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The corrosive practice of constantly criticising family members

“My dad has never seen anything good in me. He constantly keeps saying I am just eating his food and putting on weight. It makes me feel so low” the son of the family.

“I do everything possible to please my mom but it is never enough. She endlessly compares me to a cousin of mine and puts me down” the daughter’s voice.

“None of my family members appreciate the work I do. I never seem to earn enough for them. My value seems to be only because I put ‘some’ bread on the table” the father’s lament.

“I gave up my career and devoted to raise the family. But I am never good enough. I am not a ‘cool mom’ my children would like or I am not upto date with the world for my husband. I wonder who glorified marriage and motherhood’ the mother’s woe.

In different shapes or form this is the complaints from the family members. Each one criticising the other and no doubt the family atmosphere is always tense with everyone walking on egg shells all the time. It had become almost a daily pattern of looking for some criticism to flow one’s way from one or the other family members. No one happy and everyone waiting to get out of home and find peace in the outside world and dreading the time to come back home. Children generally tend to imitate the adults around them. If they find the parents are constantly criticising each other and pulling one another down through the day, in one way or the other they ‘normalize’ that behaviour and adapt it leading to the next generation following the trodden path of being critical of everything and everyone around them.

The only way to put a stop to this is to become conscious of the pattern of behaviour and forcefully put a stop to it.

I started with the couple and they gave an undertaking of not criticising each other for a month one day at a time. A reminder text sent once a day to them. It was a humongous effort for them to restrain themselves. But at the end of one month they realised that the house was more peaceful and welcoming than ever before. The pact was extended to the children. It is still a work in progress but when everyone makes a contribution to reduce the toxicity then results happen. The complaints, the personalities have been altered for the post.

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