How to deal with toxic parents & family members?

Sanjana is a mother of two bright kids who adore her as much as she adores them. She has created a loving haven of peace within her home. Her son calls her his best friend and her daughter cannot stop talking about her mother’s sweet gestures. There is a glaring imperfection in this perfect story…

Sanjana’s own parents hate her. Her siblings hate her. Her family detests her and she is the hot topic of gossip whenever they all meet (with or without her).

They have been hostile towards her ever since she remembers.


Sanjana has two choices, soak all the negativity that her parents and siblings give her, or pick herself and move on. She chose the latter. 

How to deal with toxic parents & family members?

Don’t feel guilty or question yourself

Sanjana spent many years in trying to prove her love and loyalty to her parents and siblings. Each time she did so with a hope to win their adulation. Each time things would go right for a while and then out of the blue suddenly she would be blamed, misunderstood, criticised for no-fault. When she finally gave up, she was shrouded in guilt & questioned herself often. Only to realise that it wasn’t her fault & she didn’t deserve the nasty treatment. It took a while to come out of the guilt and self-doubt – HERM really helped. (Scroll down to see what HERM means)


Accept the reality

Yes, its true, toxic parents and family members do exist. And not everyone has parents who love them unconditionally. Sanjana used to find herself feeling depressed about the lack of love. But when she accepted the reality of the situation, she found herself calmer. Through all those gruelling days of depression, she realised that parental or family love is not the only source of love. She had loving friends, colleagues, in-laws, husband & others who loved her and respected her for what she was.


Don’t copy your parent’s behaviour

Sanjana is always mindful of her behaviour towards her own kids. Her parenting style is about everything that she ever wanted from her own parents – unconditional love, a happy and accepting environment & loads of room for children to make mistakes. She ensures that she chides her children for their wrongful behaviour, but ensures she doesn’t condemn them for it.


Encourage your children to love each other – unconditionally

Sure, siblings have arguments and fights. That is normal and to a certain extent healthy. Sanjana ensures that she is neutral whenever they fight and she encourages them to see the other person’s point of view.


Don’t play politics between siblings

Kids love it when their parents take sides. Sanjana doesn’t give in to their fancies. She remains neutral, firm and loving while giving constructive criticism.  She never plays one against the other. As a result, neither kid comes to her bearing false tales nor do they spend their time in cooking strategies to pull each other down.


Invest in HERM – Healthy diet, Exercise, Relaxation & Meditation

It’s so easy for Sanjana to slip into depression. Imagine living a life with no love from parents or siblings. All that she receives are judgements, rebuke, hatred, backbiting and politics. All around her, she is witness to the unconditional love of parents for their own children. It sure is depressing when one doesn’t enjoy that love of one’s own parents. Sanjana chooses to invest her energies in a Healthy Diet, Exercise, Relaxation and Meditation. She knows that it keeps her sane.


Friends, it’s easy to succumb to the excuse, ‘my parents were mean to me so I don’t really know how to be nice to my kids. They will hate me anyways.’ Just as Sanjana made a choice, you too have a choice. You don’t have to be the very same parent you hated. You don’t need to be mean, rude and resentful towards your own children. I am hoping this post helps you to cope with your negativity & channelize it into a beautiful, positive bond between you and your children.

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Do share this blog post with anyone who needs a positive dose of motivation. Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.

Penned by:

Mayura Amarkant 

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