Be A Parent

I'm afraid of being a toxic parent: the testimony of Marie-Claire

Marie-Claire, mother of 8-year-old Hyppolite and 4-year-old Victoire, who defines herself (regretfully) as a "toxic mother". She gives us her testimony ...

When did you realize that you were "toxic"?

I have two children, an 8 year old boy and a 4 year old girl. I feel more toxic with the elder, although it tends to balance more and more with both. I realized that I was still a funny mother for my son when he was in CP. Two weeks after school started, I screamed at him because he could not do his exercise. He began to cry, I think I even insulted and typed him ... Once the anger subsided, I realized that I had terrorized him for not much, a simple exercise .. I had a kind of flashback and saw myself in his place 30 years ago. Parallel to that, I have some friends who have made me think several times: I was hard with my son, too demanding ... a reflection that my mother had too, from his girlfriends.

Why do you think you are "toxic"?

I am "toxic" on many levels: on the one hand, in my relationship with my son, I shout a lot. My son obeys me on the finger and the eye, in a regime of terror. He is afraid of me, I am typing him, I am not patient, I also insult him sometimes for three times nothing. For example, when he spills his glass of water. Of course, the more he is afraid, the more often it will happen, and the more I will get upset. I end up telling him he is stupid and I can not stand it anymore. I often belittle him by saying that he is stupid or asking him to put away his plate "being careful since you are so awkward". I am also in a very conflictual relationship with my husband. We quarrel with the children, and at these times, I always stand between my son and his father-in-law, to defend my son ... I start to pit them against each other despite myself . I have a real feeling of injustice when my son is being disputed by his father-in-law and I feel guilty about preventing him from having a united family life (with his father). So I defend him, my way to make him understand that he is important to me, and that I will always be there for him ... since I do not tell him or rarely.

Are you considering help?

Yes, I see a psychiatrist for over a year. I am followed for my temper tantrums. I know that I am "toxic" and that I harm my children, but anger gets me out of hinges without warning and it is my children who suffer.

How do you envision the future with your children?

To this day, I have the impression of destroying my relationship with them rather than building it ... I am aware of it, but I can not have a relationship such as I would like it, in which I would listen and I would talk to them properly. I am afraid of arriving at very conflictual relationships during adolescence (as was the case with my own parents). I know it's up to me to change, but it's not easy.

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