How do we teach our children about TOXIC relationships?


I wish I had been taught about manipulative, narcissistic, psychopaths early on.  I have wanted to write a post about my experience.  Our children need to be taught, and I hope that my post will open the door for discussion early on in their development  as kind and wondrous little people, in such a way as to not make them fearful but aware.

I honestly can't remember where I went wrong when and guess I was naive like most young women.  I believed that everyone in this world tried to be as good as possible in life.  I unfortunately met a very awful man and it became absolutely destructive.  I know if I would have met him at 30 I would never have given him the time of day.  However meeting him at 17, different story.

To be honest I knew nothing of abuse simply because I was raised in a loving family where I never experienced anything to be wary of.  To be honest, my parents also had never met someone as awful in their life, so they were not ready for the years to come.

I had never actually met a individual in an abusive relationship at this point.  I never understood it.  I always was confident and had an attitude "why would anyone stay with in abusive situation?"  I never understood it.  However sadly, now I do.  This is something I felt I needed to share because not only did my family not know how to deal with it, neither did I.

We need to teach our children about these people that exist. We need to teach them about the signs to be aware of.  We need to teach them that love doesn't hurt and that there is plenty of fish in the sea.  I'm a big believer now to let your children date.  This sounds shocking.  However teaching them to be able to spot a bad relationship and to move on is a learnt skill.  Teaching them about safe dating and to protect their hearts is so important.

I have taken a good long time to heal.  I have gotten help.  I have a very incredible relationship and to be honest I can actually appreciate it now having been in such a toxic one.

Unfortunately there is more and more of these toxic individuals out there.  I regularly open up to women who share stories of their sisters, friends, or even family who have either been in a toxic relationship or are even currently still in one.  I'm learning now that it is a huge problem to have our guard down when meeting someone so awful.

Here are a few things to discuss with your children and for you to also be prepared for them to run into someone so toxic and how to help them understand the signs.

Jealousy -  First sign.  Teach your children that the moment a person is very jealous to literally walk away.  Jealousy is not love.  Unfortunately some of us believe that shows that a person really cares.  This is so wrong.  A caring person who is confident and treats their partner right has no need to be jealous.  Being called awful names for having friends that are of the opposite sex is a horrible sign these individuals are insecure and going to try to kill your confidence in order to break you.

Control - They try to make you feel guilty for so many things.  This can be something so simple as the first night you go out without them.  You lose all sense of alone time because it no longer exists.

Lies - this is something I will instill in my children.  I DO NOT LIE TO THEM!!! No matter what. I may slightly sensor my answers based on age.  There is some things children are not ready to hear however I do not lie.  I respect them and they respect me.  I have answered questions with "when you are older I will explain that to you but right now you are too young"  Don't teach them that there are acceptable lies.  Teach them that even some of the little lies add up.  The first time I was lied to by a man that I thought loved me I had a really hard time.  It actually destroyed me.  I made excuses every time he cheated, spent money, or even made me lie to my own friends and family.

Trying to change you - what I still have yet to really understand is why these toxic people just don't hunt out a partner they don't have to change.  I do know that it's part of their toxic manipulative game.   Sometimes they make you wear clothes or shoes you don't want to, or want you to change the clothing you already wear, change your friends, or even try to make you think different are out there.  Strength in loving yourself and knowing who you are is hard when you are young and establishing your own self.

Emotional Abuse is still abuse - Many of us don't see the first signs of abuse because it doesn't come with bruises.  Trust me, they start slow.  Very methodical.  First by making you feel you are ugly or not worthy.  However when they begin with this abuse they follow it up with an apology or a insincere compliment.  It's a game.  Once they have hurt you once and you have forgiven them you have lost.  Lost at their manipulation game and it goes down hill from there.

You can not discuss relationship problems - This was the kicker for me.  He had actually told me to never discuss our problems with anyone because "every ones relationship is the same nobody talks about it"  He actually had me convinced that everyone had a sad relationship like us,  and that I never should discuss things and I should make him look better so people like him more.  I remember the first time I actually got the guts to really ask a friend some open questions I began to learn that in fact healthy relationships are nothing like what I am going through.  I had even asked a buddy of mine for an honest guy opinion and he was shocked with what I was living in.  Actually sickened to know that I was able to function on the outside with such a crazy toxic relationship hiding behind the doors.

It continues to be a cycle and unfortunately these toxic people can continue to produce toxic children just like them so unless we teach our children how to spot them before love blinds them, they will unfortunately go through something so very hard.

Going through a toxic relationship is the hardest thing I have had to overcome.  Please take the time to explain and teach your children.  We are raising our children to be a good addition to this world, not individuals who go through this world on a destructive path destroying everyone in the their way.  My children will know the signs, as well as how to respect and care for others.

I am grateful every day for an incredible husband.  Healthy loving relationships exist I PROMISE.  Don't settle.  Keep looking.  




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