The consequences of having a controlling mother

The consequences of having a controlling mother

“Going on a date, even after I turned 16, was not something I could do, unlike the other boys my age. In fact, almost all the movements I made were dictated and monitored as if I were in a prison. ” These words are pronounced by a woman whose mother kept her life under the most excessive control, a control that can become a true handicap in the development and emotional stability of people. Today we talk about the negative effects that excessive control can generate on children.


  • 1 Characteristics of a controlling mother
  • 2 Behaviors of controlling mothers
  • 3 Effects of excessive control on children
  • 4 What guidelines to follow to give children freedom

Characteristics of a controlling mother

Like the narcissistic mothers, very controlling mothers see their children as extensions of themselves more than as individual beings with their own will over their lives. They are people who project their needs into their children, whose lives are for them a reflection of their motivations, ambitions and desires.

Very controlling mothers often state that they act as such because this is how it should be done, sometimes motivated by a pattern of behavior learned in their own homes through which they come to believe that this way of acting is appropriate. They may believe that they do it for the "good" of the children. However, the consequences are completely contrary. This type of behavior can also happen when the mother suffers a serious state of anxiety and stress and although their intentions are not bad at first, the mistakes they make can have negative effects on the lives of children.

Behaviors of controlling mothers

Some of the most usual behaviors that occur between the relationships of controlling mothers and their children are:

Constant invasion of children's privacy

Read newspapers constantly, open emails, letters, books, listen to phone calls and even dig through the garbage looking for some indication of "bad behavior." These behaviors are usually described by people whose mothers controlled every detail of their lives. The lack of respect for privacy has no limits and this is very destructive to the self-esteem of young people and children. that end up feeling like people without their own space or right to their own privacy.

Pressure and pursuit of perfection

The constant comparisons with more successful acquaintances promoting children's competitiveness is another clear sign of parents who pressure their children to control them as they please. These types of mothers do not motivate their children to achieve their own dreams but to follow their guidelines, detracting them when they fail to achieve certain objectives that they themselves have stipulated and nullifying their own personalities to fit what they dictate.

Constant criticism and lack of self-criticism

Controlling mothers they are never satisfied with what their children They do or get. The struggle to please them is constant and it becomes a deep frustration in the children, whoever they do, they feel invalid before others. In addition to this constant criticism that continues even when children are already in adult stages, mothers who usually show this behavior are not prone to self-criticism. They usually act as if they were always right, never recognizing a mistake.

The use of manipulation as a weapon

Controlling mothers often use strategies based on the manipulation of emotions to achieve their goals. Getting children to feel guilty without not acting as they wish is quite common and usually makes children become guilty people. In addition, the use of lies and plans to ensure that the son or daughter does not follow a specific path is very common.

Effects of excessive control on children

The effects of a relationship with a hyper-controlling mother can be devastating on children, both short and long term. Some of these effects are detailed below:

  • Often, people who have led a life completely controlled by their mothers can develop poor relationships with other people. This is because they feel very insecure and ashamed of themselves, so that the reactions of others can overwhelm them.
  • They may not be able to act maturely in their relationships, since they have not learned how to manage their own emotions or their thoughts, since these have never been a priority, but rather annoying to others. In addition, the ability to decide for themselves has been canceled, so connecting and intimately realizing with other people creates a great difficulty.
  • The aggressiveness and hostility They may surface in these people due to feeling and insecurity and lack of ability to handle emotions.
  • People who grow up being influenced by these types of adult models can reach become codependent beings who try too hard to make others happy as a currency to “deserve” the love of others. This means that they can lie and deny facts to constantly please others, denying their own personality that they sometimes do not even know.

What guidelines to follow to give children freedom

Some guidelines to ensure that our children are free to grow up healthy and become self-confident adults are:

Offer children the greatest possible independence

The freedom to have their own responsibilities gradually allows children to become adults capable of making decisions with consistency and self-assurance, this does not mean separating completely from young people and stop guiding them, but give them space and freedom to become independent people. Getting emotionally healthy and responsible adults is one of the greatest achievements of fatherhood and teaching children to control themselves with freedom and love, is an indispensable condition.

Let young people have their own voice

Learn to express your opinions freely, without fear of criticism or anger is important for the development of people. Parents should encourage communication, inform, reason and guide their children from respect for their own voice and opinion. Imposing ideas and behaviors in a mandatory way only frustrates the development of the future adult.

Cultivate your own independence as parents

When parents focus 100% of their lives on the care of their children they can forget about themselves and to succumb to excessively obsessive and unstable behaviors. Both parents and children are independent and individual beings who must have their own space, dreams and motivations. This does not mean that parents should not worry or take close care of their children, much less that they should not be loving parents, rather it is about reflecting love and self-respect, behaviors that children will later adopt as healthy adults and responsible for their own lives.

Links of interest

Why You Really Don't Want to Be a Controlling Mother. Susan Merrill //

The Psychological Effect of a Controlling Mother (and How I Dealt With It). Melissa Flagg. 2018. //

The impact of controlling mothers on their sons. Javier Fiz Pérez. 2018. //

How to Deal with a Toxic Controlling Mother. Mike Gamble //

Having controlling parents may affect later relationships. Kathryn Doyle 2014. //