LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: 6 toxic traits to avoid as a parent.

We’re all hoping to be the best mom and dad we can be, but many times fall well short of our goal. That’s normal and okay according to child development experts, just as long as parents don’t form any toxic traits that can have serious impacts as their kids grow older.

Doctors say a toxic parent is someone that puts their needs before their child, which can include verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. Toxic behavior can create fear, shame, guilt, or obligation, and leaves children with emotional scars that last a lifetime. So, here are 6 toxic traits that are common and can easily form as a parent, or be passed on that experts say you should recognize and fix:

  • Self-centered behavior. That’s when parents put their priorities first over the needs of their children.
  • Being harshly critical. This is when the child never feels that what they do is ever good enough.
  • The inability to respect boundaries.
  • Expectations of perfection.
  • Overly reactive and dramatic.
  • Verbal abuse. This includes always yelling, name-calling, and blaming your child for things they do.
  • The good thing is this — all of these traits are fixable, especially once you recognize you do one or more of them all the time — and make an effort to change your approach.