Nia Fia
Version 2.014

"The function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential."
~ Bruce Lee

controlling parents

After experiencing an incident this weekend at my parents, I decided to investigate the dynamics of my relationship with my parents.


1)  You Aren't Responsible For What Your Parents Did To You As a Child, They Are

2)  You Are Responsible For What You Do With Your Life Now, Your Parents Aren't

Healing from growing up controlled has three steps:

Step One: Emotionally leaving home by separating from the hurtful aspects of your upbringing, parents and family role.

Step Two: Bringing balance to your relationship with your parents.

Step Three: Redefining your life.

Emotional healing is like physical healing. If you cut your finger, you clean the wound and protect it from infection with a bandage. If you break your leg, you set the bone and wear a cast to protect from further trauma. This allows your body’s natural healing process to work.

It’s the same with emotional healing. When you’re emotionally wounded by a controlling childhood, "cleaning" the wound means facing your true past and speaking about it. And the "bandage" or "cast" that protects these wounds from further injury is emotionally leaving home. This doesn’t necessarily mean a physical separation from your parents, but it may entail letting go of counterproductive links with them and your upbringing.

You cannot mend a broken bone faster by telling it to "heal quicker." Healing a broken leg means wearing a cast, which can make walking difficult. Similarly, emotional healing may mean changes in habits that at first feel awkward.

Like physical healing, emotional healing can happen 24 hours a day without conscious effort. You may not know exactly how a cut heals; you just notice that each day it gets a little healthier. Similarly, people who begin emotionally separating from a controlled upbringing frequently notice over time that they develop more positive values and a greater sense of freedom, often without knowing precisely how.

Emotional separation opens the way for you to bring balance to your relationship with your parents, whether they are living or dead. Emotional separation also permits you to redefine your life and yourself in terms of who you really are and where you really want to go, not in terms of your parents or your past.


Characteristics of Healthier vs. Controlling Families



Healthier Families

Controlling Families

Nurturing Love
bulletParental love is relatively constant
bulletChildren get affection, attention, and nurturing touch
bulletChildren are told they are wanted and loved
Conditional Love
bulletParental love is given as a reward but withdrawn as punishment
bulletParents feel their children "owe" them
bulletChildren have to "earn" parental love
bulletChildren are seen and valued for who they are
bulletChildren’s choices are accepted
bulletChildren are treated as parental property
bulletParents use children to satisfy parental needs
Open Communication
bullet Speaking honestly is valued more than speaking a certain way
bulletQuestioning and dissent are allowed
bulletProblems are acknowledged and addressed
Stifled Speech
bullet Children are told things like "Don’t ask why" and "Don’t say no"
bulletQuestioning and dissent are discouraged
bulletProblems are ignored or denied
Emotional Freedom
bulletIt’s okay to feel sadness, fear, anger and joy
bulletFeelings are accepted as natural
Emotional Intolerance
bulletStrong emotions are discouraged or blocked
bulletFeelings are considered dangerous
bulletChildren’s potentials are encouraged
bulletChildren are praised when they succeed and given compassion when they fail
bulletChildren feel on trial
bulletChildren are criticized more than praised
Consistent Parenting
bulletParents set appropriate, consistent limits
bulletParents see their role as guides
bulletParents allow children reasonable control over their own bodies and activities
Dogmatic or Chaotic Parenting
bulletDiscipline is often harsh and inflexible
bulletParents see their role as bosses
bulletParents accord children little privacy
Encouragement of an inner Life
bulletChildren learn compassion for themselves
bulletParents communicate their values but allow children to develop their own values
bulletLearning, humor, growth and play are present
Denial of an Inner Life
bulletChildren lack compassion for themselves
bulletBeing right is more important than learning or being curious
bulletFamily atmosphere feels stilted or chaotic
Social Connections
bulletConnections with others are fostered
bulletParents pass on a broader vision of responsibility to others and to society
Social Dysfunction
bulletFew genuine connections exist with outsiders
bulletChildren are told "Everyone’s out to get you"
 I've chosen the following from a list of
8 styles of controlling parents:

Smothering Terrified of feeling alone, Smothering parents emotionally engulf their children. Their overbearing presence discourages independence and cultivates a tyranny of repetition in their children’s identities, thoughts and feelings.


Abusing Perched atop a volcano of resentment, Abusing parents verbally or emotionally bully — or physically or sexually abuse — their children. When they’re enraged, Abusing parents view their children as threats and treat them accordingly.


Childlike Feeling incapable or needy, Childlike parents offer their children little protection. Childlike parents, woefully uncomfortable with themselves, encourage their children to take care of them, thereby controlling through role-reversal.

Perfectionistic Paranoid about flaws, Perfectionistic parents drive their children to be the best and the brightest. These parents fixate on order, prestige, power and/or perfect appearances.