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Bad parenting: How to tell if a parent is controlling

 Different ways controller parents present (Photo: iStock)

There are three types of parenting styles; authoritative, authoritarian and neglectful. Authoritative parents maintain a healthy power dynamic with the child; they nurture, protect and correct.

Neglectful parents are often absent; physically and emotionally. Often a drug addict or a workaholic. The Authoritarian is the controller. He is an autocrat, a dictator and a tyrant.

Let's explore different ways controller parents present:

Micro Managers

Parent-child dynamics is a complex topic; a parent is supposed to assume total control of the child during the formative years and gradually loosen the grip as the child matures.

And it is necessary. A child's immature brain cannot grasp the lurking dangers in our world, control keeps them safe. It saves them from hot stoves, boiling water and deathly highways.

During adolescence through adulthood, the child can independently assess the hazards and take the necessary precautions. This is the point where the parent should fall back and allow the child to be independent and develop an identity.

The Micro-managers, however, never loosen the grip, in fact, it gets firmer as the child ages. They never give privacy, they will go through their children's phones, wallets, purses, room and even emails.

These parents will continue to dictate the dress code, and friend groups while setting unrealistic standards for a child deep in their twenties. They will infringe on a child's love life, and impose or reject marriage partners.

The Manipulators

Manipulators are subtler, calculating and even scheming. They pull emotional strings that completely turn their children into puppets. They are masters of turning tables, an encounter with them will leave you questioning your own sanity. This is called gas-lighting.

You don't want to go on the guilt trip with them, they will leave you feeling hopeless. The child of a manipulative parent may never be able to point out the issue to their parents, but they always have this eerie feeling crawling up their gut.

If you have ever wondered why you're always trapped into doing things you don't really want to do for your parents. Why do you always compromise for them even when it's really inconvenient? Why you can never really say "no" or why you always feel helplessly guilty when you turn them down, you're probably dealing with a manipulative parent.

The Blackmailers

Money and power are the languages of the Blackmailers. Why worry about "losing "your child if you can just buy them off? These ones use money strategically to keep the child under their thumb.

Trapping them will with lavish gifts and opportunities and withdrawing whenever the child does something that displeases them. They are the masters of B.F Skinner's Operant Conditioning.

They will give you everything, a car, a house to live in, and vacations as long as you do everything by their book. The most sinister thing about blackmailers is that they totally disarm their children with their words.

The children totally lose confidence in themselves and believe that it is only "mommy" or "daddy" who can fix things.

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