11 Signs Of Controlling Parents & How To Cope As An Adult

Not only can having a controlling parent affect your development as a child and adolescent, but parents likely don’t stop being controlling once their child has turned 18. Plenty will still interfere in their children’s lives long into adulthood.

Fundamentally, controlling parents “stunt your own ability to be an autonomous human being, who has a right to make their own mistakes in life,” Tsabary says. As Cullins adds, this behavior “prevents their children from developing the autonomy and independence needed to successfully launch into adulthood.”

In addition to that, a parent who only offered conditional love and acceptance can “stunt their child’s emotional development and make it difficult to envision, develop, or sustain healthy romantic relationships,” Cullins notes. “Children of controlling parents are more likely to become approval-seeking and need external validation.” And that goes for romantic relationships but also in the workplace or with friends.

Oppositely, she adds, these kids can also grow up to become fiercely independent as a defense mechanism and become averse to conformity in adulthood.

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