161 Quotes For Toxic And Selfish Parents

Find solace from your unhealthy home environment with these wise words of comfort.

Reviewed by Roma Williams, LMFT Roma Williams Roma WilliamsLMFT facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Shivani Chandel MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years

Dealing with toxic, controlling, and selfish parents in dysfunctional and toxic family dynamics can be challenging. A child’s mental health is affected when the parents are emotionally detached and unavailable for their kids. Also, some parents burden their children with their dreams and aspirations or neglect them due to work or other preoccupations. Sadly, these neglecting attributes can lead to a toxic and unhealthy environment in the family. In this article, we have listed lines from various poets, writers, and influencers about selfish parents. Check them out below.

Unhealthy Relationship And Selfish Parents Quotes

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  1. “As a parent, you should be more concerned with your child’s happiness than your petty insecurities and jealousies.” – Unknown
  2. “Anyone can have a child and call themselves ‘a parent.’ A real parent is someone who puts that child above their own selfish needs and wants.” – Unknown
  3. “Being a selfish parent is a sign of not having learned from experience.” – Anon
  4. “My parents loved us, but I wasn’t always sure they liked us.” – Tahereh Mafi
  5. “Children shouldn’t have to sacrifice so that you can have the life you want. You make sacrifices so your children can have the life that they deserve.” – Unknown
  6. “Parents forgive their children least readily for the faults they themselves instilled in them.” – Unknown
  7. “Being a parent shouldn’t be when it is convenient for you. It is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year commitment.” – Unknown
  8. “They are not sorry for harming you. So, don’t feel guilty for cutting them off.” – John Mark Green
  9. “If you teach hatred to your children, one day your child will have that hatred reflected back onto them and onto YOU.” – Suzy Kassem
  10. “Just remember when you are ignoring your child, you are teaching them to live without you.” – Unknown
  11. “Selfish parents may someday realize what damage they have done that can never be undone.” – Unknown
  12. “It is the selfish parents who are to blame. Pay attention, be involved in your children’s lives. They are your legacy, your only hope.” – Aaron B. Powell
  13. “They should love you, just as you are. Parents should love their kids, right?” “You’d think so.” – N.R. Walker
  14. “If mental abuse was a punishable crime, a lot of parents would be in jail serving a long term.” – Maddy Malhotra
  15. “Good parenting gives headaches, but bad parenting gives heartaches.” – Shiv Khera
  16. “Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being.” – Kittie Frantz
  17. “We raise predators by treating children as prey.” – Stefan Molyneux
  18. “Put your child’s likes before your selfishness.”– Anonymous
  19. “No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.” – Plato
  20. “If your parents ignored you, or if they are just not emotionally available, or if they yell a lot, that is a type of trauma.” – Tucker Max
  21. “Instead of treating your child like how you were treated. Treat them with the same love and attention you wanted from your parents while growing up.” – Jonathan Anthony Burkett
  22. “Unhappiness in a child accumulates because he sees no end to the dark tunnel. The thirteen weeks of a term might just as well be thirteen years.” – Graham Greene
  23. “In troubled families, abuse and neglect are permitted. It’s talking about them that is forbidden.” – Marcia Sirota
  24. “Most children would rather preserve the fantasy of a loving connection with their fathers and mothers, at all costs, even if it costs them their self-esteem.” – Keith Ablow
  25. “You don’t have to leave your whole family in the past, just those who don’t deserve a place in your future.” – Christina Enevoldsen
  26. “A lot of people who have experienced trauma at the hands of people they’ve trusted to take responsibility, and that is what’s toxic.” – Hannah Gadsby
  27. “It is a violation of trust to use your kids as caulking for the cracks in you.” – Anne Lamott
  28. “Fighting became a way of life and seemed perfectly normal for your family.” – Steven Farmer
  29. “An unpredictable parent is a fearsome God in the eyes of a child.” – Susan Forward
  30. “It has been my observation that parents kill more dreams than anybody.” – Spike Lee
  31. “Did you have parents or just some people who thought they should own somebody?” – Catherine Lacey
  32. “Leave your pride, ego, and narcissism somewhere else. Reactions from those parts of you will reinforce your children’s most primitive fears.” – Henry Cloud
  33. “You must let go of the responsibility for the painful events of your childhood and put it where it belongs.” – Susan Forward
  34. Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it is the place where we find the deepest heartache.” – Iyanla Vanzant
  35. “Don’t try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.” – Russell Baker
  36. “A person can’t pick up the children and just squeeze them to which-a-way they want them to be.” – Carson McCullers
  37. “Dysfunctional parents let their children know how burdened they have been by their children and how many sacrifices they had to make in order to raise them.” – Dr Marita Sirota
  38. “They ought to accept you for who you are. Parents ought to adore their children, right? You’d assume so.” – N. R. Walker
  39. “Fear-based parenting is the surest way to create intimidated children.” – Tim Kimmel
  40. “Let go of negative people. They only show up to share complaints, problems, disastrous stories, fear, and judgment on others. If somebody is looking for a bin to throw all their trash into, make sure it’s not in your mind.” – Dalai Lama
  41. “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D. Hull
  42. “Blood relatives often have nothing to do with family, and similarly, family is about who you choose to make your life with.”– Oliver Hudson
  43. “It’s very possible and very okay to forgive someone and still not want to spend time with them.”– Karen Salmansohn
  44. “Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.” – Cheryl Strayed
  45. “Narcissistic parents don’t really recognize their children as people separate from them. Instead, they see their children as little extensions of themselves. The needs of the child are defined by the needs of the parent, and the child who tries to express his needs is often accused of being selfish or inconsiderate.” – Jonice Webb
  46. “Family is where you’re meant to be most free, don’t let blood chain you down.”– Michele Meleen
  47. “Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” – Deborah Reber
  48. “Your family, your real family, will always welcome you home with open arms. Anyone who says you can lose their love isn’t really family, no matter what blood says.” – Seanan McGuire
  49. “Energy vampires prey on others because they are in pain, and their behavior is a disguised cry for help. However, the important thing to remember is that you are not responsible for resolving their issues. While you can offer help to an energy vampire, it is ultimately their responsibility to sort out their struggles.” – Aletheia Luna
  50. “The toxic parent sees the child as a threat to their own ego and having the child overshadow the parent is not an option in their mind.” – Shannon Thomas
  51. “Toxic family members will see expressions of forgiveness as weaknesses to exploit. Don’t give in to their tactics this way. If you need to forgive them for your own healing, then do it, but keep it to yourself.” – Sherrie Campbell
  52. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great.” – Mark Twain
  53. “People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.” – Dan Pearce
  54. When you grieve toxic, abusive parents, you don’t just grieve the abuse, you grieve everything you didn’t have.” – Lily Hope Lucario
  55. “Sometimes you just have to walk away. End toxic family relationships because they hurt more than they help. And start rebuilding a new definition of a healthy family in your life, far away from toxic family members.” – John Ash
  56. “If parents wish to preserve childhood for their own children, they must conceive of parenting as an act of rebellion against culture.” – Neil Postman
  57. “Sometimes, the people closest to you betray you, and your home isn’t a place you can be happy anymore. It’s hard but it’s true.” – P.C. Cast
  58. “Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home.”– Anthony Liccione
  59. “Our parents plant mental and emotional seeds in us— seeds that grow as we do. In some families, these are seeds of love, respect, and independence. But in many others, they are seeds of fear, obligation, or guilt.” – Susan Forward
  60. “In the narcissistic parent’s eyes, they do no wrong nor do they feel they should be held accountable for the bad and wrong things that they have done.” — Katherine Childress
  61. “I learned a long time ago that it’s not our fault if our parents are monsters. We can’t take responsibility for that, or we’re twice damaged. All we can do is try to go forward in a different way.” ― Cinda Williams Chima
  62. “Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.” — Bill Ayers

Though parents are a child’s primary caregivers, they may turn manipulative, neglectful, self-centered, and abusive. This can have damaging effects on the child mentally and emotionally during their formative years and teenage period. Check out our next sections about selfish fathers and mothers who identify the parenting mistakes while raising a child.

Selfish Fathers Quotes

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  1. “Denying a child the joy and memories of being with the other parent is an act of ‘pure evil.’” – Unknown
  2. “Fathers should know that sons follow their example, not advice.” – Unknown
  3. “It doesn’t matter who my father was. It matters who I remember he was.” – Anne Sexton
  4. “Real dads support their children without the law telling them they have to.” – Unknown
  5. “A real parent is someone who put their kids above their own selfish wants and needs.” – Unknown
  6. “Sons aspire to either become their father or vie to be his exact opposite.” – Unknown
  7. “A greedy father has thieves for children.” – Serbian Proverb
  8. “Becoming a father is easy enough, but being one can be very rough.” – Wilhelm Busch
  9. “There’s really no point in having children if you’re not going to be home enough to father them.” – Anthony Edwards
  10. “Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” – Unknown
  11. “When a father, absent during the day, returns home at six, his children receive only his temperament, not his teaching.” – Robert Bly
  12. “Every father should remember that one day, his son will follow exactly how his father put his needs above everyone else.” – Unknown
  13. “A father shouldn’t have to think of his needs first and then accommodate the child’s needs.” – Unknown
  14. “A narcissist parent is easily frustrated by a healthy independent child that they can’t control through parental emotional manipulation.” – Shannon Thomas
  1. “Some fathers wonder why the streams are bitter when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.” – John Locke
  2. “My dad taught me everything I know. Unfortunately, he didn’t teach me everything he knows.” – Al Unser
  3. “There’s nothing worse than a man that can be everything to everybody else. Except a father to their own child.” – Unknown
  4. “Boys want to grow up to be like their male role models. And boys who grow up in homes with absent fathers search the hardest to figure out what it means to be male.” –Geoffrey Canada
  5. “When you grew up with an absent father, you grew up dreaming and wanting.. But most of all, you grew up way too fast.” – Unknown
  6. “My dad had limitations. That’s what my good-hearted mom always told us. He had limitations, but he meant no harm. It was kind of her to say, but he did do harm.” – Gillian Flynn
  7. “I never had a speech from my father ‘this is what you must do or shouldn’t do’ but I just learned to be led by example. My father wasn’t perfect.” — Adam Sandler
  8. “Be more than a father, be a dad. Be more than a figure, be an example.” – Steve Maraboli

Selfish Mothers Quotes

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  1. “It takes someone really brave to become a mother. As it requires a lot of strength to raise a child and love them more than one loves themselves.” – Unknown
  2. “If we, as mothers, are not careful we can begin to find our identity in our children and their behavior.” – Sue Detweiler
  3. “Do your kids see your kindness or are you always telling them NO?” – Brenda M. McGraw
  4. “When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your child.” – Unknown
  5. “No one, however powerful and successful, can function as an adult if his parents are not satisfied with him.” – Frank Pittman
  6. “Your children vividly remember every unkind thing you ever did to them, plus a few you really didn’t.” – Mignon McLaughlin
  7. “She shrieked and shrieked for her mother, but her mother was already there. Her mother was the monster.” – Holly Black
  8. “The hateful and stinging words of a narcissistic parent can linger in the mind of an adult child long after the adult has left home.” – Shannon Thomas
  1. “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” – Jackie Kennedy
  2. “Don’t make your selfishness ruin your child’s life.” – Unknown
  3. “Any mother that could be cruel to a child is not going to apologize to that child when they have grown up.” – Rayne Wolf.
  4. “A good mother never uses her child for her happiness.” – Unknown
  5. “If a mother cannot sacrifice for her kids, she doesn’t deserve them!” – Unknown
  6. “Toxic mothers are image-oriented rather than love-oriented.”– Sherrie Campbell
  7. “An unloving mother robs the child of a sense of belonging. The need to belong can become a lifelong quest for him or her.”– Peg Streep
  8. “If we, as mothers, are not careful, we can begin to find our identity in our children and their behavior.” — Sue Detweiler
  9. “I was worthy of her love whether she gave it to me or not. Every child is worthy of love.” — Richard Paul Evans.
  10. Read on for famous quotes and sayings about selfish family members. Unfortunately, you need to let go of such people before the relationship turns unhealthy and toxic. Try to portray your true self whatever be the situation and see your life change to another level.

Selfish Family Quotes

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  1. “One of the saddest things in this world is to see a child grow up hating one of their parents because they only got one side of the story.” – Unknown
  2. “Somewhat paradoxically, parenting programs should focus on the behavior of the parents, not the behavior of the children.” – Timothy Carey
  3. “Narcissist parents don’t care about their children’s feelings at all. Only their feelings matter.” – Kim Saeed
  4. “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” –Sigmund Freud
  5. “Today’s troubled homes are made by parents who want to have children but don’t want their children to have parents.” – Agona Apel
  6. “No child is born a delinquent. They only became that way if nobody loved them when they were kids.” – Jeannette Walls
  7. “Wounded parents often unintentionally inflict pain and suffering on their children.” – David W. Earle
  8. “Being a parent does not give you an excuse for bad manners.” – Rosalind Wiseman
  9. “It is not a bad thing that children should occasionally, and politely, put parents in their place.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
  10. “All of us develop our expectations about how people will treat us based on our relationships with our parents.” – Susan Forward
  11. “Parents. Honestly. Sometimes they really do think the world revolves around them.” – Randa Abdel-Fattah
  12. “When you have children, there is no room for lies, no room for anything but the truth. Anything other than that is a bad example, I believe.” – Johnny Depp
  13. “Anyone could father a child. But a good parent puts his child’s needs before his own. A parent should be selfless, not selfish.” – Penelope Ward
  14. “A family who relies on their children for happiness make both their children and themselves miserable.” – Dennis Prager
  15. “It is impossible to be both selfish and happy in a family that behaves the same way.” – Unknown
  16. “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” – Unknown
  17. “People tend to raise the child inside of them rather than the child in front of them.” – Joe Newman
  18. “To all you parents out there, don’t make your little girls, or little boys, so thirsty for love that they will want to drink water that will poison them.” – Lisa Bedrick
  19. “Some parents will provoke an independent child to anger in order to feel superior and prove the child’s flaws.” – Shannon Thomas
  20. “Being a selfish parent is the biggest crime you can do to your child.” – Anonymous
  21. “Being a parent is easy but being a good parent is tough as it requires a lot of dedication and goodwill.” – Anonymous
  22. “When you’re three or seven years old, it’s less frightening to think of yourself as an unlovable, disappointing screwup than to recognize the fact that you’re living with a monster.” – Keith Ablow
  23. “Never substitute ‘presence’ with ‘presents’. Presents can spoil your child, but your presence will make them a true human being.” – Anonymous
  24. “Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons.”– Travis Bradberry
  25. “There are no illegitimate children – only illegitimate parents.” – Leon R. Yankwich
  26. “You don’t let go of a bad relationship because you stop caring about them. You let go because you start caring about yourself.” – Charles Orlando
  27. “Real family does not come from your blood. It is the people standing beside you when no one else is.” – Nishan Panwar
  28. “Many children of toxic parents find it exceptionally difficult to identify who they are once they grow up.” – JR Thorpe
  29. “No child should ever have to bear the burden of parenting their own parents. To toxic parents, you existed to serve them all the time.” — Kim Saeed
  30. “Whatever parent gives his children good instruction and sets them at the same time a bad example, may be considered as bringing them food in one hand and poison in the other.” — John Balguy
  31. “When you grieve toxic, abusive parents, you don’t just grieve the abuse, you grieve everything you didn’t have.” — Lilly Hope Lucario
  32. “I built up so much hatred for my parents, like so much anger for the life they had given me.” — Tana Mongeau
  33. “The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.” — Jim Morrison
  34. “Here’s a shock: An adult who still hangs out in skate parks is a bad parent.” — Daniel Tosh
  35. “If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up.” — Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  36. “Money doesn’t change men, it merely unmasks them. If a man is naturally selfish or arrogant or greedy, money brings that out.” — Henry Ford
  37. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” — Frederick Douglass
  38. “You shouldn’t do that. Not to your child. You should carry your own burdens.”  Cassandra Clare
  39. “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D. Hull
  40. “Getting angry when something about their behavior is challenged in the nicest way, is a typical reaction of a narcissistic parent.” ― Diana Macey
  41. “Dysfunctional parents do not apologize. It is one feature that the children of narcissists would instantly agree on. They will lie and justify themselves, but never accept they did anything wrong.” – Diana Macey
  42. “What’s so sad is when we’re younger, if you have a bad parent, that is normal to you, and that’s what you think of as healthy.” – Jennifer Lawrence
  43. “Perhaps this was the wisdom with which a child in her position survived: by minimizing her wounds—staying as small as possible, as nearly transparent as possible.” ― Haruki Murakami
  44. “Narcissistic parents will try to hurt you any way they can emotionally. Be aware that if they can’t get to you directly, they will try to hurt you through your children.” — Tina Fuller
  45. “The ones that love us least, are the ones we’ll die to please.” – Paul Westerberg
  46. “It is the self parents who are to blame. Pay attention. Be involved in your children’s lives. They are your legacy, your only hope.” — Aaron B. Powell
  47. “Permissiveness is the principle of treating children as if they were adults; and the tactic of making sure they never reach that stage.” — Thomas Szasz
  48. “As long as you continue to react so strongly to them, you give them the power to upset you, which allows them to control you.” – Susan Forward
  49. “A lot of parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves.” — Banksy
  50. “Too bad for any parent who has become accustomed to ruling by force, because at some point the kids just get too big to slap around.” – Barbara Ehrenreich
  51. “Children are not born for the benefit of their parents, neither are they the property of their family. Children belong to the future.” ― Anthon St. Maarten
  52. “Who said that parents’ beliefs should be adopted by their children?” ― Lukasz Laniecki
  53. “Control leaves no room for trust.” ― Glennon Doyle
  54. “Controllers, abusers and manipulative people don’t question themselves. They don’t ask themselves if the problem is them. They always say the problem is someone else.” — Darlene Ouimet
  55. “Instead of promoting healthy development, they unconsciously undermine it, often with the belief that they are acting in their child’s best interest.” ― Susan Forward
  56. “The more dysfunctional, the more some family members seek to control the behavior of others.” – David W. Earle
  57. “Spanking a child is about the parent not the child. The child will learn more from positive correction than physical manipulation.” — Asa Don Brown
  58. “Parental alienation is an emotional act of violence that is aimed at an adult, but critically wounds a child.” — Steve Maraboli
  59. “All parents damage their children. This was their life together. Neglect. Violence. Silence.” — Mitch Albom
  60. “Abuse grows from attitudes and values, not feelings. The roots are ownership, the trunk is entitlement, and the branches are control.” ― Lundy Bancroft

Infographic: 10 Insightful Toxic Parents Quotes To Help You Heal

Navigating a relationship with toxic and selfish parents can be challenging and emotionally draining. In times like these, finding inspiration and inner strength becomes crucial. The infographic below is a compilation of 10 insightful quotes that can help you rise above the negativity and find healing and empowerment on your journey of overcoming toxic and selfish parents. Check it out.

10 insightful toxic parents quotes to help you heal (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Children do not fare well when neglected, isolated, and subjected to harmful behavior by their parents. It could be a tough pill to swallow, even for grown individuals. Moreover, it is not easy to accept that your parents could be toxic and abusive because those are not qualities usually attributed to parents. If you have noticed this within your domestic space, we hope these quotes on toxic and selfish parents will help you build some perspective. Take action if your parents are abusive. Remove yourself from an unhealthy environment that enables a toxic parent-child relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you talk to a selfish parent?

You must balance compassion and self-compassion while dealing with a selfish parent. You should develop self-worth and confidence to be able to resist their gaslighting attempts. Furthermore, create clear boundaries and accept them as they are to prepare yourself better to face future challenges. However, if nothing works, you can always consult a counselor.

How does a toxic mother affect you?

A toxic mother can negatively affect your mental and emotional health. They can be abusive and violent, and over time, the child may also develop anxiety issues, lack self-worth, or even develop violent tendencies.

Does a toxic parent love their child?

No. Most toxic parents claim they love their children but, in reality, it never translates to nourishing, encouraging, respectful, or even acceptable behavior.

Key Takeaways

  • Dealing with toxic and selfish parents can negatively impact a child’s mental health and emotional well-being.
  • These parents see forgiveness as a weakness and try to live their dreams through their children.
  • Creating clear boundaries and accepting them for who they are can help you deal with them in the future.

Discover the complex world of toxic and selfish parents in this eye-opening video. Gain insights, coping strategies, and ways to heal from these challenging family dynamics.

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