Have you ever wondered if you are a controlling mother? There are some toxic signs to be aware of when parenting your child that you may have mistakenly identified as caring, loving, and just part of being a mother.
What is a controlling mother?
The controlling mother is someone that uses several toxic weapons ( gaslighting, projection, silent treatment, and fear) to gain control of her child’s behavior. Controlling mothers are not able to see their child living life free from their grips. They often avoid talks about their child growing up to be an adult or having independence.
The controlling mother’s rationale:
I can’t see you living life on your own because I don’t know who I am without being able to keep you down, under my close eye, so that no one can see your true value.
Scary to think that a controlling mother would think this way, but the roots of codependency and rejection are deeply entwined in her soul.
The Controlling mother-Signs to Look For
There are several signs to look for if you think that you are being controlling towards your child. Some of them may sound familiar to you. If any of these apply to you, take the next steps of healing here
Have you ever said things such as ” I am just trying to protect you” after your child makes a decision or does something that is showing some level of independence? Being overprotective is stopping or preventing your child from possibly making decisions that can shape and mold them into strong-minded individuals. Children can mistakes but it is up to the parent to guide them back on the right track, ONLY when it is necessary to do so.
How about this one: You can do better than that!OR “I raised you better than that.
These sayings appear to be good things to say to your child, but behind these words are the roots of perfectionism. Children who hear these words, grow up with a perfection-mindset. What they do is never good enough. Sometimes who they are in your eyes is never good enough.
The Best Friend
Controlling moms will make it her effort to keep you away from developing deep connections with friends or people that can speak into your life. The only bond that a controlling mother desires to have with her child is a toxic bond.
I am your only friend. You will see one day that I am the only person that you can trust. Friends will lie, cheat, or treat you badly. It is best to not have friends.
The “Silent Treatment” Giver
The silent treatment is one toxic weapon that a controlling mother will use against her child when she is not able to get her own way or the child begins to speak up for her own wishes and desires.
Body language or toxic beaivor to look out for in yourself:
- Refusing to make eye contact
- If your child asks you a question or says something to you, you do not respond or you walk into another room
- You may recruit enablers by telling them that your child is misbehaving or treating you badly
The controlling mom can take on the role of a gas lighter. If the daughter brings up an offense or an abusive behavior to her she will often lie or deny that the abuse ever happened even if there is proof.
Here are some things that a controlling mother might say:
You sound crazy!
You are so naive, you don’t know what you are saying. You are not mature.
The controlling mother’s effect on her daughter
Have you seen the movie Tangled? Mother Gothel and Rapuzel is the epitome of a toxic mother-daughter relationship. She controlled her daughter- Rapuzel with gaslighting, over protection, and fear( repeatedly said it was dangerous outside the tower).
When Rapuzel finally left her tower, she dealt with major guilt, shame, and double-mindedness. She was not sure who she was without her mother. She even considered going back to live with her mother because of years of brain-washing.
Like Rapuzel the effect on a daughter who is controlled by her mother, creates a sense of codependency ( the need to please the mother so that she would not withhold her affection).
Does this sound like you? Please consider taking a deep dive into journaling your feelings about controlling your daughter. Also check out Mothers Crowning Daughters and Nurture a healthy Bond to help you on the path towards healing and nurturing a healthy bond with your daughter.
Also, consider coaching. First 15 Minutes are free!
Continue reading the Toxic mom series: