Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes loses their temper. Parents are no different.
They are human like everyone else. However, gas parents are something else.
The signs of parents using gas are not always easy to see as this is how gas lighting works.
Nothing seems alarming at first glance but in reality the constant criticism makes children confused and hurt.
If you’re not sure what gas lighting means, here’s a little primer for you.
What are gas-lighter parents?
Let’s start with gas lighting.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where the abuser makes you feel and calls you “crazy” because of your reactions, even though your reactions and feelings are completely normal and expected.
This type of abuse is especially difficult when it is present in a parent-child relationship.
Unfortunately, many parents don’t even know they are doing this because they don’t see anything wrong with their behavior.
However, this has a major impact on children. The reason this happens so often is that parents tend to forget that children do not have enough experience to see life and the world around them as they do.
Not only that, but parents forget that children are expected to explore the world on their own, to express themselves authentically without fear, and not to be molded to meet their expectations.
There is nothing more overwhelming for a child than denying their emotions, because a child does not yet know how to control them.
When you turn your child on, what you are actually doing is putting him on on purpose, just to manipulate him later into believing he has no reason to be upset or emotional.
Why is gaslighting in a parent-child relationship hard to notice?
A parent-child relationship is considered to be a relationship in which the parents have “power” and “control” over the child and that is why the power imbalance goes unnoticed.
While parents should have authority, they should not abuse their power and try to push their own reality onto their children.
However, this is what happens frequently.
The reality of a child can be discredited because it does not correspond to the reality of one of the parents and, as a result, the child feels confused and questions himself.
Parents who light up gas come in many different forms and come from different walks of life.
For example, parents may be immature, overly protective, overwhelmed, uneducated, narcissistic, etc.
Narcissists are probably the most common and popular group of people who use gas lighting in their daily lives and are usually not even aware of it.
A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder has a grand sense of self and has difficulty accepting criticism, which is the main reason why they don’t understand their mistakes as a parent once they are there. is facing.
Unfortunately, if a child often encounters gas parents throughout their growth, it certainly takes its toll on their mental health.
A child lit by gas can grow into an adult struggling with insecurity, anxiety, aggression, paranoia, abusive relationships, etc.
Gas parents signs
1. Blame a child
The truth is, children learn their behavior from their parents.
Whenever a child does something that a parent considers “bad” they should ask themselves whether they are subconsciously doing something on a regular basis that would cause a child to do such a thing.
There is no point in blaming the child, who is just exploring life and trying to find his place in the world.
They are not here to do everything perfectly, they are not here to meet someone else’s standards or to be ashamed of who they are.
There are so many other ways to show a child or youth the consequences of their actions without blaming them directly, especially if they are not aware that the consequences are beyond their control.
Understanding and support should always come before blaming.
2. Decide what a child likes and dislikes
Many parents make this mistake and it is one of the biggest and easiest to get rid of.
Before their child even has time to decide whether or not he likes something, he does it for him.
Sometimes, even when the children decide for themselves, the parent ignores their decision and does whatever they intend to do anyway.
Of course, it’s no surprise that this child grows into an adult with decision-making issues.
Decision making is one of the most important things children should learn in order to grow into healthy adults.
How do you bring up children to make good decisions instead of taking the decision out of their hands?
Of course, a child cannot be fully responsible for every decision of his youth.
However, their parents should present them with the options and choices before they express their own thoughts and wishes when it comes to deciding.
The other thing is that parents need to know that kids sometimes make bad decisions and that’s okay. It is a process of maturity.
3. Ignoring a child’s experiences
Sadly, there are so many cases where family members dismiss a child’s experiences simply because they weren’t there to see that something happened or because they simply believe that the child imagines things.
It is very hurtful and overwhelming for a child. Just imagine going to someone you totally trust, just to find out that they don’t believe you or think your experience is important.
This is why a child can lose trust in a parent in the first place.
Yes, children are imaginative, but what they feel and experience should be taken seriously.
Ignoring a child’s experiences can cause a child to not trust their own perception later in life.
In other words, a child becomes a victim of gaslighting which makes them question their own sanity.
4. Making fun of a child’s ideas
Somewhere adults forget what it means to be a child in the process of adulthood.
They forget that it is a completely different state of being, full of new experiences, without having to worry about the things of mundane life.
Children naturally have vivid imaginations as they are just beginning to explore the world.
Their ideas are sometimes brilliant and sometimes silly and funny. It’s normal.
What is not normal are abusive parents who laugh at their children for their ideas, opinions and observations …
As an adult, even if your child says something that doesn’t make sense, or that is impossible or completely wrong, instead of laughing at or scolding them, you need to educate them.
The trivialization of a child’s feelings is a cause of low self-confidence and self-doubt later in life.
5. Not recognizing the feelings of a child
A child having the feelings ridiculed or not taken seriously is one of the worst and most painful things that can happen.
For example, if a child is afraid of something (like the dark, bugs, heights, etc.) and the parent says phrases like, “Stop being a baby!” they invalidate the child’s emotions.
In other words, they tell the child that his emotions are neither important nor normal.
It’s no surprise that children see their actions as weak and blame themselves when there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Instead of belittling a child’s emotions, parents should be there for their child and try to figure out what exactly was making them uncomfortable.
A parent should respect their child’s emotions, even if they don’t understand them.