Jul 28, 2012

Controlling Parents

Controlling parents are a very common issue among Asian countries.Unlike the west,in Asia ,parents depend on their children especially the son to look after them as they grow old and are pretty close knit compared to the west.That's why we have joint families.The reason we have them is to have many a pair of helping hands,distributed responsibilities,its cost effective and includes free babysitting of kids and care of the old in the hands of anyone who's free.
But 99% of the time, as we grow older,we get accustomed to a certain kind of bonding,a certain kind of expectations from the younger generation and its taken for granted to expect a certain kind of bondage in the name of being parents or demanding siblings or whatever.So every time we don't do things a certain way,we are called irresponsible or trying to get away from caring for them or being judged for not doing something in the eyes of God or the eternal blackmail of we sacrificed this and that our entire life for you and now when we are helpless,you are gonna treat us this way?
The reason many families are going nuclear is for the same reason.One doesn't want to be nagged and blamed and told its just ain't enough.Kids today say we will provide you with everything but its better we live our lives and you live yours in our homes respectively.Many of younger generation have had such demanding and over zealous parents,that they have been trying to live an independent life since since adolescents but then out of duty continue to be bonded in a good way and in few cases in a bad way to the parents.Its just not limited to parents but In laws as well.The reason where either the daughter in law is abused emotionally or physically or the in laws/parents are by the children.One is not good enough and the sons land up paying the price,as one cannot ignore them and so they continue to live under pressure at the hands of controlling parents.
Its sad but its the truth.Cant live with them and cant live without them.

Ten Signs You May Have Had Controlling Parents

When you were growing up, your parents...

1. Over scrutinized your eating, appearance, hobbies, or social life
2. Pressured you with perfectionist expectations or unattainable standards
3. Forbade you from questioning or disagreeing with them
4. Discouraged you from expressing anger, fear or sadness around them
5. Violated your privacy
6. Intimidated, manipulated or overpowered you
7. Discouraged your efforts to experiment and think for yourself
8. Gave you no say in household rules and responsibilities
9. Seemed unaware of the pain they caused you or others
10. Seemed unwilling to admit they were wrong

Ten Signs Your Parents May Still Control You

Even today as an adult, you...

1. Feel disloyal when acting or feeling differently than your parents
2. Feel easily annoyed or impatient with your parents without knowing why
3. Feel confused by parental mixed messages
4. Are afraid to express your true feelings around your parents
5. Feel intimidated or belittled by your parents
6. Worry more about pleasing your parents than being yourself
7. Find it hard to emotionally separate from your parents
8. Talk to your parents more out of obligation than choice
9. Get tense when you think about being around your parents
10. Want to temporarily reduce or sever contact with a parent

Ten Signs Early Unhealthy Control May Still Affect You

In your adult life, you...

1. Feel perfectionist, driven, or rarely satisfied
2. Feel intimidated or easily angered around controlling people
3. Lose yourself in relationships by automatically putting others' needs first
4. Find it hard to relax, laugh or be spontaneous
5. Feel as if you are under scrutiny even when no one else is around
6. Have an eating disorder or addictive behaviors
7. Have trouble finding a spiritual belief that feels right
8. Expect others to hurt, judge, or take advantage of you
9. Have harsh "inner critics"
10. Have trouble asserting yourself or feeling proud of your accomplishments

Ten Signs You May Be Over controlling Your Children

In raising your children, you...

1. Micromanage their eating, appearance, hobbies, or social life
2. Give affection as a reward but withdraw it as punishment
3. Criticize your children far more than you praise them
4. Violate your children's privacy
5. Override, discount or ridicule your children's strong emotions
6. Forbid your children from asking questions or disagreeing with you
7. Are unwilling to admit your mistakes in parenting
8. Believe that you own your children and that they have to earn your love
9. See your children's desires for independence and autonomy as a personal rejection
10. Inflict physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse on your children

Characteristics of Healthier vs. Controlling Families

Healthier Families

Parental love is relatively constant
Children get affection, attention, and nurturing touch
Children are told they are wanted and loved
Children are seen and valued for who they are
Children’s choices are accepted
Speaking honestly is valued more than speaking a certain way
Questioning and dissent are allowed
Problems are acknowledged and addressed
It’s okay to feel sadness, fear, anger and joy
Feelings are accepted as natural
Children’s potentials are encouraged
Children are praised when they succeed and given compassion when they fail
Parents set appropriate, consistent limits
Parents see their role as guides
Parents allow children reasonable control over their own bodies and activities
Encouragement of an inner Life to learn compassion for themselves
Parents communicate their values but allow children to develop their own values
Learning, humor, growth and play are present
Social Connections with others are fostered
Parents pass on a broader vision of responsibility to others and to society

Controlling Families

Parental love is given as a reward but withdrawn as punishment

Parents feel their children "owe" them
Children have to "earn" parental love
 Children are treated as parental property
Parents use children to satisfy parental needs
 Children are told things like "Don’t ask why" and "Don’t say no"
Questioning and dissent are discouraged
Problems are ignored or denied
 Strong emotions are discouraged or blocked
Feelings are considered dangerous
Ridicule Children ,feel on trial
Children are criticized more than praised
Parents see their role as bosses
Parents accord children little privacy
Denial of an Inner Life causing lack of compassion for themselves
Being right is more important than learning or being curious
Family atmosphere feels stilted or chaotic
Few genuine connections exist with outsiders
Children are told "Everyone’s out to get you"

The Various forms of controlling styles:

Remember the series of lenses an eye doctor alternates before your eyes until you find ones that enable you to see most clearly? Recognizing your parents’ styles offers the right lens that brings into focus the underlying values and themes with which you were raised. The more clearly you view your family’s themes, the more readily you can become your own person. You may find elements of one or more of these styles present in either or both of your parents:

1. Smothering : Terrified of feeling alone, Smothering parents emotionally engulf their children. Their overbearing presence discourages independence and cultivates a tyranny of repetition in their children’s identities, thoughts and feelings.

2. Depriving: Convinced they will never get enough of what they need, Depriving parents withhold attention and encouragement from their children. They love conditionally, giving affection when a child pleases them, withdrawing it when displeased.

3. Perfectionist: Paranoid about flaws, Perfectionist parents drive their children to be the best and the brightest. These parents fixate on order, prestige, power and/or perfect appearances.

4. Cult like :Distressed by uncertainty, Cult like parents have to be "in the know," and often gravitate to military, religious, social or corporate institutions or philosophies where they can feel special and certain. They raise their children according to rigid rules and roles.

5. Chaotic :Caught up in an internal cyclone of instability and confusion, Chaotic parents tend toward mercurial moods, radically inconsistent discipline, and bewildering communication.

6. Using :Determined never to lose or feel one-down, Using parents emotionally feed off their children. Hypersensitive and self-centered, Using parents see others’ gains as their loss, and consequently belittle their children.

7. Abusing:  Perched atop a volcano of resentment, Abusing parents verbally or emotionally bully — or physically or sexually abuse — their children. When they’re enraged, Abusing parents view their children as threats and treat them accordingly.

8. Childlike :Feeling incapable or needy, Childlike parents offer their children little protection. Childlike parents, woefully uncomfortable with themselves, encourage their children to take care of them, thereby controlling through role-reversal.

In a survey of adults raised with unhealthy control, percentages who said:

As children they felt...

Forbidden to question or disagree with their parents: 90 percent

Pleasing their parents was more important than being themselves: 86 percent

Tense or on guard when their parents were around: 96 percent

That it was not okay to express anger, fear or sadness: 96 percent

Hemmed in and without choices: 96 percent

As adults they...

Feel perfectionist, driven, or rarely satisfied: 82 percent

Worry or ruminate over confrontations: 96 percent

Are easily angered around controlling people: 91 percent

Feel extra-sensitive to criticism: 91 percent

Feel tense when they think about visiting their parents: 78 percent

Feel that their parents don't really know them as they really are: 91 percent

Feel that it has taken a long time to separate from their parents: 82 percent

In retrospect, their parents...

Seemed unwilling to admit it when they were wrong: 100 percent

Seemed unaware of the pain they caused others: 100 percent

Viewed the world in right-or-wrong, black-and-white terms: 96 percent

Encouraged connections with others outside the family: 14 percent

Encouraged their children to express feelings: 5 percent

The lesson you should learn in order to be more understanding than your parents ever will,and not be like them but be your own person instead -
1) You Aren't Responsible For What Your Parents Did To You As a Child, They Are

2) You Are Responsible For What You Do With Your Life Now, Your Parents Aren't

Healing from growing up controlled has three steps:

Step One: Emotionally leaving home by separating from the hurtful aspects of your upbringing, parents and family role.Being able to make your own person and not be mere puppets you could land up being.Having your own personality and not reshaping oneself to be what they want us to be.

Step Two: Bringing balance to your relationship with your parents.This is a very difficult step to ensure oneself because accepting all the wrongs is what one never does.Its human nature to blame everything else but oneself for the wrongs in their life.Many a times,one is just too scared to initiate anything like this as it would mean a face to face confrontation about everything.We rather just bow down and make excuses and accept blindly.

Step Three: Redefining your life.This is very important,it may take years before one has redefined their purpose,their existence,their way of life.Its very hard to do but with the help of a good friend or partner or mentor,nothing can be impossible with a little perseverance,patience and the willingness to accept ones fault and go beyond one's mental reach to find themselves.


  1. Perfectly captured!!
    I am sure many people would agree to most of the points from your first 10 points. It's a bit generic in India to control child with some expectations. Duno if good or bad probably depends on condition.
    Nice post, perfectly captured!!

    1. I totally agree with you.Its a very common thing In India and Pakistan and all asian countries to have controlling parents.Parents or inlaws know it too but since they have been treated a similar way in their youth,they think its just given to be like that.Thats the sad part I feel,their failure to acknowledge or even think for once that they may be damaging their kids in some way.


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