can teach their child be as arrogant as they want them to be, but at the same time teach them politeness and respect for others in person and wait till I am out of ear shot to talk about my kids not having matching socks.
2) “Marsha would never do that.”
Comparing one child to another is one of the more common forms of passive aggressive behaviors of parents. This is an attempt to control the behavior of a child by creating competition for your approval. Not only is it damaging to the parent child relationship, but also resentment stagnates between the siblings.
3) “Don’t you think you should set a more realistic goal?”
Growing up in a household in which dreams are balloons often popped, creates an atmosphere in which the child feels as if their dreams are impossible. Often this passive aggressive act creates a feeling of hopelessness; and is a way in which the parent ensures their child does not out shine their own achievements.
4) “Don’t worry sweetie, it’s just an awkward stage.”
The worst thing a parent can do is undermine a child’s self-esteem by affirming what that child see’s as physical faults. Every child deserves to be loves if not by any but their parents, their parents especially. Prodding a child to change their style, or wear their hair a different way to “bring out the beauty a little more…”, or to “work with what god gave you” is emotional abuse. As parents, yes it is our job to teach our children to groom themselves socially acceptable. That is not pointing out physical flaws that cannot change without major plastic surgery.
5) “If Kelly jumped off a bridge would you do it?”
This is an easy comeback used to deflect telling a child why they should not do everything their friends do. Many times there is just no good reason for telling their child no, but in some cases there is a reason behind why the parent is saying no and that reason should be explained to the child, or teen. Parent need to be direct with their reasoning to teach their child how to reason on their own.
“Yo”You can tell your mother…” or “Your father is such a…”
When parents split, children already feel caught in the middle. When a parent takes their anger steaming from the loss of the relationship, and turns it into a smear campaign, that affects the children future relationships, as well as puts a strain on both parental relationships.
7) Pats on the heads over hugs and kisses.
It was proven that primates, including the human species, need physical intimacy as children. This includes hugs and kisses. These actions are affirmations or acceptance and love. Passive aggressive parents try to stay away from such encounters, affecting their children in a wide variety of negative ways. An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a hug away keeps the worries away.
9) “The teacher is not doing her/his job!”
The report card for many parents, is not just reporting what their child knows, but what we have instilled in them as students. When a child gets a bad report from a teacher, a bad score on a report card or large amounts of homework that take away from daily life, some parents want to cry foul. The blame is put on the teacher, after all isn’t teaching our children their job? Passive aggressive blame laying is a very common trait. Parents need to realize though, that putting the blame on the school or teacher does not change the fact there is a struggle happening somewhere.Enabling
A parent always wants the best for their child, what happens when what he child thinks is best, is actually harmful? Normally a parent would step up and figure out a solution to help their child see the harm in their course of action. In other instances though, the parent wants their child to love them so much, that they will cover up the mistakes of the child. In cases of addiction, the parent has a hard time admitting their child has a problem. They accept the lies and the messes that they clean up quietly. The passive aggressive parent will try to smile even when the worst of the worst is happening in their child lives.
10) “You don’t care if I die tomorrow!”
Extreme guilt trips are made fun of often, but affect the parent child relationship greatly. Guilt trips throughout childhood can cause codependency, and resentment. Guilt trips throughout adulthood can cause resentment and avoidance. No child would be careless of their parents death, even when a child has been busy and unable to visit as much as their parents would like, that does not mean they do not love their parents.