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Ten Ways Parents Destroy Their Children's Self-Esteem

Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.

How to Destroy a Child's Precious Sense of Being

Parents want to believe that they are doing a particular deed or applying a specific disciplinary methodology for the child's own good. They also tell themselves that the child will appreciate this one day and assert that if they did not care, they would not be applying such corrective measures.

However, many use discipline and corrective measures in ways that irreparably damage or negatively impact a child's self-esteem. Many parents believe that they are only guiding and helping their child when in fact, they are causing harm instead. There is an old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Here are the ten things parents do that can destroy their children's self-esteem.

How Parents Hurt Their Child's Self-Esteem

  1. Comparing Children to Siblings or Other Children
  2. Criticizing a Child's Innate Abilities, Temperament, or Characteristics
  3. Requiring Conformity
  4. Continuously Harping About Mistakes
  5. Teaching That a Child's Dreams, Aspirations, and Goals Are Impossible to Reach
  6. Living Their Kid's Lives and Planning Their Careers
  7. Evaluating a Child's Intellectual Capacity upon Grade Point Average
  8. Zeroing in on So-Called Negative Characteristics
  9. Never Praising
  10. Demanding Blind Obedience
Each child is unique. Many parents fail to realize this. They believe that by comparing one child to another, the "errant" one will improve. However, it does quite the opposite, and many such children feel worthless.

Each child is unique. Many parents fail to realize this. They believe that by comparing one child to another, the "errant" one will improve. However, it does quite the opposite, and many such children feel worthless.

1. Comparing Children to Siblings or Other Children

Parents often believe that if they extol the positive characteristics of siblings and other children to their so-called errant child, their own child will improve. Often, the comparison does the opposite. Those who are constantly compared to others have a diminished sense of individuality and ultimately come to believe that they are worthless.

Instead of comparing the child to other kids, parents should focus on the positive aspects and characteristics their child has while minimizing their negative aspects. Build up rather than tear down is a good strategy to employ. Children are still developing and they require a lot of positive attention and care, comparing them to others is not the correct way to go about it.

2. Criticizing a Child's Innate Abilities, Temperament, or Characteristics

Many parents are threatened and nonplussed if their children's abilities and characteristics are different from their own. These people are firm believers that their offspring should be carbon copies of them with similar characteristics, interests, and goals. They feel that if their children are just like them, everything will be harmonious and stress-free. Those whose characteristics are different from the parents' are viewed as a threat to the familial, social order.

Those who criticize their diametrically different children's innate abilities and characteristics are often invalidating their children's innermost psychological core. These children often feel insignificant and totally unappreciated.

Parents should strive to take their own egos out of the equation and instead focus on what the child needs. Just because a child does not have the same characteristics as their parents does not mean they are a failure that needs correcting. A good strategy is to encourage children to develop their own personality and voice.

Some apply corrective or disciplinary methods that can verge on emotional or verbal abuse which damage their children's self-esteem.

Some apply corrective or disciplinary methods that can verge on emotional or verbal abuse which damage their children's self-esteem.

3. Requiring Conformity

Many parents staunchly believe in blind and mindless conformity. They are of the belief that there is safety in following the prevailing and/or majority opinion. They contend that following the consensus offers a sense of belonging and security. They insist that it is safest to conform to the prevailing philosophy and strongly discourage their children's individualism and nonconformity because they think that if their children refuse to conform to the prevailing groupthink, they will be considered oddballs or worse, be ostracized and left alone, or the parents themselves will be ostracized and denigrated by their neighbors and associates.

So if a young one dares to have a unique, creative, and innovative thought or idea, it is squashed and often labeled as outlandish and weird because nobody else thought of it! These parents are totally soul-destroying and killing the dreams of a potential Picasso, Einstein, Mozart, and/or free thinker.

Conformity is a necessary thing in certain cases but parents should work on helping their child develop their unique talents while respecting the norms of society. Parents should encourage their children to think outside the box and be creative.

4. Continuously Harping About Mistakes

Making mistakes is an integral part of a child's learning and growth process. Childhood is a time to freely explore, try on different personas, and fall on your face. However, there are parents who equate mistakes with grave mortal sins. They often have insanely unrealistic expectations that their offspring must be as perfect and blemish-free as possible. God forbid that they should make mistakes. Making mistakes = ineptitude + utter stupidity. They want their kids to be perfect because perfection = success.

Well, continuous harping about mistakes to a child is tantamount to abuse. This child begins to lose what sense of initiative and risk-taking that they have and thus they become extremely anxious and risk-aversive, often not electing to attempt anything for fear of failure. They will always choose the path of the least resistance all through life.

Teaching your child to accept mistakes and failures positively is a good way to go about things. There is a great deal of value in recognizing when you make a mistake and then correcting it. There is no need to take a negative tone when speaking to a child about the mistakes they have made. Preach a positive mental approach to dealing with failures and mistakes.

5. Teaching That a Child's Dreams, Aspirations, and Goals Are Impossible to Reach

There are individuals who aspire to uncommon goals and unique careers. Many parents refuse to acknowledge this. Often, they consider their offspring's goals "unrealistic" and "lofty." They often attempt to gear their children into "more realistic" careers and aspirations, ones that are "workable" and "secure." Well, some individuals have goals and aspirations which are dramatically different and rare. They should be encouraged. Often these kids do end up settling for ordinary and safe careers, much to their regret. They are grossly unhappy, yearning for what might have been.

Instead, parents should encourage their children to pursue their dreams and let them figure out if their dreams and goals are reachable or impossible. Help the child develop a winning attitude and approach to goal setting and see what happens. While some dreams are not based in reality and are unlikely to happen, the commitment to a positive approach to accomplishing tasks is a critical skill for a child to learn. Teach them to enjoy the process and love the commitment it takes to accomplish their dreams.

6. Living Their Kid's Lives and Planning Their Careers

There are parents who believe that they know what is best for their children. They plan their children's life from birth to marriage to career and beyond. They believe that they are making their kids' lives easier and less stressful. However, they are doing irreparable damage and making their kids quite dependent and indecisive regarding the simplest life choices. Many people are living their parents' lives, not their own authentic lives, much to their regret.

Again, parents need to check their egos and loosen up a bit. Being an overbearing parent leads to pushback from the child and is not worth it in the long run. Set some boundaries and steer your child in a direction you'd like to see them go in but let them have some independence. Support the choices they make and the lifestyles they want to live.

Some parents want their children to be physically/emotionally flawless. They believe individualities are flaws that need correction. This results in a child's poor self image.

Some parents want their children to be physically/emotionally flawless. They believe individualities are flaws that need correction. This results in a child's poor self image.

7. Evaluating a Child's Intellectual Capacity Based on Their GPA

Many parents base all their expectations on the grade point average of a child. For example, many parents of A students relentlessly push their kids to succeed even though they may have different ideas and aspirations for success. Conversely, many parents of C students believe that their kids are less than apt and intelligent, telling them to aspire lower as they are not ever going to be successful.

A child's GPA is not always an accurate reflection of their innate intellectual capacity. An extremely conscientious A student of average ability may have to study all night to obtain those A's while a C student of above-average ability may be bored with school and have a more relaxed attitude towards their studies. To pigeonhole anyone's intellectual ability based entirely upon their GPA often creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the child believes that they are stupid because they are a C student, they will become a low achiever throughout life, no matter what their human potential is.

Obsessing over a child's grades and making that the determining factor for your happiness as a parent is a bad decision. Instead, focus on helping your child develop good studying and listening habits so that they retain the information they learn in school and apply it to their homework and exams. Give them help if they need it and don't put undue pressure on them to get good grades at all costs.

8. Zeroing in on So-Called Negative Characteristics

Many parents want their kids to be as physically and emotionally flawless as possible. They often view their children's physical and emotional differences as imperfections to be corrected and/or changed and may denigrate their children in order to make them shape up. However, this has the opposite effect and gives the child a permanently poor body and self-image.

Focus on building your child up and preaching positivity. Instead of pointing out their flaws, help them develop their positive characteristics. Teach your child that no one is flawless and that everyone makes mistakes.

There are parents who feel that praise makes a child conceited. They don't realize that children need positive reinforcement.

There are parents who feel that praise makes a child conceited. They don't realize that children need positive reinforcement.

9. Never Praising

There are parents who do not believe in praising because they believe that it softens and spoils kids and will make them conceited and think too highly of themselves. These parents maintain that they should never have to praise their offspring for things such as having good behavior, doing chores without being asked, or earning good grades. They assert that such behavior should be a given.

Children need praise in order to assess the positivity of their performance and to continue with such behavior. If they do not receive praise, oftentimes they will not achieve what they might have.

Reinforce positive behavior and lift your child up when they do something well. Create a positive environment where the child feels that they are loved and respected. Don't praise them for every little thing they do right, but develop a pattern of praise based on their accomplishments. Doing this will allow the child to develop competence and a positive sense of self.

10. Demanding Blind Obedience

There are some parents who believe that their word is law and etched in stone, and that might equals right. These parents contend that they own their offspring. They do not view their kids as thinking, independent, autonomous individuals in their own right but instead as automatons and pieces of property that they can dictate and program at will. For them, the mantra is that their children are to obey and nothing else. They want kids who they can easily control, and they are highly threatened by those who exhibit a more independent nature.

Anyone raised by authoritarians like this becomes timid and submissive. They also become passive, believing that they do not count. They feel powerless and that others are more powerful than they are.

Instead, parents should encourage their children to develop a sense of independence and respect their authority at the same time. Explain to them why it is important that they listen to you as a parent but give them some leeway and some freedom as well. Smothering your child will lead to resentment later in life, and it is not a healthy way to raise children.

Ways to Improve a Child's Self-Esteem

There are many ways a parent can help improve their child's self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Here are a few:

  • Give them choices: Give your child multiple options and let them choose what they want. Start small, such as giving them a choice between three different breakfast options. Doing this will foster a sense of self in your child and give them confidence in making decisions.
  • Don't do everything for them: Give your child more responsibilities as they grow and let them make their own decisions. While helping your child get dressed may make it quicker to get out of the house in the morning, allowing your child to pick out their own clothes and dress themselves fosters a sense of independence.
  • Let them know no one is perfect: Set realistic standards and expectations for your child but constantly remind them that failing and making mistakes is part of life. Encourage them to take risks and make mistakes but try to not punish them for messing up.
  • Give them age-appropriate chores: Giving your child a set of chores to do around the house is a great way to help them develop discipline and good working habits. Make sure you give your child an appropriate task to do and not something that is out of their mental or physical capacities.
  • Give them unconditional love: Always make sure that no matter what, your child knows that you love them, even when they fail and make bad decisions. Many parents focus on performance, which will make your child think that you will only love them if they get good grades or do well at sports.
  • Encourage them to take risks: While you have to be careful and cautious with allowing your child to take risks, encourage them to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new. Don't encourage wild and dangerous behavior, give them ideas and ways they can work on their skills that are just outside their reach.

My Parents Destroyed My Self-Esteem, What Do I Do?

Unfortunately, many of us had parents who were critical of us and ruined our self-esteem from an early age. This led to a stunted emotional development and made it hard to have a normal level of self-esteem.

If you're trying to get your self-confidence and self-esteem levels up after years of living with critical parents, here are some steps you can follow.

  • Talk back to your critical voice: Many people with low self-esteem struggle with a negative inner voice that criticizes their actions. The first step to battling this voice is to talk back to it. Remain positive and confident in your actions and talk back to the voice in your head that is doubting you.
  • Understand why your parents treated you poorly: Your parents are not perfect people either, and the reason why they always said negative things to you and ruined your self-esteem was due to their own faults and shortcomings. It was not your fault; you are not responsible for how your parents treated you. Coming to terms with this and moving on from it are two other additional steps you can take.
  • Positive self-talk: Bring yourself up by talking positively: put an upbeat spin on your life and how you react to certain situations. Having a positive mental attitude is the best way to go about it.

Final Word

Correction and discipline are meant to improve and enhance a child's sense of self and help a child become self-disciplined, self-motivated, and self-determined. Correction and discipline are not meant to demoralize children and to make them feel less than what they are.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: Why does my father point out all my flaws?

Answer: Your father is an abusive parent. Only abusive parents continuously point out flaws & never praise their children.

Question: If you know that your father was from a family of people who homicidally hounded family members to suicide by crushing their self-esteem, is it normal to continue hating such a person until old age? (I am seventy-four.)

Answer: No, but I suggest that you obtain psychiatric counselling and disassociate yourself from your father. This man & his family are toxic. It is best for you to disassociate from him & his family.

Question: Why do my parents always compare me to my sister?

Answer: In families where there are 2 children or more, parents compare children. This is wrong as each child is unique. Parents refuse to acknowledge how insidious comparing children are for many children are emotionally, psychologically, & even psychically damaged by comparing them to other children.

Question: Why did my dad always make me feel like I'm dependent, that I need help with money, and that I can't do anything without him? How should I react here? It's hurting my dignity.

Answer: Your father would be classified as an overprotective parent. Yes, overprotective parents are abusive parents although such parents present a "loving" façade. Your father is making you dependent as an exercise of his power. Your father is insecure as he is threatened by your independence. Your father wants you to be subordinate to him in order to elevate his low self-esteem. You should first discuss this matter to your father; however, if he isn't receptive, discuss the matter w/a trusted relative or better yet, a counselor. If you are old enough, implement ways to move away from your father. With toxic parents, children are better off away such "parents".

Question: My mom only cares about my grades more than me and is a control freak. WHat should I do?

Answer: Your mother wants the best for you. However, tell your mother that you are more than your grades.

Question: Why do my parents get mad at me for being sad, grumpy, or having a mental breakdown when they are the reason for my mental pain?

Answer: It is called denial. Discuss the matter with an impartial relative, counselor, or a teacher.

Question: What should I do when my mother prevents me from doing things I want? For example, like going to school

Answer: Discuss the matter with a relative & perhaps report your mother to a human services agency which deals with child abuse.

Question: Do overprotective parents bring honesty or a lack of confidence in their children?

Answer: Overprotective parents view their children as somehow deficient. In these parents' purview, their children are incapable of doing anything for themselves. Such parents demoralize their children in one way or another. Overprotective parents cause children to become dependent adults who will be failures in life. Children of overprotective parents don't develop the skills to succeed in life. The worst thing parents can do is to OVERPROTECT & INFANTILIZE children.

Question: My parents are forcing me to attend school in my country when I know it’s not going to work out for me. What can I do?

Answer: Discuss the matter thoroughly with your parents. If they aren't receptive, discuss the matter with a trusted relative.

Question: After not being able to date and having your critical narcissistic mother and kind/go-along father force your career, marrying a violent man, would you say my problems stem from low self-esteem? Such as overspending? Never picking the right man?

Answer: Your family situation is toxic. A family counselling session is needed. If your parents are not receptive to counselling, go by yourself.

Question: I feel like my parents do not trust me. Mom keeps restricting me, nagging me if she doesn't satisfied with everything I did. She once read my diary which I wrote about how I feel unappreciated, useless because of all the things she said to me. She went and sulked on me for days. What should I do to improve my relationship with my mother?

Answer: You and your mother should do joint counseling. Joint counseling will get issues out in the open. You and your mother need joint counseling.

Question: Why do my parents always scold me about my scars when I'm trying my best to remove them?

Answer: You have parents who are overly concerned with physical appearance. While physical appearance is important, it isn't important as to what is internal. Internal beauty is far more important than outer beauty.

Question: I think my parents wanted a perfect child instead they got me. That is how I feel but I am shy to talk about it. What should I do?

Answer: There are parents who view their children as an extension of them instead of the individuals that they are. Many parents view their children as THEIR possessions, even trophies. Parents must realize that children are individuals & that they DON'T OWN their children. Most parents, unfortunately, have this mindset. It is only a few evolved, enlightened parents who view & treat their children as individuals. You should either discuss this matter w/a trusted relative. If that doesn't pan out, seek a counselor's help.

Question: Why do I feel so guilty when my father points out my siblings flaws?

Answer: Maybe you feel responsible for your sibling. You feel that whatever your sibling does for good or bad, you feel somehow that you are responsible for your sibling's actions when such isn't necessarily the case.

© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams

Comments

I rather not say my full name on July 25, 2020:

So some of that did happened to me .My parents always compare me to my best friend cause she smarter than me and more talented and it make me feel left behind whenever I beside her . I used to have suicide thoughts when I was little but I give up on that because of the internet that make me have a lot of online friends that supported me .I feel stupid sometimes because when I have negative thoughts there goes the positive pop out of no where .,. My parents also want me to live what they had planned on me told me that when i grow up I need to gave them some of my "money " to show respect for raising me so they gave me more tuition and that one of the reason i been stressed lately (which cause me had overthinking habits and overreacting) and my grade dropped so they called me useless , stupid instead of their favourite child (my third sister and the youngest ). I feel much better letting some of my problems out OvO

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 03, 2020:

Talk to a trusted relative about this. No child should suffer. Please talk to a trusted relative.

Alyssa Schrader on July 03, 2020:

Im 10 and all of this has happend to me. And my parents blame my attitued on the internet, And they tried to use a counsler to get rid of my attitued but it didnt work at all, and dont tell me i need to get a counsler it just made me feel more alone and like i didnt fit in..., Im already haveing suicidle thaughts since i wad 5. My mom is the only one nice to me. AND when i say parents i mean my daf and my grandma bc i live with them...

Sherry Lowery on June 08, 2020:

And telling them they are stupid and him telling to our face our mother is stupid and barely graduated with c’s and D’s and what a cold fish she was a in bed with him ! Yeah right to my face and I was only 11or 12! That was embarrassing to me as what could I have done ?! He should have taken this up with his wife! After all this was a reflection on him as a male ! That was an example of parental alien affection .., learned this in divorce law how parents pitnchildren against parents.. that’s wrong and cruel .. I saw through it at an early age as be never had our backs or supported us emotionally or mentally .., sad

Vee on June 02, 2020:

My parents are all of these, which caused me to be suicidal since I was literally a child (I started thinking about it when I turned 8 I think).

They’ve also brianwashed and tricked everyone into believing they are perfect ‘can do no wrong’ parents, and even convinced my own therapists that I’m a selfish child because ‘they do so much for me’ (AKA the bare minimum).

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on January 24, 2020:

Speak to your mother & if she refuses to listen, you should speak to another relative or a school counselor.

nighah fatima on January 19, 2020:

Hey I am Fatima my mother is selecting her own opinion in my career she didn't give me any chance to study by my wish I Wana be in army but she don't understanding and she is doing what she wants what I do now?

Hi, I'm now a parent. on June 13, 2019:

I just want to let you know "anonymous" and "no account please" I think you are both really special and strong! I believe in you and I don't even know you! :)

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 22, 2019:

Mee, talk to a counselor or a trusted family member regarding your situation. What your mother is doing to you is beyond horrific. She is emotionally abusing you & you don't have to take this.

mee on May 22, 2019:

my parents always tell me how am disappointing and how I will fail my tests. I have never been allowed to go out and have fun with my friends and I am 14. I can't even have a sleepover. only school and then home. I have terrible times at school and I have no friends to be there for me. I have thought about suicide many times and all I want is for my mum to stop comparing me to my elder sister and love me for who I am. I just want her to hug me and say that she will be there for me no matter what but I know she won't because she would've said it by now.

Ken on February 17, 2019:

Both my parents are like this. Dad is happy to just follow on a stronger mom … simply because it absolves him of the responsibility. So everything mom say IS, WILL BE right.

I have a stored temper...due to being suppressed and snubbed from even showing negative irritation, get blamed for everything they do or that is not of their limited paradigms, heavily criticized for not wearing what clothes they got me (out of "love") or for keeping even a 2 day stubble.

Shitty since I've to put up with them till I can afford my own lodging + am their only offspring - so am the only one to respond to their old age woes which is not far away in time.

9 years they have been grumbling and criticizing my choice of freelance self-employment only because I dashed their dreams of being gainfully employed in the system.

Grew up thinking they were the best due to their work successes. Never realized they were so dysfunctional till recently.

pissed and stuck in this life w them.

me on November 21, 2018:

i also forgot to add i really badly wanted a phone im 14 and my cousins are younger then me and also there are some older then me i planned of what phone im going to get of coarse apple i told my mom and she said that she doesn't have enough money for it and then my cousin asked the one who is a year older then me she is getting him a phone on black friday last year my mom got phones for my aunt and one of my cousins, i remmember when my mom gets mad she tells me to die and that if i was dead it would be easier for the family and that she wouldn't have to constantly yell at me my mom says that im a disgracful peice of shit to this family

me on November 21, 2018:

funny how all 10 describe my parents your typical asian parents also such a coincidence my mother was talking to my younger cousin over the phone she's i think 12 and im 14 and she's comparing her and my sister with me always telling my flaws to others and making a bad picture of me i feel humiliated and disgraced of myself i hate myself of who i am now i think of myself lowly now my self esteem is destroyed now no matter how much i talk back to that voice of negitivity i lose every time it proves to me that this is what I am a peice of shit and nothing more my mother never shows her love to me it was always my sister and my mother and father only care about my grades that is it i struggle with math and i stepped from a D to an B and then something happened between witch caused me to drop my grade down to a D again and they gave me a 2 hour lecture about how im nothing without my grades and that if i don't step up my grades they will send me to a hostel my hobby is art is shut down i live art and no one can stop me from doing what i love so lunch at school or secret art classes is the only time i get to do the thing i love

Ren on October 09, 2018:

Amazing how all 10 describe my parent i guess that's just typical asian parent(chinese descent)

all my school and university of my choice got shot down

all jobs,hobby, and things that i like to do,even if i tried taking over the family business like they themself WANTED all shot down

demanding a perfect girlfriend,all my female friend got shot down no one can stand my parent,and they demand grandkids,now i don't even want to marry or have children

i tried talking to my grandma and other relative that is "higher" in position than them,they talk to my parent,then they change for the better for about 1 week..after that they become worst than the last and how dare i talk about bad thing about them to the relative and shaming them

i tried bringing them to the psychologist,they got advice bla bla,same thing happen 1 week wonderful parent,after that they become worst and worst

i tried cutting off contact and they harping to all my relative and acquaintance of how ungrateful and bad children i am,if i really want to cut off from them i have to cut off from other family member and friend that i have or they will try to find out where i am from them and destroy my life again and again and again

oh and how super religious they are how active they are in church they are literally think themself as holyman that cannot do any wrong,smiting me for how evil i am but they are not looking at the mirror themself of how they think they are servant of god and how they really act,i even tried talking about their situation with the help of the bible i quote some verse and they smite me again about how dare i use the bible against them

and now they keep asking why i hate them so much,AND how the bible said to care about your parent,your parent is the number one..

um what about the children?nope bible didn't say anything about that for them..

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 17, 2018:

Talk to a trusted relative regarding your situation. Maybe he/she could intervene on your behalf. You shouldn't have to endure such abuse from your mother & sister.

DSK on September 17, 2018:

Im 16 and i have an incredibly stressful life 6am - 10 or 12pm everyday. I spend my entire time doing homework and sometimes i have so much that i just simply forget some pieces. But of course my older sister and my mum constantly shout at me saying that i am going to fail all my exams, that i am hopeless and a disgrace. My dad works 4 am - 8pm so he is just too tired to react or support me. Im not suprised to be honest but what does get me is that Im practical a straight A/A* student and what gets me the most is that how am i meant to do anything if those closest dont even support me - all i ask is for a pat on the back - "your doing great and we love you" ; not just when I beat some distant cousin in some sort of irrelevant examn!

Gloria on September 16, 2018:

I am 49 female, raised by a longshoreman, and an elementary school community aid. I am passive, I think everyone else has more power. I have low self esteem and an inferiority complex. I am ok looking. But would be a beauty if I had confidence. So when I was growing up I never felt like I belonged. I had two older Bros, the middle one yr older than me the oldest, 5 yrs older. I hung out in my cave like room or over at my friend's house as a teen. Family vote once upon a Time my dad's vote was to be counted as 3pts mom2ots bros1pt me,? Guess! ... No it wasn't 0, it was worth 1/2pt! Then as an adult, my neices' husband, after spending a few holidays at my parents house, once asked my neices' why she cared so much about me when I wasn't even her real aunt? He thought I was just a real close friend of the family! (I am also more fair skinned than anyone in the family but I look just like my dad who is the one I get my fairness from, mind you. He's Spanish and Mexican. My mom he found in Mazatlan Mex and brought her here.) He must have picked up on the feeling that I didn't belong. When I was growing up I never hung out with my dad. His friends would be out in the yard drinking beer with him I knew I should not be in earshot cuz that's man talk not for a lil girls ears so I was to be with my mother wherever she went and I was emotionally neglected. Though I did live in a brand new house custom built. Went to Mazatlan every summer for about 1 month at least everyone of those 18 yrs. My dad never molested me. But when I was on the baseball team my dad was manager my mom team mom. They never practiced with me. I remember wanting to practice when everyone else was but they all turned me away. My mom didn't even practice with me. I think the other parents wanted them to practice with me but I was just a girl so they put me in left field. One day I got a line drive for my glove as I was daydreaming out there but I moved my hand to miss because I thought it was going to hurt my hand. Everybody got mad at me so I quit the team. Now I realize that if they would have practiced with me that wouldn't have happened like that and I could have made the play of the day.. and been a champ carried on the teams shoulders... Ahh. That would have made me confident, today! They still came in first, they didn't need me anyways.

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 14, 2018:

Totally agree.

Pat on September 14, 2018:

All this broils down to parental insecurity, when parents need to control every aspect of the children lives to assuage their fears.

In fact insecure people are the worst to have around.

Sarah on September 12, 2018:

I don't know what's wrong with me. I already knew about my low self-esteem because of my family. But I runs in the family I guess. It was how my mom and dad were raised. My uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, etc... Where raised. Now it's me and my sister. Everyone in my family are all doctors and engineers. And even though I want a career in art and my mom and dad support me, they still talk as if I'm going to end up just like them. So marks for school always has to be 90% and up and nothing less. But for me I can't keep up with that and my average is an 85% which is not the best. At least that what my family says. I hesitate to feel proud of myself ever because in scared that my parents won't look at it to be proud of. They'd say quiet often comparing me to my family friends "they study and gets good marks but you dont " etc... And no matter how hard i try to convince them otherwise they always say its not enough. I spent a full year wakibg up with panic attacks and anxiety but even after that they tell me i need to work harder. I dont get complimented on my looks as much in my family or life as my sister and everyone else in my family does

So it doesnt really even out when my parents point out my flaws. Im not really praised as much as my sister is. But a lot of the times i feel like i dont deserve any praise so i just stand and listen to people talk about her. Which is true because my sister is a great person who is becoming a doctor.Which sounds good for parents to brag about. But for some reason my parents are the only ones not proud of her. I thought studying neuroscience was a amazing thing. But nope not to them. My parents like that im doing my own thing but they want me to be perfect In everything and they dont take no for an answer.

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 07, 2018:

Have your father get custody of you. He obviously loves you. Disassociate from your mother.

Potato girl on September 07, 2018:

My mother never was used to hugs or praising. Her mother never gave that to her.

So she never gave it to me. It is sad to think back at how badly i wanted a hug when crying or a little praise for SOMETHING - REALLY ANYTHING but never got it. I sat in my room crying until i eventually ran out of tears or dad came back from home and hugged me. When i showed them my grades mom was like "meh.. You were always that good" but dad was proud of me.

There also where a lot of little other events between mom and me that resulted in me feeling like shit all day and now that my dad moved out as they divorced the one person who cares about me is not here as often anymore.

The relationship between me and mom also is destroyed and i just want to get away from her asap...

Depree on September 04, 2018:

my mom keeps yelling at me and comparing me to my sibblings i things its super anoying and everytime i dont get something right she eather hits me or yells at me i feel like i have low self estam

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 27, 2018:

Speak w/ a trusted teacher who will refer you to a trusted counselor. Find other relatives who love & care for you.

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 27, 2018:

Please seek psychological help. You have went through so much psychological angst. Don't stay w/toxic family members who don't respect/love you. Disassociate yourself from this family & find people who respect/love you for what you are.

Obsessed With Fandoms on August 27, 2018:

Well this explains a lot. Why I haven't turned out so great and I don't want anything to do with one of my parents. I'm still just 14 but all of these things have been done to me and it's obviously messed with me a lot.

Darrey on August 27, 2018:

I'm unfortunately still with my family. I checked off about 7-8 ways I've been hurt. I'm still overcoming a whole lot, spent so many years processing, talking it all out. I am stuck, I am frustrated. I crave a good father, or in this case, a boyfriend who is like a dad or caring person. I never had much mentors in my life, my parents weren't much of the type to look up to. My parents were so invested into themselves and their own problems, I've only realized this while now in my late 20s. Just makes me sick. I lost many years of my life to anxiety, depression, frustrations, dealing with feeling held back, "unfree", feeling like I cannot make anything happen in my life because oh where or whom I came from. I experience a few highs but many low points in life. This past week, I've never felt so deflated, I'm practically ok with dying. It's a lot. I know where I've come from, what I've endured and experienced, and I've let others know about my life experience too; so if I go, people at least will know.

Fredi barr on August 23, 2018:

I 've enjoyed this reading, nos I'am 60 years old, I lived difficult times when I was a child, fue this, I could not to be married, now I feel that need father's Love, I feel better when older men give me his friendchip.

Frederick on August 17, 2018:

I hope there should be some laws to abide to these, it has kill more dreams than death itself, I am a victimand mine I suffered divorce too so it has become more difficult for me even at 26 and I'm still struggling with it, I hope people see the light at the end of the tunnel...lets help make this world a better place(heal the young, heal the world)

Nimby on August 15, 2018:

The thing is I don't feel like useless.I wanna fight and continue..maybe one day eveyhing will turn.I will continue AND NEVER SURRENDER!!!

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 15, 2018:

Talk to a counsellor immediately.

Nimby on August 15, 2018:

So....let's start all things first by that my mother and father crushed when i was like 4....Then my mother moved to another country.I left with my father.

He found a new wife.Aaand now i have a sister ...She is like 8 years younger than me.There are some problems tho...When in school i try the best i can do and in our country its like not A B or C its 6 5 4... And so i get 5 or 6 most of the times and my dad just says "okay,good" but if i get 4 one time he is just so dissapointed in me...I feel so bad.Even now thinking about it ....Once i told him i want to be a PC fixer (to fix broken pc etc...) Then he just said "meh there are enough of them.."Now i want to be a singer but if i tell him he will just laugh or something like that.He wants me to be like him...literally.Then i talked about my sister...so when she wants to play with me or something like that and i say that I don't want cus her games are boring for me my dad is like mad at me .. I don't really feel her as sister aswell...I try to help her for stuff but it's like i just dont feel her as sister.And thats mostly it..Also when i do something wrong he is yelling at me.I just dont know ... Suicide...

John P. on August 12, 2018:

My grandparents adopted me when I was younger. Treated me very well and gave me lots. But, now I am older and see the world different. How I would trade all of those gifts back to have gotten positive reinforcement.

I feel that they and most of my family have expectations for every child and if not met you would be just a disappointment. Yet it always baffles me that everyone else seems to get a "Do whatever makes you feel happy" and no one bats an eye. But when I get told that and try to do what I want I get a "No John, that's a terrible idea." I just want to be a truck driver, which I now am and I love it. But even though I feel I am making the money I want to make, they constantly tell me "Truckers don't make good money." Do you mean they don't make the figures you want me to make? "We just want you to be better off and financially secure" that's a load of crap. I am perfectly happy with what I do. Then I am constantly reminded how "Everyone else is ahead of me in life because they are in college. They're gonna be more successful than me. They're gonna make more money than me." What do I care? I am happy with where I am at. But them telling me that everyday is enough to ruin my day. It's sad that for a while I liked about where I worked and what I made. I got nothing but positive words. Then they learned the truth. We are right back to where we started. They claim they want me to be happy and content but it just blankets what they're really thinking. I know it does because I see how everyone else gets treated. This kind of negative speaking has made me just want to be alone forever. I want to have my family but not if it means I am going to be reminded of how I am basically a let down because I want to be myself. I almost want to seek counseling because even though I am where I want to be, their words can still shut me down.

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 07, 2018:

Don't listen to your mother. Be the wide receiver you want. You can't learn if you don't try. Always try things(beneficial) that are.....UNKNOWN!

kaylie on August 07, 2018:

i want to be the wide reciever at school.mom says that i will never make it cause i knoe nothing about football. that saounds toxic. and im scared to confront. i dont like the consequecenes. she shuts out my emotions. i know i do things wrong.but my self esteem is destroyes

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 03, 2018:

Please seek counselling. There are either low cost or free counselling services. Also, disassociate from your family. They are abusive & toxic.

StuckHereRemainAnonymous on August 03, 2018:

After reading this, it made me realise that almost everything said in it is happening to me right now... and it’s all “for the best” and “you’ll thank me one day”. Im sick and tired. No one to turn to. Siblings treat me the same. No counselor/psychologist. Friends need to settle their own problems. What do I do? Please, help me.

Anonymous FtM teen on July 29, 2018:

I knew that my mam wasn’t the best but I think I really understand it now. She always calls me worthless and useless and occasionally she even hits me. She’s caused me to have depression and take part in self harm. When she found out of course, she sent me to a therapist who didn’t even help.

Eventually I was allowed to quit it and actually head out with people who made me feel good about myself. My mam blamed them for making me not study (even though I was) and she often didn’t allow me to leave the house.

When I gathered enough courage to tell her that i was transgender she shot me down completely and I told me that I was ‘just confused’ and ‘it’s just a phase teenagers go through’. She now purposefully misgenders me and forces me to wear feminine clothes. Once she told me ‘you will never be a boy so stop pretending to be one’.

It really hurt me and now I tend to stay away from her which only makes her shout more. I can’t wait until I get to leave but I’ve still got to wait another 5 years.

No account please. on July 20, 2018:

I've seen a few therapist and a psychologist by my own free will trying to get better.

The first therapist was more faith/spirit minded. Bad experience.. don't believe, then she retired.

Second therapist is known locally for being pretty good. I don't think she knows how to help me anymore. Haven't seen or talked to them in months now.

Second therapist referred me to the psychologist. Didn't see them for long, found a better job elsewhere. Poor city, doctors flee from here. Don't blame them. But this psychologist stayed long enough for me to explain what I felt was important. An hour is a pretty short time. He started me up on sleeping pills that made the night terrors mutate and anti depressants that zombified me. My perspective at least. Felt aweful. Like there was really no real reason to do anything. Like the indent of my life on the footprint on the earth.. I'd be better if being fertilizer to sustain something else life. I got to see them again after a month. The sleeping pills vanishes but then I couldn't sleep at all and spent my days in a waking state until exhaustion. Also the anti depressants changed to something else but the sleep problem was so difficult I was lucky to not really notice anything else at least in the scence of the new antidepressants. After the third meeting I was taken off all meds and off they went to wherever they go.

You call in the help phoned sometimes, but they are often kids or inexperienced I don't know I'm not passing judgment but we never click, I just end up getting disconnected.

I've had my body taken advantage of multiple times by multiple people. Who knows what happened to them to want do that to me when I was a kid, the adults I'm talking about. The hazing at Scouts, Cadets from other kids, bizarre and inhumane. The creativity of a child multiplied by the pain their guardians put into their hearts felt like torture camp.

Adults are just perverts to kids. Kids are sadistic with one another. Truth. Pretty damn poor family.

Truth. It costs quality money to get quality help. Money isn't common for me. I should be homeless, rather dead because I wouldn't pan handle I'd just wander off in the woods. Don't know if I'd try to survive or not... The scouts and cadets did instill survival instincts into me and in the moments I was free when I was younger you would just see me sprinting bare foot through the forest like some... Scrawny tiny white tarzan. Until my spirit was broken, I had a few good kicks as a kid.

I've had a single person stick with me for the last ten years. I'm lucky to have her. Anyone else would give up and leave, or at least up to this point everyone has but her.

I don't care really anymore, I have my own drive now. I've always been drawn to acting or maybe comedy, I wouldn't be surprised if I'd make a good bad guy. Really I'd put my soul in it. I don't believe in retiring from a passion. I'd keep trying until I die. Why? Its the only thing that excites me or gives me drive. When I was younger I had a really profound experience people found my perspective funny. At some camp I started telling jokes one afternoon and I drew people in for hours. I started before noon and it was dark when I had to stop. They gave me a opportunity to do it up on a stage. I bombed the second time around, nerves. But I keep thinking back to both experiences and both they make me smile.

I've never had money so I've never been able to take care of myself. If you make it, who knows. But I don't feel I'm ready yet. Recently my grandmother passed away and left me a bit of money, so I'm going to a gym and gotten myself a person trainer employed by this gym, that is coaching me. Really thankful for it, I've been trying to be super human. But for this a guiding hand makes a huge impact. Part of the gym is a mental component, I don't think I'd be able to do this any other way.

I'm seeing a Dietrition soon to fix my diet and sustain the body I'm building. I'm doing this for me. I want the ability to defend myself from perverts. I'll be joining Jujitsu next once I take my health back. No point having uncontrollable cannon arms. Putting money into savings for acting school or classes. Hard to tell what could be helpful so far. I have some gear so ill start practicing without rest.

I've tried reaching out to people for help. People help themselves.

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 20, 2018:

Are you the oldest of a large/very large family? Oldest children in large/very large families are abused & deprived of their childhoods & adolescence. Please see a counsellor & DISASSOCIATE yourself from your "family." You don't need "family" like this.

Anonymous on July 20, 2018:

My whole family hurt my self-esteem by using me as a work-horse. Any responsibilities they didn't want fell on me. If I protested, they would tell me I am lazy and useless and that this was the "small" price I had to pay for being taken care of. It started with the lion share of chores. Then I was expected to babysit my siblings and cousins full-time.

Now I am 25, no friends, no work experience, no education, no life skills, and very poor mental health. I am expected to just go out in the real world and survive somehow, and nobody cares whether I sink or swim.

I feel like if I'm not serving someone, my life has no purpose. My meds have stabilized my mood. But I don't really know what to do now...

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 19, 2018:

Please seek counselling I implore you. Seek counselling so you can heal.

No account please. on July 19, 2018:

My mother was did all of this, and molested me. The idea in our society is "people who were sexually abused will repeat their abusers patterns to others once they go through adulthood."

Why the hell would I ever want to do this to someone else, over two decades later it can still make me sick to my stomach recalling what she did to me.

From my perspective, I hate children. Probably because for my public school career I was bullied. Not just kids but teachers and teacher assistants too. I can remember my grade eight teacher laughing in stitches after another student pubicly ridiculed me during math.

Of course in the darkest moments, you think of hurting others. When I got to high school I thought about ending the lives of every student and teacher. The violence at home had gotten so extreme I'd vomit before class so my stomach would be in less knots. I was 15 loosing hair to stress.

But why, would I ever intentally harm anyone or anything? My heart rips itself apart going through the thought. I know how bad it hurt when they did it to me. I don't think I'd fight back if someone choked me to death. I wouldn't want to cause them pain, and I have just naturally never fought for my life.

Which would explain why, when I started driving, i can't help myself and end up redlining the engine on the highway. I think part of me is always looking to die.

I also have PTSD if that is no surprise. But I've started going to the gym and learning about how to look after your body with real foods.

But I can't say I'm surprised anytime there is a tradgid headline on the news, hate breeds more hate. Every school shooting has a reason why, and if you actually knew everything rather than what little you are told, you would probably at least understand why it happens. I'm not saying it isn't tradgid, I'm asking how you can be surprised.

Lenny on July 19, 2018:

now i have reason to believe that my parents are horrible

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 06, 2018:

THANK YOU, TOTALLY AGREE!

KittytabbyGaming on July 06, 2018:

My mom's biological mother was almost never there for my mom at all, she was getting drunk and partying, but luckily my nana took in my mom and have her a stable childhood. When my grandma passed away in 2011, I felt no emotional connection or sorrow because she was never in my life and acted like she never wanted to. My mom didn't make the same mistakes as my grandma so the cycle didn't continue. Not being in your child's life can greatly impact there self-esteem and self worth, it can make them feel like they're not worth anything, even your time.

Pete Dubina on July 06, 2018:

My experience is coming from an alcoholic home and ending up with C-PTSD. This has ruined a career, now I have to retrain for something else. Not to even mention my life outside work. I am probably doing everything possible to get better (at my expense - if it would do any good to sue my parents I would). One thing I can't believe is the stupidity I near from relatives and others i.e. that "I'm grown up now and can start being your own person." It's a shame stupidity isn't painful.

somebody on the internet on July 04, 2018:

I'm glad I'm not the only person who's going through this. All throughout my childhood i knew i had an abusive mother because one of my teachers in elementary opened my eyes. anything I did wrong, i was ordered to strip naked and get beaten by the belt. After that, I would be placed in the closet for who knows how long. Things got progressively worse as years went by and I got siblings. I wasn't able to have a childhood after, I believe i had a third sibling? I then became a parent while my mom went out partying and drinking. Not to also mention here that the phrase "they know about everything" including about me. (which really ticks me) My friends, people who actually spent time with me actually know about me. Ever since i was a child i had developed depression because i was always in such a negative space. now i just have depression wherever i go. i also developed social anxiety where id think certain people will be as bad as my mother. really, a lot of things are wrong with me because of my parents. i even developed anger issues and the second eldest also did too. (i'm the eldest) i also remember trying to open up to my mother but that didn't end well either. i felt i wasn't loved and when i said that i was beaten for it. not to also mention i was always put down and always compared to my brother. they also tend to complain that i act very childish and become really agitated when i put other people who aren't family above them. for the childish thing, yes i am childish but can you really blame me? i got to grow up way faster that anyone, i didn't really experience being a child and as for putting people over family, for the longest of time I've felt like i didn't have a family. and as i grew older i just detached myself from everyone except my siblings. they are the only things i would care for. last bit would be that my mother wouldn't praise any of the good i did, she would be so uninterested that slowly i just stopped caring for my family's approval while also stopping what i loved doing. honestly, i could go on and on about how completely awful this family is but i rather not.

anonymous on July 02, 2018:

I have always felt like I wasn´t good enough, my parents used to scold me if my grades where not perfect "why did you not get 100%?" , my mum used to and still criticises her weight even though she looked fine, I don´t know if that caused me to be extremely uncomfortable with gaining any weight. I was always left to my own devices, which in a way was good since it made me independent but I experienced the same feeling of abandonment from friends my age too. I believe I have come to the point of not feeling like I belong and dare I say hopeless, somehow I find consolation that others have gone through this too, I wish you all the best and we will make it out of this time together!

terry on July 01, 2018:

I have added 1 more explanantion to why i hate myself beyond rage.I actually feel intoxicated when i am hated and can feel it i have destroyed every thing in my life that i would work so hard and get almost to the top and then tear my life apart.my wife i feel sorry for she loves me so.i tried to ruin that for myself to and my prescous kids .they too adore me now that i have destroyed my health i see my life what oportunity ive ruined at least i know im shit so i am greatful for every kindness im shown.i no longer destryu things

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 20, 2018:

Get help & DISASSOCIATE yourself from your family. They are toxic, even evil. You don't need such people in your life.

Richie on June 20, 2018:

This is so refreshing to know that there are people out there with similar experiences - When my parents lash on me talk me down , have me stand with my brother if he did wrong , you know the past days has been terrible for me , i have been searching the internet and seeing that i was abused all of my life from sleeping on the bare floor to being whipped with wires and canes naked to punching me in the face and i must just stand there and not cry or say a thing because my father used to say when i beat you ! you dont cry now i see why he does that because that is clearly abuse i still have scars on my body physical scars ! head wounds ! scars on my Back ! now i am grown i wonder how can you do that to someone you love talkless your own Child - The Other Day my own father asked me WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE , Talking about my first girlfriend and how i failed - What do you think you have achieved !! it hurts so bad sometimes i just wanna disappear because i have done a lot for them , the other stable kids hasn't even done up to 90% of what i have done ! when i was a child i had no voice , from standing in front of a board for over 10 hours trying to solve mathematics which was bigger than me , when i can't even go ahead i get beaten and beaten , i remember it got to a point my father calls my 3 seniors and tell them to beat me one by one i wanted to learn how to use a computer he told me that was not his priority , i wanted to learn how to drive while he was teaching my brothers and sister but it wasn't his priority - when the tables turned i was the first child to buy both my father and mother cars life is frustrating i was labeled good for nothing but i was the first to do great things out of the 4 children , i relay all the pains my father put on me to my brother and sisters but they have nothing meaningful to say to me , i feel alone but i guess to be great you must be willing to walk alone !! To Everyone being castigated , Blindsided . Tore Down , I Love You All Because You Feel My Pain .....(God Bless You All )

Ive Vazqz on June 17, 2018:

Don't do it!Don't listen to those thoughts. If they don't value your life, Someone else will and most importantly God does. Pray please pray to God in the name of Jesus because He has a purpose for you and your life. You are precious to God.

Aoife Murphy on June 15, 2018:

My parents are annoying and overpowering horrible people

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 14, 2018:

DON'T KILL yourself. Please get help. Contact the suicide hotline & call a counsellor & get counselling.

Anonymous on June 14, 2018:

I having suicidal thoughts many days,I tried to suicide but I still failed,I don't know I am worthless and meaningless or important for their life.They made careers for me that Engineer,But I want to be game developer.I never get praise,I am 23 Years Old Now.I want to kill myself and I can't face the stress anymore!

I hope Killing Myself would be better than living in meaningless life.

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 13, 2018:

Thank you for your response.

CP on June 13, 2018:

This article is right on point. It is extremely saddening that parents always think that they are doing the right things from 1-10 and are ignorant of the psychological effects that will forever imprint on the child future and well being.

Having said that this type of upbringing not only affected on me but on my siblings as well, it resulted in us constantly questioning our own capability. All three of us are crippled to think on our own and in deep resentment and depression.

I'm 29 this year, having suicidal thoughts become normal to me till one day I decided to become my own self-motivator. I read a lot of self-improvement books to get thru hard times. Each day, I'm taking small steps in battling my own emotions and to constantly remind myself to live life to the fullest. And every time I feel like giving up, I would reside this quote to help me get through:

"Dwelling on the misfortunes is meaningless because for all one’s flaws and suffering we have just one life. I have only myself to blame for the bad because I didn’t work hard enough. I don’t want to blame anyone for the life I have." One thing for sure, Determination and Perseverance never fail you!

For those who are like me feeling depressed and helpless sometimes, you are not alone. Continue to seek self-improvement and one day we can pass through this. Take care~

SoulTap on June 06, 2018:

About 80% kids face these problems in India. Demeaning and comparison by parents is so much that most of the kids starts doing what others are doing rather then choosing their own profession. Imagine a league of kids with low self confidence

Sara on June 04, 2018:

I have every characteristic from being an underachiever to timid. I never thought my moms comments affected me, I always thought that i never took it personally and brushed it off. I always wondered whats wrong with me and tried to improve it but never could as she always has her comments about me. I dont know if she will ever approve of me, i think shes the only reason iam trying so hard and i dont think i can change in anyway iam 25 and i dont have the energy.

Young Person on May 29, 2018:

My Mother is most of these, my mother scares, lowers self esteem, makes me feel under aprisiated, and gets angry at me for little things. I just want to cry most of the time

jw on May 26, 2018:

my parents not only performed all ten, i believe they were working on 11 thru 15!

Anonymous on May 22, 2018:

my parent do all 10

Victor on May 03, 2018:

I strongly agree with all except the last one. Maybe is because Im from a hispanic culture, but to me, parents are the absolute law.

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 02, 2018:

Thank you!

Candy on May 02, 2018:

Neat sight I think it’s really good

Anonymous on April 28, 2018:

I cant do anything anymore it hurts she tells me I'm dumb just because I never got into a school I wanted I was supposed to start high school there she said just get ready for high school

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on April 15, 2018:

Seek counselling either by talking to a close friend, relative, or a psychologist. Also develop self-confidence, you are a beautiful, worthy person- a child of God. God bless.

josh on April 15, 2018:

I'm so shy but I refuse to blame my parents because they thought they were helping me. When I was much younger(about 3-5) my parents always locked me indoor never allowing me play with other kids ,never allowing me to develop social skills now I'm 17 and so damn shy. I sing and do it very well. Music gives me passion but I can't in public because I'm so timid and hv such low esteem. I joined the choir thinking it will help me boost my confidence but I've bn in the choir getting to a year hving never sang and I feel depressed and useless because I want to pursue music as a career but hw can I be a shy musician? Their overprotectiveness affects me in all areas of my life I can't associate with ppl, I can't make friend even in the choir, ppl say I'm rude and lack manners but I don't understand hw. I literally cry when I see ppl who aren't better than me sing and claim they are but I can't talk back because I've never sang and I'm shy. I'm so depressed right now. I have never even had a girlfriend not that I'm ugly but timid I lack social skills to approach a lady. I've watched my friends steal away the girl I love but can do nothing. At the end of the day I'll just say I never really loved her but I do. I'm just frustrated. I already told God and I know he's already helping me. Pls I need a word of encouragement from u. Thanks.

Irene1955 on April 13, 2018:

This all rings so true. My mother has always treated me as an idiot. She decided I was stupid before I even started school, because my bright older brother was a serious child and I was a normal kid. So I was destined to be a servant. Every time I expressed an opinion I was ridiculed by the whole family. Meantime, I performed exceptionally at primary school, but my mother said it was only because I had dumb kids in my year. By secondary school I was under-performing and lacked confidence. I did an IQ test at 17, and was told my IQ was 158. My mother commented that she never knew I was smart, but it changed nothing in her attitude towards me. I went to university despite her and worked in the IT sector. But an under-achiever. I'm now 62.

She remembers everything I ever did in my life that she didn't like and throws it back at me. The other day she told me she she'd never forgiven me for accepting a biscuit from a neighbour when I was just 3. Everything I wear, the way I look (hereditary), my choice of friends, my interests and hobbies are just wrong according to her and deserving of condemnation.

I now only see her so that I don't get cut from her will, but I'm emotionally divorced from her. (She's 92 and can't live for much longer)

titir on April 09, 2018:

WOW!! my father did & still does ALL OF THESE . Fortunately I have a wonderful mother (who is also criticized by my dad all the time). Her love and support balance out the suffocating negativity coming from my father & help me believe in myself .

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on April 08, 2018:

That's ANOTHER way!

Lolis on April 08, 2018:

Making them fat??

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on April 04, 2018:

Get counselling or talk to a trusted relative outside of your immediate family.

w on April 04, 2018:

hi i need help

Maybe on April 04, 2018:

I cried as I was scrolling through this article

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on April 01, 2018:

Get counselling & LEAVE THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Disassociate from such toxic parents. You are a worthwhile, beautiful person. Family doesn't mean blood all the time. Family consists of people who LOVE & RESPECT each other. Your parents & brothers are toxic-GET AWAY FROM THEM!

Am on April 01, 2018:

My parents do all of this to me very intensely and almost abusively. They're very emotionally and mentally abusive (They stopped the physical abuse once I reached 15). Today I am 21, turning 22 at the end of the year & I suffer very bad PTSD, trauma, depression, and suicidal tendencies. They don't even care and they yell at me, telling me that i'm being dramatic, calling the scars on my arm "stupid", and telling me to my face, "If you commit suicide, we wont attend your funeral because we would be too embarrassed to have such a stupid & useless daughter." My parents & brothers even told me I deserved to be raped & that me getting raped was 'my fault'. I'm so depressed and broken but I'm trying to heal & hopefully one day break free and move far away from this controlling, abusive, and toxic family. I'm turning 22 & I'm not even allowed to have sleepovers or go for sleepovers. They've ruined most of my life & crushed my self-esteem. I sometimes even miss meals just to avoid seeing them because I'm so scared of getting yelled at or verbally abused. I have anxiety about so many things, and i wish I could just have a more positive life..

anonoymous on March 30, 2018:

My mom pushes me to do too much work. I get a 92 and she gets mad at me. I get a 96 she gets mad at me. Whenever I do want to hang with my friends she makes me feel bad by saying"does nothing else happen and what is going on in ur brain." You have to start preparing for highschool and I am in 6th grade!

Anon on March 25, 2018:

10 checks for me and now I felt really empty

Forever_G@bby on March 17, 2018:

If I ever have children,I would never treat them the way my mother treats me.So, one day My mom’s phone buzzes.My mom is busy,so I look.And I’m scrolling and I see that my mom and sister are having a conversation back and forth.And I read a text message that’s my mom wrote that said,”I never said she was perfect,but she isn’t a smart ass”.It Hurted me so bad And when I read that.It felt like I got hit by a car,and felt as if I was punched in the stomach.My self esteem went down so quick.No kid should ever feel that way like their not smart,or good enough.For all those parents reading this or people who plan on being parents,don’t ever treat your children child like that.You May think,it’s nothing,but the pain and rejection stings so bad.And you may forget all about it.But the child will remember it forever.It’s a scar that will never heal.

Somebody on March 10, 2018:

My mother displayed many of these characteristics but, even if I often disliked her growing up, I could never hate her because she genuinely did believe she was acting in my best interest. I think it is important to consider that oftentimes parents were not ideally parented themselves and deserve some empathy and understanding too.

My mother was given away by her parents as an infant, then taken back at ten years of age when she was old enough to work and be considered useful. Her parents were lazy, uneducated, and short-sighted. She wanted an education but they saw her merely as a means of supplementing their income. She had to work, even as a young child, for the most basic things - a uniform and and stationery - so she could attend school. She was independent at 14, working during the day and attending school at night, and had to fight for every opportunity to get ahead in life, which she did.

I fully understand that my own upbringing - very strict an seemingly harsh - was luxurious and easy by comparison and that stops me from feeling sorry for myself. My mother's parenting, somewhat pushy and demanding, came from the knowledge that life could be harsh and a well intentioned desire for her children to be tough and prepared for anything. It didn't work - I am in my 40s and she still tells me I am too weak and a disappointment - but it was her way of showing us love and, besides it is a fair criticism so I don't take offence.

Real-eyes-ation on March 05, 2018:

Tuline - I'm 52

It took me until my mother died to experience detachment and my awakening journey

Too many traumas due to lack of healthy parental guidance and dysfunctional interaction and minimum tlc but I focus on what I can do now and creativity is my saviour

Anonymous on March 04, 2018:

its like i don't know my mom anymore every little thing i do comes with some type of backlash, and I'm always being compared to someone and i think to my self "but I'm not them and they are not your child"

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on February 28, 2018:

Mike, discuss your issue w/a trusted guidance counselor, relative, or a clergyperson.

mike on February 28, 2018:

i cant stand my parents anymore please help me im going crazy

Mike on February 27, 2018:

Somewhat the opposite to Andrew but ultimately similar. I'm 34 and have literally just developed a sense of real control over my thoughts and feelings, to help guide myself from this point onwards. My mother's anxiety about my having a family by now, bled the life out of what could have been exciting and formative 20s. Instead they were far too often sordid and filled with a sort of silent emotional fury. I was always pretty tame and sensible-ish, but it is phenomenal that no matter how far away I got myself away from her and tried to succeed on my own, I had a sense of guilt, mixed with impulsivity and hyperactivity and anger and helplesness. Both my parents preferred me to work in any job, while I desperately tried to work out how to go beyond that; nobody in our extended family has a degree. Trying to navigate through one's own life and become independent and happy while one's parents harass you with their expectations, agendas and emotional manipulation - to fulfill their own paternal and maternal desires and dreams - should be a focus for the World Health Organisation. And yet I'd be

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on February 24, 2018:

@Kelly, speak to her via telephone. Discuss her concerns w/her. Also suggest that she speaks to a psychologist, clergyperson, or counselor.

Kelly on February 24, 2018:

I have big concern for a friend. She lives in Canada, and her parents are authoritarians. They took possession of her Xbox, limiting how often she is on it all because they don't want her to get "addicted". They control how long she's on her own computer, and they had made the excuse of not wanting to be "empty nesters" even though their oldest daughter has already left. Now, it has gotten to a point where her own mother is reading the messages on her phone, which is a HUGE no-no for all parents. How can I help her get out of this situation, and leave her parents for good?

Andrew on February 21, 2018:

I'm just about to turn 35, I have no wife and I have no children. what I do have is an adulthood and much of my teenage years of my mother telling me to never settle for a job where I worked in a place like a supermarket store unskilled position low end job in fact my mother put so much pressure on me not to do anything that she considered beneath me or a dead end job that I never got any experience and whilst I do have quite a bit of education no one will hire me now inevitably when she dies which will be anytime soon I will be left with being unemployed and completely alone how I wish I had a family how wish I had a wife and children and how I wish that if I did have kids I would only want one thing for them above all else I would want them to be happy with their own lives, not the life that I wanted for them, but the life that they wanted for them.

Anaija on February 13, 2018:

my mom does all this to me.... and it lowers my self-esteem

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on February 02, 2018:

Your parents shouldn't ground you but get you academic assistance until your grade improves.

I'm not telling you my name on February 02, 2018:

Is it healthy if i normally make good grades and I get grounded for one F until I make a B? (My parents make me feel dumb.......)

tuline on January 31, 2018:

i m 53 ... it took me so much time to understand why i m so nice to people why i lack self confidence why i maried a manipulator why i was never happy ... my mom was a narcissic manipulator and my father was always manipulated by her .... what a life !

Luke on January 27, 2018:

My goodness. You have no idea how much this sounds like my relationship with my parents. They're only happy with me unless I did something exactly to their expectations. Never have I felt that my happiness was any of their concern. I'm in my late 20's and still trying to get through life.

Since I was 20, I've been living with my grandmother who has Alzheimers. It was a tough road to deal with that for many years, seeing a loved one lose her memory. And all through that time, my parents and other family members tied to Grandma all thought I was taking advantage of her.

Then after a few years, I decided to take classes in community college. My parents were proud, but it seems that most of the love and hate I get from them comes from school-related material. Actually, its all hate. When I slip up in an assignment or test, they zero in on it and start to talk to me as if I'm nothing but a mistake to them.

No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try to talk to them about it, they just close off their ears and just turn what I say into what they want to think I'm saying. I'm gonna turn 30 in a few years, and my relationship with my parents has continued like this for what feels like an eternity.

Hg on January 27, 2018:

And this country has become a country of snowflake children

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on January 25, 2018:

Follow YOUR dreams, your mother is a soul destroying person. She is a small minded, petty person-IGNORE her! DON'T LISTEN to SMALL MINDED people!

Amethyst Birch on January 25, 2018:

Ooof, I'm 26 and this read like the story of my life. I've dreamed of being a country singer-songwriter my entire life but my mom has crushed my dreams at every turn. She really really wanted an extremely smart kid. I was pushed into gifted programs in school. Truth be told, I'm moderately smart but exceptionally creative and talented. My mom doesn't value creativity or musical talent, so I'm forever a disappointment. She constantly tells me I'll probably never make it in the music business and to focus on my office job. She essentially tells me I'm wasting my time and money by pursuing anything musical. But it's my calling in life and I'm very good at it. It's so frustrating and demoralizing.

Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on January 25, 2018:

Talk to a school counselor regarding your parents. Your father is abusive & his behavior is inexcusable. He exemplifies the immature parent. In fact, parents who are controlling are immature as well as insecure. Do they want to live through you-you have to live YOUR OWN life, not THEIRS.

Anonymous on January 24, 2018:

I know my parents love me and they are trying to provide me with the best life they can but they are so controlling. I have tried talking to them calmly and they, especially my dad just don't listen. With my dad everything always has to be his choice and both of them push me so hard that sometimes I cry. I'm literally crying while writing this. For examle, exams are coming up and right now I have a 88% average in science and I want it to be a 90% at least but my mom is making me stress even more and my dad doesn't even ask or he would too. the only way I can get an 90% is if I get 100% on the exam and science is my worst subject but "my sister did IB so I should be able to succeed in academic because I am naturally smarter than her but she works harder". And with the rules I don't mind following the rules no matter how stupid I think they are but they NEVER let me ask why. I just asked my parents if I could go to a coffee shop to study tomorrow and dad was yelling at me from the start cause I ask stupid questions. And when I said "can I ask why" the world may have just exploded. "She's rude, and who does she think she is thinking she can talk back to us like that. Does she think we're stupid and don't know anything!" No I don't! But obviously, they think I am.

If anyone actually read this please just tell me what to do. I'm super curious and I just want to know the why but then I am always talking back. What should I do?

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