Top 4 Tips To Deal With Controlling Parents (Hidden Signs Inside)

Angry teen

Do you have or know Controlling parents? Bringing up a child is challenging work, and everyone does it a little differently. For children of controlling parents, often known as authoritarian or “helicopter” parents, however, the effects of their oppressive parenting style may last well beyond adolescence.

To thrive and flourish, we need to feel that we play an active role in our own lives. The loss of self-confidence among college students has been alarming during the past two decades. They think their fate is decided by forces beyond their control. One common cause of this powerlessness is growing up with an overprotective parent.

Find out the telltale indications of Controlling parents and what you can do if their behavior is having a detrimental impact on your life now that you’re an adult.

When parents meddle too much in their children’s lives, it can cause resentment and alienation. In spite of their best intentions, domineering parents frequently come across as nagging and bossy. Parents that exert too much influence on their children may do things like pressure them to major in science rather than the arts, select their friends for them, or handle their finances.

While parents’ worries about their children’s well-being are understandable, exercising excessive control can put a strain on everyone involved. Let’s talk about how to deal with overprotective parents.

What Is Controlling parents?

Angry parent

One or both parents may exercise a controlling parenting style in which they keep close tabs on their kids’ whereabouts and what they do. It’s another name for the style of parenting in which parents place a premium on discipline and demand rigorous adherence to established norms and guidelines.

This kind of parenting could show a lack of concern for their kids and end up being harmful to the kids. Some parents might get over this if their kids reach adulthood, but others could want to exert even more authority over their older kids.

Signs of controlling parents

  • Demand blind obedience and conformity
  • Do not let their child make their own decisions
  • Do not encourage choice or independence
  • Dictate every aspect of the child’s life
  • “Help” the child without being asked
  • Use reasons such as “because I said so” to discipline
  • Believe children should be seen, but not heard
  • Discipline through punishment and coercion
  • Criticize any choices their child make
  • Unrealistically high standards and expectations
  • Many rigid rules
  • Arbitrarily add rules for more control
  • Lack of empathy for their child
  • Believe they are always right
  • Always tell you what to do
  • Do not respect your privacy

Long-term effects of growing up with controlling parent

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Having a domineering parent can have negative effects on a child or teen’s growth and development, and it’s likely that behavior won’t change just because the youngster has reached 18. Many parents continue to meddle in their offspring’s life even after they’ve reached maturity.

Tsabary argues that children whose parents are overbearing are deprived of the fundamental freedom to develop into “autonomous human being, who has a right to make their own mistakes in life.” Cullins explains that this “prevents their children from gaining the autonomy and independence needed to properly launch into adulthood.”

Types Of Controlling Parents

controlling parents

Both behavioral and psychological forms of parental control exist:

Behavioral control

Keeping an eye on and directing a child’s actions is what we call “behavioral control.” These overprotective parents are constantly keeping tabs on their children, telling them what to do and where they can’t go. The goal of behavioral control is to train children to act in ways that are consistent with accepted family and societal norms.

In order for a child to flourish, they need both freedom and the ability to control their impulses. A child’s autonomy fosters their individuality apart from their parents. At a time in life when young people are laying the groundwork for maturity, adolescence is a crucial period for the individuation process to take place.

While children require freedom, they also need a proper structure to learn self-control and appropriate social behavior. When it comes to maturing into a well-rounded individual, structure and behavioral direction are essential.

A child’s healthy growth depends, in part, on his or her ability to exert behavioral control. Objectives include observing, instructing, and controlling inappropriate conduct.

Psychological control

When adults interfere with a child’s emotional and mental growth, it is called psychological control. Parental control freaks fail to meet the psychological and emotional requirements of their children. Their psychological experiences are limited, invalidated, and manipulated. Further, they prevent people from showing their true feelings.

By adopting techniques such as guilt, love withdrawal, displaying disappointment, disapproval, and humiliation 8, controlling parents exert emotional and psychological control over their children. Furthermore, they aim to keep their offspring emotionally dependent and intertwined with them.

Children with controlling parents often report that their parents are overbearing, possessive, controlling, and judgmental.

How To Deal with Controlling Parents


1. Recognize that an issue exists

When one or both parents are too controlling, it can be quite challenging to navigate relationships with them. They are your parents and other relatives who helped shape you into who you are today. It’s normal to feel bad about being furious at them and to question whether or not they really are “controlling.”

For Cullin, the first step in overcoming a domineering parent is realizing that one has such a parent. “It’s important for a child to be able to tell the difference between reasonable parental expectations and stifling ones,” she says. There may be a problem with parental control if the child is unable to acquire the traits necessary to grow into an independent, self-confident adult.

2. Put limits on it

When dealing with a controlling parent, “the best method to do it is through the development of strong, firm, and consistent boundaries,” as stated by Tsabary. Although this is “exactly what the child has to do in order to break away from this dysfunctional habit,” she acknowledges that it can be frightening to do so.

Respectfully making an alternative decision, declining a parent’s offer, or not interacting if it creates an unpleasant scenario for the child are all appropriate ways to foster autonomy while staying courteous, as argued by Cullins.

3. Please call for backup

Last but not least, Cullins stresses the importance of a strong social network. “Children of controlling parents may benefit from having trustworthy outsiders in their camp to serve as a sounding board, offer affirmation and comfort, and advocate on their behalf when necessary,” she says. She suggests asking for assistance from a trusted relative or close friend of the parent. There may be a need for family counseling if this is a war you can’t win on your own.

4. Make room if you need to

If loving boundaries are ineffective, “then it is vital to create emotional space and distance in another way,” as Tsabary puts it.

It is up to the adult child of a controlling parent to decide whether or not the controlling parent’s behavior can be changed, reconciled, or tolerated. If they don’t, Cullins and Tsabary believe something needs to change in the partnership so that there is more room to breathe.

Final Thoughts On Controlling parents

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These were the tips on how to deal with Controlling parents. The effects of growing up with controlling parents can be devastating. However, once a child realizes the effects of their parent’s actions on them, they can begin the process of undoing the destructive narratives of conditional love and low self-confidence they may have picked up along the way.

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