The median age for millennials in 2022 is around 33 years old. Making the growing portion of this generation currently becoming first-time parents. Millennial Mom is a term being thrown around a lot, as well as Millennial Dad. Typically, when they are referred to it is about something they think needs to be changed. After all, that is what millennials are known for. Trying to change the rules and create new norms.
This might be even more important to a millennial mom who grew up with authoritarian parents. Authoritarian is a parenting style that is known for being narcissistic, bullies, and/or really hard on their children. Nobody should ever have to deal with the abuse of a narcissist. If you grew up with one and are a brand-new parent, it's highly likely that you don't want your child subject to it.
People with an Authoritarian personality type:
- Categorize the world in a black-or-white manner
- Act as tyrants towards those who they deem inferior in rank or weaker in any way
- Adore power and authority
- Believe in aggression towards those who are different
- Have a blind allegiance to conventional beliefs about right and wrong
- Hold a negative view of human nature, and believe that people would all lie, cheat or steal if given the opportunity
- Have the tendency to project their feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability onto a scapegoat or a scapegoated group
According to expert research by psychotherapist Eric Maisel, approximately 25% of the population is authoritarian. These are people who are attracted to the prospect of oppressing others. They are intrusive, and act like there are rules that should not be violated but then break those rules themselves, or do whatever they view as right. They're filled with hatred and their basic desire is to punish others. People don't typically recognize this, because on the surface they are cunning and charming as can be.
Unfortunately, our society does not recognize this as abuse, as it should. Children are powerless against their authoritarian parents, and most times there is no escape. Everyone around them believes their parents are wonderful people, and the children suffer with a horrid truth they can't talk about.
An Ideal Situation For Breaking Away From Toxic Parents
Ideally, physical separation would be put in place. The farther and wider the better. Children of authoritarians may feel safer at a great distance from their parents. Michigan State University research says, this type of parenting simply doesn't work. Boundaries and expectations are healthy and recommended in any relationship, but they need to be balanced with love and respect.
Children with authoritarian parents can't help but get entangled in them. This often continues into adulthood. They are also likely to still feel an obligation towards their parents, and be pressured by other family members to continue to deal, psychologically and emotionally, with their parents. Breaking away, physically, mentally, and emotionally, is likely the best-case scenario for getting their parents out of their head, says Psychology Today.
Self-Awareness Is The Key
The Millennial Mom might first try to understand their parents' behavior. It won't be an easy process, but it is essential in the healing process. Radical acceptance. With the understanding that radical acceptance is not about accepting and tolerating the behavior of the parents; it is about unlearning self-blame and seeing them for who they truly are.
- Acknowledge the pain and hurt your parents caused
- Accept that it is not your responsibility to help your parents improve
- Accept that the odds of your parents changing are zero
Choosing to put distance between one's parent and themselves is painful. Therapy is often needed.
Healing as an adult can be a difficult process. But with the right support, it is possible.