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Published on Jul 28, 2022
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Juliya Smith

7 Signs Of Controlling Parents |

When it comes to parenting, how do you deal with your kids? Are you a strict parent, lenient parent, or controlling parent? Or do you go for gentle parenting? Parents always want to give their kids the best life and decision, but sometimes things might go wrong when you are a dominant parent.

What are the signs of controlling parents, and how to cope as an adult? Controlling kids is essential as it is the best way to let kids know what is wrong and right for them. However, dominating kids on everything, attacking them, and telling them this and that without listening to what they want is completely wrong.


Similarly, it is extremely difficult to cope as an adult when you have controlling parents. If you go against what parents say, you look undisciplined and irresponsible. On the other hand, if you go with their decision every time, you can never explore your best side and can never develop your personality.

Let’s jump into different signs of controlling parents and how to cope as an adult? But before starting with the basics, what is controlling parenting?

What is Controlling Parenting?

Controlling parenting simply means nurturing kids in a fully controlled way. Controlling parenting is also known as authoritarian parenting, where parents are more focused on encouraging fully disciplined and responsible kids. Such emphasis is required but keeping aside the kid's needs and requirements is irrelevant.

Those controlling parents set strict ground rules and regulations for kids and ensure those rules are exercised properly. The majority of the kids who are under authoritarian parenting fail to discover their sense of self.

Letting them not be independent, demanding conformity, giving punishments, and not letting them make their own decisions is what controlling parents do.

7 Signs Of Controlling Parents

Invading kids' privacy and taking full control of it are two different things. When your kid reaches a certain age, you have no authority to completely control their life as it is often irritating and illogical. If you are confused about what type of parenting style you exercise, learn the 7 signs of controlling parents.

1. Make decisions

One of the most basic signs of controlling parents is when they take all the decisions in your life. Scheduling a daily routine for kids, such as mealtime, studying time, bedtime, playtime, etc., is normal.

But, things get worse when you’re an adult and parents decide which course to study, where to go, what types of friends to make and how many to make.

It is normally seen that parents decide their kids choose science over management or arts. Helping them define how specific subjects are beneficial over others is good, but making decisions about what they need to study alone is not logical. Ask what your kid wants, and respect their choice as well.

2. Manage your Responsibilities

It's on parents to make their kids responsible from an early age. Now that you have raised a responsible kid, why do you still prefer to manage their responsibilities when they turn into adults? Do you doubt your parenting style? For an adult, telling them to do this and act as they want makes you look irritating and controlling.

Moreover, poking them for doing their chores, such as doing assignments, telling them to clean their room, or managing pieces of stuff, is irritating. And things get worse when you control them on financing things. Hence, parents managing kids' responsibilities is another sign of controlling parents.

3. Criticize Kid’s Choice

Do your parents criticize you for almost everything? If yes, your parents are controlling you. Such parents keep poking whatever you do, whether they like it or not.

For instance, even if you clean your room or the whole space, they still search for things to criticize about. From dressing sense to making friends, they speak negatively directly on your face.

4. Invade the privacy

Likewise, one of the worst signs of controlling parents is privacy invasion. Controlling kids and letting them know what is wrong and right is different. A parent-kid relationship will be questionable when you’re an adult and your parents don't allow you to have private time.

A few privacy invasion activities include asking adults what they did the whole day, whom they met, stuff they did, and so on. You're under control even if you reach the appropriate age to use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and your parents keep an eye on social media activities without letting you know.

Hence, privacy invasion ruins the relationship between parents and kids.

5. Manipulate You

If your parents keep manipulating you to believe what they do is good for you even when you are an adult, then you’ve controlling parents.

They make you feel as if you don’t follow what they want; then you will be in trouble. Besides, parents sometimes use emotional manipulation techniques by claiming their actions are only for their betterment.

6. Lack of Empathy

Additionally, a lack of empathy is another sign of controlling parents. Such parents are never satisfied with you and always complain about everything without understanding the effort and time you invest. They never appreciate who you are and whatever you’re trying to be better in life.

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For instance, they never acknowledge your effort if you get good academic grades compared to the previous grade. Instead of praising your investment in the study, controlling parents still argue with the statement, “you could have done better.”

7. Playing Guilt

Have you ever felt guilty about anything when you go against your parent’s decision? Well, playing on guilt is another sign of authoritative parenting. They make you believe you’re always wrong and doubt your choices.

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A statement that such parents commonly use is, “you’re likely to face certain consequences if you go against me,” “you’ll realize that I was right when I;m dead,” and “No matter how good a nurturing environment I created, you fail to respect me back” and so on.

How to Cope with Controlling Parents as an Adult?

Dealing with controlling parents is extremely difficult, and it is so because you worry if you unintentionally hurt your parents. Although it is tough, you need to let your parents control you. Here are some of the tips on how to cope with controlling parents as an adult.

i. Talk to them

The most effective way to deal with controlling parents is by talking to them directly about the issue. It is normal to feel angry when you face denial from parents, but instead of shouting at them for such behavior, stay calm and let them know how you’ve been controlled.

They perceive it as disrespectful if you behave aggressively, whatever you say.

Let them know the importance of developing their personality and attitude. You need to be clear on the expectations your parents have for you and vice versa. Tell them their controlling behavior is suppressing your interest, and you’re not happy with their interference. Such confrontation will develop a healthy relationship with parents.

ii. Learn Parent's Behavior

If you don’t want to talk directly to parents about their controlling nature, the other thing you can do is learn their behavior to know the reason for control. Dominating behavior is disturbing, but there may be specific reasons from your parent's side.

They might not want you to fall for the wrong company, they want to be in contact with you, or they don’t want to lose you. After you’ve analyzed the behavior and reason behind your parent’s behavior, you can talk to them during the appropriate time.

iii. Set your Boundaries

Setting boundaries is the best way to cope as an adult with controlling parents. Make your parents clear on the things where they can interface or not. Tell them the importance of your privacy and tell them an invasion of privacy makes you feel controlling and disappointing.

iv. Create Space

If you stay away from your parents and if they still try to control you, you need to create space. Try to contact them less. Such an act of yours might suddenly worry them, so to be on the safe side, let them know you have a busy schedule.

v. Show your Emotional Side

Boosting up confidence by showing an emotional side to parents is another effective way to deal with their controlling nature. Identify who you are and what you need, and go according to your decision. But, make sure you convince your parents by showing what you choose to do is better for you.


Which parenting style is better for a kid's growth, authoritative or the one where the parents behave gently? With no second thought, gentle parenting is much better because if there is no dominating character none of the people feel disappointed. I hope the article “7 signs of controlling parents” is helpful.

Let us know how the information on controlling parents and tips to cope with them helped you through the comment section below. Also, share other methods on how you deal with dominating parents. Feel free to express your experience with different types of parenting styles.

Frequently Asked Questions

I. What are the psychological effects of controlling parents?

Controlling parents disrupts the mental and emotional condition of kids. Some psychological effects of controlling parents include anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, etc.

II. How do you know if you have controlling parents?

If they set high expectations from you, sound unreasonable, give punishment on everything, and show no respect to you, then you have controlling parents.

III. How do controlling parents cause anxiety?

Kids who have controlling parents find it difficult to adjust to social situations. Since they cannot explore their abilities, they won't be able to learn social skills, decision-making skills, self-awareness skills, communication skills, etc. such inabilities increase stress on kids and adults, and as a result, they have to deal with anxiety.

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