“Going on a date, even after I turned 16, was not something I could do, unlike other kids my age. In fact, almost all the movements that I made were dictated and monitored as if I were in a prison ”. These words are spoken by a woman whose mother kept her life under the most excessive control, a control that can become a real handicap in the development and emotional stability of people. Today we talk about the negative effects that excessive control can generate in children.
Like narcissistic mothers, very controlling mothers see their children as extensions of themselves rather than as individual beings with their own will over their lives. They are people who project their needs onto their children, whose lives are for them a reflection of their motivations, ambitions and desires..
Very controlling mothers often affirm that they act as such because that is how it should be done, sometimes motivated by a pattern of behavior learned in their own homes through which they come to believe that this way of acting is appropriate. They may believe that they are doing it for the "good" of the children. However, the consequences are completely the opposite. These types of behaviors can also happen when the mother suffers a serious state of anxiety and stress and although their intentions are not bad at first, the mistakes they make can have negative effects on the lives of their children..
Some of the most common behaviors that occur between controlling mothers and their children are:
Constantly reading newspapers, opening emails, letters, books, listening to phone calls, and even rummaging through the trash for signs of "bad behavior." These behaviors are usually described by people whose mothers controlled every last detail of their lives. Lack of respect for privacy has no limits and this is very destructive to the self-esteem of young people and children who end up feeling like people without their own space or the right to privacy..
Constant comparisons with more successful acquaintances fostering children's competitiveness is another clear sign of parents pressuring their children to control them at will. These types of mothers do not motivate their children to achieve their own dreams but to follow their guidelines, belittling them when they fail to achieve certain goals that they themselves have stipulated and canceling their own personalities to fit with what they dictate..
Controlling mothers are never satisfied with what their children do or achieve. The struggle to please them is constant and turns into a deep frustration in the children, that whatever they do they feel invalid before others. In addition to this constant criticism that continues even when the children are already in adult stages, mothers who usually show this behavior are not prone to self-criticism. They usually act as if they are always right, never acknowledging a mistake..
Controlling mothers often use strategies based on manipulating emotions to achieve their goals. Getting children to feel guilty without not acting as they want is quite common and often leads children to become people with feelings of guilt. In addition, the use of lies and plans to get the son or daughter not to follow a specific path is very common..
The effects of a relationship with a hyper-controlling mother can be devastating for children, both in the short and long term. Some of these effects are detailed below:
Some guidelines to ensure that our children have the freedom to grow up in a healthy way and become confident adults are:
The freedom to have their own responsibilities little by little means that children become adults capable of making decisions with coherence and security in themselves, this does not mean separating ourselves completely from young people and ceasing to guide them, but rather giving them space and freedom to become independent people. Getting adults who are emotionally healthy and responsible for themselves is one of the greatest achievements of parenthood and teaching children to control themselves with their own freedom and love is an indispensable condition.
Learning to express your own opinions freely, without fear of criticism or anger is important for people's development. Parents must encourage communication, inform, reason, and guide their children with respect for their own voice and opinion. Imposing ideas and behaviors in a compulsory way only frustrates the development of the future adult.
When parents focus 100% of their lives on caring for their children, they can forget themselves and succumb to excessively obsessive and unstable behaviors. Both parents and children are independent and individual beings who must have their own space, dreams and motivations. This does not mean that parents should not worry or closely care for their children, much less that they should not be loving parents, rather it is about reflecting love and respect for oneself, behaviors that later children will adopt as healthy adults and responsible for their own lives.