Gaslighting, that attitude that parents also have with their children!

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    When we talk about gaslighting, this mental manipulation technique, we think more about the partner. However, some parents may also have this attitude with their children. If in this case the parents’ intention is not to harm their child, unfortunately the consequences on their self-confidence will be the same.

    “Stop crying”, “Calm down!”, “Don’t be afraid”… These phrases, which might seem banal, are actually harmful when said to a child. In fact, they have the common point of denying the emotions that children can feel and causing them, over time, to lose confidence in themselves and their ability to understand their feelings.

    Lack of empathy, sensitivity and compassion.

    When you say these types of phrases, as a parent, it is not to harm your child. “On the contrary, these are often parents who do not have the’empathythe sensitivity and compassion necessary to receive your child’s emotions” explains Leon F. Seltzer to PsychologyToday.

    When faced with these painful situations – a child who cries, throws a tantrum or is afraid – instead of helping him manage the emotion, the parent prefers to tell him to shut up. “But when we deny the reality that the child lives, we are actually unconsciously trying to dominate his thoughts or feelings, which is equivalent to manipulating him. And the child, not having the maturity and perspective necessary to assert himself, will try to comply with that his father asks him so firmly“adds the expert.

    What are the consequences on the child’s development?

    A child who acquires the habit of keeping his emotions silent will gradually lose confidence in himself. This can be seen in his behavior:

    • You will develop distrust towards others;
    • He will constantly say he is sorry, even if it is not his fault;
    • You will lack conviction in your ideas;
    • You will develop a negative feeling that will make you believe that you are always wrong;
    • He will constantly try to prove himself;
    • He will regularly feel belittled by others and isolate himself.

    What can you do, as a parent, to avoid cheating on your child?

    As a parent, if you have a habit of silencing or denying your child’s emotions, this is likely due to the way you yourself were raised. To know if you are reproducing this pattern with your child, ask yourself if:

    • Were you too busy or preoccupied to pay sufficient, respectful attention to what your child was communicating?
    • Did you casually respond to an important topic that he brought to your attention?
    • Did you deny anything he said?
    • Did you give him a name that denigrated him or belittled his views?
    • Have you broken a promise you made, perhaps even denying that you made it?
    • Did you not approve of him doing something different, even if in the end the result was the same?

    If you recognize yourself in these questions, it is likely that you have pushed your child, consciously or not, to deny his emotions. But rest assured, according to Leon F. Seltzer, it is not impossible to break this “educational model.”

    Delay the moment, but do not reject the request.

    In general terms, it must be recognized that children need attention on a daily basis. And very often, he will manifest this need at the least opportune time for you. Then you will be tempted to respond hastily or even ignore it, which would also be a form of “gaslighting.”

    The solution is to delay their request, showing them that you understand it but can’t respond to it right away.“the psychologist advises.”Subsequently, you will have to take the time to understand what they were asking you, to communicate with them in a conscientious and empathetic way.“he concludes.

    10 tips to give your child confidence




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