Passive aggression can be described as anger quietly distributed. Most anger or aggression is obvious and even loud. It’s obvious when it happens, but passive aggressive people are deceitful in their aggression. Passive aggression can happen to parents in small portions at a time, making it very difficult to stop or avoid, like they say, you can keep track of me, but a parent can’t track time.
Lack of Play
There are routine passive aggressive roles that parents fall into, I will reveal 10 of the most used passive aggressive techniques parents are guilty of and how we, as parents, can avoid them. The first and foremost passive aggressive technique used, almost by default, by angry parents is not playing with their kids. This can be very evident if only one of the parents is constantly the one to play with the child. The passive aggressive parent always sits on the bench at the park, or on the couch at home, never taking part in playtime even if the child is crying or begging for them to play. The parent will say, they’re too big, busy, or tired to participate.
The best method to overcome this is planning ahead. Schedule playtime that you will actively participate, it doesn’t need to be an hour, or even half an hour, just some time. If you’re not the planning ahead type, when you’re watching your kids play, realize you are the one on the sidelines, be the adult, then pick up a doll and play like a kid again.
Another form of highly used passive aggression used by parents is over punishment. If I didn’t have a child, I could do this, or that, or be that, IF I didn’t have a child to tend to. That misplaced frustration turns into blaming the child for even the smallest of mistakes or infractions. Over reacting to spilled juice, a messy room, or stepping on a toy is a sure sign. Kids will spill juice and leave toys about from time to time, or a lot!
Overreaction, instead of realizing that the child is just a child and doesn’t know any better, can be a sure sign of over punishment. For instance, if you find yourself constantly grounding or sending your child to sit in the corner, maybe the fault lies with your own personal frustrations. That frustration works itself out by over punishing, instead of giving the child a teachable moment.
A parent suffering from passive aggressive tendencies will constantly “forget” to do the activities scheduled with their kids. A passive aggressive parent will constantly forget to pick them up from school, make snacks, change a diaper, help with homework. They’ll forget to go to their child’s sports game, choir performance, or even forget their birthday. The best course of action for correcting this pattern isn’t setting more alarms, this is not a scheduling problem, it;s a communication problem. Talk with your child on an hourly basis, if not more than that, and not by text message!
The Silent Treatment
The silent treatment is a type of passive aggression we’re all familiar with. Letting your anger get the best of you, especially when it concerns an individual of a much younger age and intelligence can be more damaging than yelling. Ignoring the child with the silent treatment is the most popular forms of passive aggression because it can have the largest impact with the least amount of physical punishment.
The mental impact is another issue, though. If a child is yelled for doing something wrong, then the kid just thinks you’re being mean, if you ignore them out of anger they’ll think you don’t love them. Never issue the silent treatment to a child, to avoid doing this to your child there is something you can do. It seems easy enough, explain why you’re doing something, or why they can’t.
Lies and Mistruths
From time to time parents are, of course, going to talk themselves into the proverbial corner. That usually occurs with things like, “where do babies come from?” and later on, actually telling the truth to your grown child. Those round about talks are to be expected. But, if you find yourself telling your kids they can have clothes, or toys, or anything else just to get to get your own way, or to get them to do their chores is passive aggression. You’re using a child’s wants and needs to achieve your own ends.
Throwing Toys Away
Throwing toys away is a common passive aggressive tendency. Unable to take their disappointment of their children’s behavior in a better way, they toss their kids toys into garbage bags before the balling children. It is a lack of anger management that is responsible for this act. This is not an act of punishment, but one of revenge. To avoid this, try to imagine a person you love, who is twice your size, throwing all of your prized possessions away for having fun.
Never Buy New Clothes, Toys, ect.
When you say, “Yes, I’ll get it later,” or, “you’ll get it for Christmas,” mean it. If it can’t be bought under your budget, be honest, don’t take your financial frustrations, or personal attitude toward their momentary behavior, out on their hopes and wishes. Be the adult, in this one, there is no better cure.
If you find yourself listening to your child’s request to get an affordable item, and you, time and time again, never ever buy the item, then you may be punishing your child passive aggressively. You may purposely be getting between them and something they desire, and not even realizing it. The best advise to avoid this is to listen to your kids and understand, no matter what they’re saying, it really matters to them, so it should matter to you if they get it.
A famous form of passive aggression is taking out your frustrations toward your kids with manual labor. When a parent gets angered at one of their children, it’s most common to assign all the kids manual labor as punishment. For example, one argument happens between dad and daughter, next thing dad does is make the younger brothers cut the grass, and clean the gutters, trim the tree and clean the garage. Even though, in this case, the daughter is the oldest, the frustrations dad had for her misdeeds is shifted to the younger brothers. Chores are needed to teach responsibility and organization, but using it such a fashion is passive aggressive abuse. Again, the best method to avoid being this kind of parent is to communicate. Talk with your children, rationally, before and after a major mistake.
One of the most obvious traits a passive aggressive parent will display is constantly complaining. If, say, the parent has to take his or her son to football practice, if the parent is biter about doing it, they’ll complain the entire time trying to make the child feel bad that they needed a ride. The hopes of this is that the child will feel badly enough to, either, stop going or find another ride there and back.
To stop yourself from being a passive aggressive complainer, plan your schedule to count in your child’s work, school, or sports practice. Realize, at times, what you’re saying is doing more harm than good, and care about that fact. Don’t make them feel bad for having a life, if your life gets involved with theirs, then you’ll have a life together as a family, not as simply something your forced to do.
Procrastinating is simple enough, it’s not passive aggressive, is it? Yes, it is-very. A parent who procrastinates is purposely refusing to begrudgingly participate with, or help, their kids for as long as they possibly can. This is an act of passive aggression that will rub off on the child through time, effecting their adult personalty.
To avoid directly affecting your child’s adult development don’t hold off until the last minute. Careful planning and purposeful execution is essential in overcoming procrastination. Write out the goal on paper, on your computer, any way you can, it seem more set in concrete that way. And, most importantly, when it’s time, it’s time, stop procrastinating! It takes more will power, than anything.
The bottom line in changing any of these factors in your life is the deep rooted love for your family. With it, you are capable of making these conscience decisions. If that doesn’t exist, if you don’t love your kids with every fiber of your heart and soul, then changing you passive aggressive behaviors may be a lost cause. It will, probably, only get worse. There’s no way to fix love in the human heart.