The Mating Grounds

Surviving Controlling Parents: Signs Impact and Strategies for Positive Change

Signs of Controlling Parents

Do you often feel like your parents control your every move? Like you can’t do anything without their approval or say so?

Maybe you do things just to please them rather than doing what truly makes you happy. If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your parents are likely to have controlling tendencies.

Here are some signs to look out for:

Seeds of self-doubt

Do your parents often make you doubt your abilities or decisions? This is one common way of exerting their control on you.

Controlling parents have a tendency to make you feel dependent on them. They make you feel like you can’t do anything without their input.

And this can create a sense of helplessness that can carry on into adulthood.

Unrealistic expectations

Do your parents expect you to be perfect at everything you do? Do they set standards that you can’t possibly meet?

This can be a sign of controlling parents. They can have unrealistic expectations of what you can achieve.

They may want you to live the life they imagine for you, rather than what you may want for yourself.

Public criticism

Controlling parents may belittle or scold you in public. This is one way of showing you that they are in control.

They want to put you down and make others see that they are in charge.

Public criticism can be humiliating and can affect your self-esteem and confidence.

Manipulation by threats

Threats and emotional blackmail are also common tactics used by controlling parents. They may use fear as a way of making you comply with their will.

You may get what you want, but it’s only because they want you to feel that they are doing you a favor. Such threats can create an atmosphere of tension and anxiety in the home.

Disrespectful behavior

Controlling parents may disrespect your boundaries by interfering in every aspect of your life. They may meddle in your friendships, your relationships, or your career choices.

This can impede your growth and autonomy. They may also be rude or dismissive in their communication, which can be demoralizing and dehumanizing.

Tips for Dealing with Controlling Parents

If you have controlling parents, know that you are not alone. Here are some tips that can help you deal with them:

Letting go of the need to please

One of the most challenging things about having controlling parents is feeling like you have to please them all the time. But you don’t have to! You don’t have to measure your worth by their approval.

You are your person, and you owe it to yourself to discover what truly makes you happy. Validation comes from within, not from pleasing others, especially if those others are your parents.

Accepting parents as they are

Another way of dealing with controlling parents is by accepting them as they are. Your parents may not change, but you can change how you react to them.

Accept that they may never live up to your expectations, and don’t try to change them. Instead, focus on what you can control, your own behavior and attitude.

By accepting their limitations, you free yourself from the need to change them. Sometimes, acceptance is the best form of love.

Establishing boundaries

This may be the most critical step in dealing with controlling parents. Boundaries are essential to your mental health and wellbeing.

Set up boundaries that protect you from their controlling tendencies. Let them know what behaviors are unacceptable, and what actions you will take if they cross those lines.

Be consistent in enforcing your boundaries. If they know you mean what you say, they’ll be less likely to cross those boundaries in the future.

Emotion regulation

Managing your emotions is another way of dealing with controlling parents. Emotional self-control can help you catch yourself before reacting impulsively.

If they say or do something hurtful, pause, take a deep breath, and count to ten before you react. This gives you time to reflect on what they’ve said or done, and to decide on an appropriate response.

By maintaining your calmness in the face of provocation, you demonstrate your emotional maturity and self-worth.

Acknowledging the struggle

Finally, it’s essential to acknowledge that dealing with controlling parents can be a challenging and painful journey. But remember, you are not alone.

Other people have gone through the same thing you are going through. Seek validation from supportive friends or a therapist who can provide encouragement and offer practical solutions to help you persevere.


Having controlling parents can be stressful and debilitating, but it’s something we can overcome. By recognizing the signs, accepting and establishing boundaries, and managing our emotions, we can create a healthier relationship with them.

We have the power to choose how we act, the words we use, and the boundaries we set. We don’t have to be victims of their control or influence.

We can take control of our lives and create the life we deserve.


Having controlling parents can have a significant impact on our emotional well-being, self-worth, and overall quality of life. It’s essential to recognize the signs of controlling behavior, such as public criticism, manipulation by threats, unrealistic expectations, and seeds of self-doubt.

When we identify these behaviors in our parents, we can take steps to manage our emotions, set boundaries, and establish positive change in our relationship with them.

Impact of Controlling Parents

Growing up with controlling parents can have a lasting impact on our lives. It can cause us to doubt our decisions, feel hesitant to take risks, and have difficulty trusting others.

We may also find ourselves constantly seeking approval, even into adulthood. Controlling parents can cause us to feel trapped, like we have no say in our own lives.

It can make it hard to express our true feelings, and we may develop a habit of hiding our thoughts and emotions from others. Controlling parents can also lead to self-blame.

We may think that their behavior is our fault or feel guilty for things we haven’t done wrong. This self-blame can manifest in feelings of worthlessness or depression.

It can be challenging to confront controlling behavior due to fear of retaliation or guilt for causing problems within the family.

Strategies for Positive Change

Dealing with controlling parents can be challenging, but it is essential to remember that change can happen. We can take steps to improve our relationship with our parents, set boundaries, and find ways for positive change to occur.

One essential strategy for positive change is to show love to our parents, even when we disagree with their behavior. We can display understanding and compassion for their points of view while maintaining our own boundaries.

By communicating in a respectful manner, we can let them know how their actions impact us on an emotional level. It’s also crucial to practice self-love and self-care.

We need to recognize and acknowledge our own worth and value as individuals. This self-love can help us build our confidence and self-esteem, which can give us the strength to confront controlling behavior as it presents itself.

Setting and maintaining boundaries is crucial for our mental health and well-being. We can establish clear boundaries that are non-negotiable and communicate these boundaries to our parents.

By having defined lines of what is acceptable behavior, we can protect ourselves from the harmful effects of their controlling tendencies. Finally, it’s important to seek support from other family members, friends, or a licensed therapist.

Having a support system in place can provide us with a safe space to share our thoughts and feelings and seek advice on how to manage our relationship with our parents. In conclusion, dealing with controlling parents can be a complex and challenging experience.

But by recognizing the signs of controlling behavior, showing love and compassion, practicing self-love and self-care, maintaining boundaries, and seeking support, we can establish a relationship that is healthier and more balanced. It’s essential to remember that changing the dynamics of our relationship with our parents takes time, effort, and perseverance.

However, the effort is worth it, as it can lead to greater emotional freedom and a richer quality of life. In conclusion, whether we are dealing with controlling parents or any other challenging life circumstance, recognizing the signs of unhealthy behavior, establishing boundaries, and practicing self-love and self-care are critical for our emotional well-being and overall quality of life.

By acknowledging the impact that controlling parents can have on us, we can begin to take steps towards positive change. It’s essential to remember that we have the power to set boundaries that protect us from the negative effects of controlling behavior, and we can establish healthier relationships by communicating with compassion and love.

We are in control of our own lives, and with the right support and guidance, we can create the lives we truly desire.

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