Subtle Signs Your Parents are Manipulating You Into Having Kids

Subtle Signs Your Parents are Manipulating You Into Having Kids

“When will you have kids?” is a question some people dread hearing from their parents. The problem with the question is that parents forget there may be legitimate reasons for not wanting kids, (like sleep deprivation). For some parents, it’s innocent. However, other parents express their wish for grandkids by manipulating you. Since manipulation is hard to spot, here are subtle signs your parents may be manipulating you into having kids.

1. They Guilt-Trip you

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Guilt-tripping is convincing someone to do something by shaming them. An example of a guilt-tripping statement is, “So, you’re not going to give me grandkids after everything I have done for you?” According to Very Well Family, if you keep hearing these words, you’ll think you’re doing wrong by not having kids yet. As a result, you may feel pressured to appease your parents and like you don’t have a choice.

2. They undermine Your Career or Anything That Keeps You Busy

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You may not have kids yet thanks to your job’s long hours. If your parents notice your career is delaying you from having children, they may devalue it. For instance, they may scoff at the paycheck you earn. After enough nudging, you may resign from the position. It’s your parents’ hope you will use the time without a job to have a baby. Manipulative.

3. They constantly Bring it up

It’s understandable for parents to bring up the topic if you happen to talk about starting a family. However, some parents bring up the subject of kids when your conversation has nothing to do with children. They may interject by dropping hints or steering the discussion towards the topic. For instance, they may randomly say, “Your friend seems to be so happy since she had kids,” when you’re talking about her career. Though they’re not telling you to have kids, the reminder is meant to pressure you to be like your friend.

4. They dismiss Your Alternative Life Choice(s)

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Some people may opt for alternative life choices, like adopting pets or children. However, not all parents are happy with their kids adopting pets or children since neither is technically a biological grandkid. They feel that a biological grandkid is the only way to pass down their genetic lineage. Therefore, your parents may remind you it’s your duty not to disrupt any blood ties through adoption. At this point, you’ll have to convince your parents that strong connections are possible even when they’re not biological.

5. They Love conditionally

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Parents are supposed to love their kids unconditionally. That means they should meet your needs without reminding you they’re doing you a favor. Sadly, some parents threaten to withdraw their love if you don’t do certain things. One of those things could be failing to give them grandkids. Of course, nobody wants to deal with a parent who no longer loves them, but if they’re threatening to cut you out because you don’t want to start a family, that’s manipulation 101.

6.  They remind You of Societal Expectations

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There’s a certain age people expect you to get married and have kids. If you reach that age with no kid, your parents may remind you that society will mock you for it. On the surface, it appears they care about your well-being by telling you how harsh society can be. In actuality, it’s a clever way of manipulating you into having kids under the facade avoiding societal judgment.

7. They hang money over your head

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Your parents may offer financial support on the condition you have biological kids rather than adopted kids. If you desperately need financial support, you’ll have a dilemma. Should you go with what you want (adoption) or have biological kids to receive financial support? Some people don’t like antagonizing their parents, so they may end up having biological kids to appease them. However, if you prefer adoption, you could remind your parents that you’ll find means of supporting yourself financially without their help.

8. They compare you to Siblings or Relatives

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You would think parents would be satisfied after one of their kids had children. However, some won’t be satisfied until all their kids have their kids. If your sibling has a child, your parents may remind you how happy they are after becoming a parent. Of course, everyone wants to be happy but your version of happiness may not be having kids.

9. They gaslight you

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For reasons known to you, you may opt not to have kids. To dissuade you, some parents may repeatedly question whether you’re sure you don’t want kids. The more they question you, the more you begin to doubt your choice. Once you’re feeling hesitant, your parents may double down and manipulate you to change your perspective entirely.

10. They make you feel obligated

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Ideally, having children should be a personal choice. However, your parents may call you selfish or reprimand you for refusing to carry on the family legacy. Do you want to be the person who caused their lineage to die out? Thanks to this feeling of obligation, you might be manipulated into having a kid.

11. They violate your boundaries

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If you tell your parents you don’t want kids, they should accept your decision without any question. As you already know, not all parents will do that. They may demand that you provide a detailed explanation for why you don’t want kids, reminding you that you owe them an explanation because they birthed you. But remember, you don’t have to provide any more information than necessary.

12. They Invalidate Your Feelings.

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You may not be ready for parenthood due to how challenging it can get. As a result, you may share your concerns with your parents, hoping for some encouragement. Sadly, your parents may downplay your fears by claiming they’ll disappear or change over time. They want you to think your feelings are irrational so you do what they want.

13. They minimize the Challenges of Parenthood

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Like some, you may not want kids because they can be mentally and financially draining. However, your parents may downplay your concerns by saying these challenges are “just a part of life.” Also, they may overemphasize the pros of parenthood over the cons. By downplaying the challenges of parenthood, they’re trying to manipulate you. As a result, you may have kids and be left to face those very challenges you were trying to avoid.

14. They pressure You Through Your Extended Family

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Some parents know they’ll never convince their kids to have children, no matter what. Therefore, they will involve your extended family as a last resort. They may openly discuss in front of your relatives how sad they feel you won’t have kids. Here is where your extended family may scold you for making your parents unhappy by choosing not to fulfill your parent’s wishes

15. They undermine Your Autonomy

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Adults should be able to make their own decisions. Some parents agree with that notion until it concerns having kids. They may undermine your decision-making abilities by criticizing your decision not to have children. By constantly criticizing you, you’ll lose confidence in your ability to make decisions regarding having kids or any other matter. As a result, you may be dependent on your parents for things you should decide for yourself.

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Miles has been fond of writing since he was 15 years old. His interest in writing was all thanks to his English teacher giving the class constant essays to write. Initially, he was all about writing fiction. Soon, he became interested in writing about lifestyle and relationships when he was 23. Since then, he hasn't stopped writing about these subjects.
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