11 Signs You Have An Emotionally Abusive Mother

Last Update on April 15, 2022 : Published on April 13, 2022

A mother and child bond is considered to be the purest and unconditional form of love. But, like every other bond in the world, a mother and child can also share a dark relationship. Many people overlook the signs of an emotionally abusive mother because it’s widely assumed that a mother always does what’s best for her children.

Having emotionally abusive parents is like having someone pierce through your heart every living day of your life just because they want to. Why is it important to specially know the signs of an emotionally abusive mother?

Now, that’s important because we see most mothers take harsh decisions in order to discipline their children. What we fail to realize is, those harsh behaviors sometimes aren’t for the benefit of the children but are rather an act of emotional abuse.

Why Is It Not Easy To Recognise Emotional Abuse Of A Mother?


I have heard many cases where mothers emotionally abuse their children and they term it “tough love”. In fact many emotionally abusive behaviors are accepted by society as a way of parenting. Most mothers don’t even know that they are emotionally abusing their children.

Now, that’s because many people, even today, believe that abuse occurs only when there is physical harm involved. So when mothers administer “tough love” they think they are doing the right thing, in fact many accept being tough with their children with pride.

In many families being lenient with your children is looked down upon, which creates a pressure on them to be strict with their children which eventually leads to emotional abuse. It’s important for children to look for signs of an emotionally abusive mother but what’s more important is for the mother to know if they are being abusive or just strict with their children.

To know if a child is being disciplined or is being emotionally abused, watch out for these 11 signs of an emotionally abusive mother…

11 Signs Someone Has An Emotionally Abusive Mother

1.She is over critical (almost cynical) about you

Most mothers try to be honest with their children and teach them to look at criticism in a constructive way. When you have an emotionally abusive mother, she is over critical about everything you do. It’s like she purposely looks for faults in you and makes an obvious attempt at pointing that out to you.

2.She has an inconsistent attitude towards you

One of the most common signs of an emotionally abusive mother is when she has a very inconsistent mood. One moment she is polite and loving towards you and the other moment she resents you even being born.

3.She manipulates you by making you feel guilty


Guilt is a strong emotion and when you have an emotionally abusive mother, she will choose to exploit you emotionally using guilt. She will make you feel guilty for things and at times you aren’t even at fault.

4.She plays the blame game

An emotionally abusive mother tends to put the blame on her children for all the stress that she has to go through. She might tell you, you’ve brought bad luck to her or you are the reason she has stopped living her life, etc. All in all, you will be blamed for all that’s not right in her life.

5.Silent treatment is the only treatment she gives you


Emotional abuse is all about manipulating and controlling someone against their will. Mothers who emotionally abuse their children usually use silent treatment as a weapon to manipulate and control their children. They will make you beg them for love and attention and make you believe that the silent treatment is because you have hurt your mother.

6.She makes you believe that you are her source of happiness

An emotionally abusive mother is never happy with her children. On top of that she makes you believe that you are supposed to make her feel happy. So, whenever she is unhappy, it’s because you failed at making her happy. No matter how old or young you may be, your emotionally abusive mother will expect you to bring happiness to her and provide her emotional support at all times.

7.Nothing you do is good enough for her

An emotionally abusive mother is never satisfied with the things you do for the house or her. She will always have something to say about you or your work that disappointed her. You are never good enough for her, she is always looking for more from you.

8.She never lets you get things for free

Whatever you have with you right now is in one way or the other earned by you. An emotionally abusive mother always makes her children work for things they need. Even in the case of necessities, if you are being raised by an emotionally abusive mother you’ll have to earn it by doing things she wants you to or doing things that make her happy.

9.She doesn’t let you have any privacy

In a mother-child relationship having healthy boundaries is very important to build a growth promoting environment. But in the case of an emotionally abusive mother, she will invade your privacy without any guilt. In fact she will demand information about all your businesses.

10.She belittles you quite a lot

An emotionally abusive mother will throw verbal abuses and insults at you in the blink of an eye. She will always make you feel small and petty most of the time. These verbal abuses, name calling and insults are a way of emotionally abusive mothers to get you to behave the way they want.

11.She forces you to be someone else

An emotionally abusive mother will try to put you in a box. They will try to make you feel, look and behave like someone you are not. She will not let you be yourself, you’ll always mask yourself with a persona created by your emotionally abusive mother. They want you to be a certain way and they’ll make that happen by hook or by crook.

That’s All Folks!

These are almost all the signs of an emotionally abusive mother. If you have a mother who shows these signs or you are a mother with such attributes make sure you seek professional help.

A child growing up in an emotionally abusive environment is sure to develop one or more mental health conditions or some other tendencies that will stop them from leading a quality life. Every mother-child relationship should be healthy, if it’s not healthy, make enough efforts and changes to turn the relationship into a healthy, growth promoting bond.

I hope this blog helps you understand the signs someone has an emotionally abusive mother. If you have succeeded in identifying signs of an emotionally abusive mother, try and convince them to get professional help.

You can Book An Appointment here to help an emotionally abusive mother and an emotionally abused child get guidance to improve their standard of living.

Thanks For Reading.

Take care and Stay Safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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