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If You’re Raised By A Critical Mom And Want To Break The Cycle Try This

If You’re Raised By A Critical Mom And Want To Break The Cycle Try This

If you grew up in a harsh family and your mom was very intolerant of your mistakes, you’ll wanna read this.

Critical moms are prone to nitpicking their kids and are never satisfied when it comes to their performance. They set high and sometimes unachievable goals for their kids and provide no guidance or support.

I’ve been raised by a critical and highly demanding mom. She was quick to point out my failures and flaws but at the same time, she would be completely blind to any accomplishment I would make along the way. I wouldn’t get the applause, ever. It was as if it didn’t happen at all.

Being raised by a critical mom shaped the way I perceive myself as a grown woman and it heavily affects my self-worth. I became hyper-fixated on my mistakes and I failed to see or embrace my strengths.

“I turned out to be highly critical, with anger issues and anxiety.”

Critical upbringing can have lasting impacts on your adult life. You may have high levels of self-criticism, feelings of inadequacy, or low self-esteem. You may struggle with depression, anxiety, and a lack of coping skills. 

You may have difficulties with making decisions, maintaining healthy relationships, and setting boundaries. It can also impact the reward system of the brain, and may even cause eating disorders and negative body image. It will leave scars on your mental wellbeing.

Not to mention the critical inner voice you’ve grown inside yourself, that never gives you a break.

A daughter raised by a critical mom will be insecure even as an adult and think everything she does is never good enough.

Was my mom overly critical?

If she was more focused on your drawbacks and failures rather than encouraging and supporting you, then yes, she was and maybe still is a critical mom.

If she made comments about your looks, criticized you when you put on weight, and never said you look nice, that, my dear, is very critical.

Did she ignore your every success and downplay your accomplishments? 

Did she only see your negative sides?

Did she have unrealistic expectations from you when you were studying?

She never praised you but was very critical when you made a mistake?

Did she use insults and name-calling?

If you answered yes more than three times, your mom was critical indeed. But it doesn’t stop on you.

Being raised by a critical mom can impact your parenting style too

If your mom was critical, you may have become a critical mom yourself. You’ve inherited the perfectionist and demanding attitude, too. 

Millennials tend to ditch the parenting styles of their parents, but it gets more complicated if you grow up being criticized all the time. When a little insecure girl becomes a parent she might subconsciously continue the critical, demanding approach with her kids.

You received no praises for your accomplishments so you’ll probably forget to applaud when your daughter learns how to tie the shoelaces on her own.

As all your mistakes were noticed and pointed out, you may be nitpicking around your kids’ failures. You’ll shout: “You’ve lost your jacket? I can not believe this! I told you a hundred times to look after your belongings”

Some of us will fight the subconscious critical tendencies and choose to be supportive, nurturing, and loving parents we never had. 

Tips on how to break the cycle

If you want to break the cycle of passing criticism onto the next generation, you have to be very introspective and self-aware. Only then can you unlearn the critical concept. 

You must silence the critical voice in your head if you want your kids to be emotionally mature, intelligent, and self-confident.

First, you have to stop being critical of yourself. Then, of your kids too.

Self-reflection can help you a lot here. It means you need to look inside yourself and recognize patterns that shaped you when you were growing up. When you isolate and recognize the specific criticizing impulses in your behavior you’ll be able to train yourself to stop.

Also, train yourself to be positive. As a parent, you must be supportive, encouraging and praise the efforts of your children so they can build healthy self-esteem.

Learn to control your emotions and reactions with mindfulness. Focus, be fully aware of the emotion and the impulse. Then think through and don’t rush your reactions. Remember yourself as a child and how it made you feel.

My work on breaking the cycle is not over yet, but every day I try to be more easy on myself and my kids. 

Recently, I talked to my mom about all this and realized she was critical only because she knew no better. She only wanted me to do good and be successful, and it was the only way she knew. As she was being raised the same way, she saw nothing bad about it.

When I confronted her with all the lingering effects it had on my mental wellbeing she was devastated and shocked. Finally, she understood and apologized to me. We both cried. 

I forgave her as it was not her fault, it was passed on to her from her parents who got it from their parents, and so on. I guess my family needed a more aware generation to finally stop replicating the critical approach.