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Growing up with a toxic father

Any child’s first superhero is his dad. Fathers are unstated shields that protect their children. But what if that shield itself starts hurting you? Parenting is the foundation of childhood, and childhood is the foundation of life. Our childhood affects our adulthood. Just like any other trauma, growing up with a toxic father leaves negative impacts on the mind too. It becomes difficult for the children to see their role model and protector as a monster.

Fathers are expected to take care of the family and fulfil their responsibilities. When children see their father’s toxic traits, the dreamy bubble bursts. Reality hits them too soon and snatches away their imaginary perfect world, which every kid is allowed to have. Growing up with a toxic father can affect not only childhood but adulthood too. Even if the situation gets better, the impact remains. Here’s what growing up with a toxic father looks like.

No matter what you do, you are never good enough

Initially, you may feel like your father is this way because you are doing something wrong. But you’ll start to notice that no matter what you do or how good you do, it’s never good enough. This is a big demotivation for any kid. You may often start doubting yourself.

You feel bad about your mother

Children growing up with a toxic father will always have sympathy for their mother. If the father is toxic to his children, then he must be way more toxic to his partner. Such children often get close to their mother and have a soft spot for her. Also, this can result in the aggression and outburst of children in the future towards any fatherly figure.


It gets difficult for the children living with a toxic father to see their happy and positive families. It may create a sense of jealousy, which is innocent. It’s about the craving for love, care, and expression that they are being deprived of. Know that you are not wrong to feel this. It is natural.

You don’t know much about yourself

Children growing up with a toxic father often lose their own path in life. They are so accustomed to suppressing emotions that they unknowingly become entangled in all of these traumas. Children believe what their father teaches them and then battle within themselves about every decision. Pondering over what is right or wrong. For years, they may not know who they are, what they like, or what they prefer.

You have been taught that love doesn’t exist

A toxic person sees the outer world just like they are. Children growing up with a toxic father have often been taught that the world is there to just attack them, and they are naive. This restricts the child’s ideology to trusting the outer world and hence affects their relationship with any other person.

Often, children face difficulty in trusting others and believe that no good exists. They only see what they have been taught for years.

Impacts of a toxic father as an adult

Our childhood impacts our adulthood way more than we think. You’ll change schools, cities, and you’ll have different friends. But your family remains constant. And growing up with a toxic father for years will have an impact on your adult life too. Here are some signs that are nothing but the impact of your childhood trauma, which came due to the result of a toxic father.

It’s hard for you to handle failure or criticism

After being criticised your entire childhood by your own father, it gets difficult for to take criticism or failure from anybody else, especially if you are seeking comfort from them. You can’t handle criticism well and start having constant self-doubt. It can get serious, in a negative sense, and you might feel losing all hope.

You have trust issues

Children start learning the process of trusting through their parents only. And after being hurt by their own father, it breaks their foundation of trust. It gets very difficult for such children to trust anybody. They get very insecure and scared of having attachments. They may keep pushing people away from their lives as sort of a coping mechanism.

So if you had a toxic father, maybe that’s where your trust issues are most probably coming from.

Self-care is just a dream for you

Children with a toxic father learn to suppress their emotions so much that they start resisting self-care. They do not believe in sharing their emotions. The habit of being okay with emotional abuse can normalise it in adulthood. People who grew up with toxic fathers are often harsh on themselves.

Lack of confidence

Due to excessive boredom, a child lacks confidence. Such children adjust themselves in their small little worlds and fear crossing the doors that lead them to the outer world with new challenges and opportunities during adulthood. Excessive violence shatters their inner peace and hence the confidence to stand up for themselves or anybody else.

Always guilt-ridden

Children who grew up with a toxic father feel that they are at fault most of the time. The inner self-doubt and constant emotional abuse during childhood can result in excessive guilt during adulthood. You may feel you are at fault all the time cause of your experiences as a kid.


Sometimes, a person is what their circumstances make them. Your actions or behaviour can be a consequence of your childhood trauma. We always want to be different from our toxic parents but end up taking their traits to save ourselves. Observe the pattern. Acknowledge your suffering and put an end to it by doing things differently and bring a change to the whole cycle!

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