Why Does My Mother Put Me Down?

“Why does my mother put me down?” is a question that might feel weird to some children, but is a harsh reality for many at the same time.

You know the feeling you get when your mom starts in on you? She’s complaining, criticizing, putting you down…and all of a sudden, it feels like everything is closing in. Your chest tightens up. You’re getting nervous and tense.

Well, it is first important to look out for all the signs that expose an adult as an off-putting one. Once you’re aware of these red flags, you can begin to try understanding why your mother acts this way and how you can deal with it.


  • Recognize the signs of a toxic mother who puts you down, such as invalidating your feelings and making you question yourself.
  • Understand possible reasons behind your mother’s behavior, including a family legacy of putting others down or feeling threatened by your achievements.
  • Confront your mother and communicate your feelings about her constant put-downs.
  • Consider distancing yourself from your mother if her behavior continues and affects your well-being.
  • Stand up for yourself and don’t let her criticism define you, while also deciding whether maintaining a relationship with her is beneficial for you.

Signs Your Mom Is Constantly Putting You Down

Many times, a child cannot figure out if their mother is putting them down all the time or if she is just trying to be a mother.

A mother tends to put her children down at times because it is her job and she has the right to do so. But sometimes, it can become too much and she might be crossing over from being a good mom to being nasty as well as hurtful.

Having a knowledge of the signs of a toxic mother who puts off her kids too much can help you differentiate healthy and toxic behaviors. Some of these signs are as follows:

1. She Invalidates You All The Time

A toxic and demeaning mother doesn’t listen to you when you try talking things out, invalidate your feelings and make you feel wrong for feeling the way that you do.

When she does this it causes you to question yourself and your feelings in order to avoid conflict with her. She may even say hurtful things but then turn around and say “I’m sorry… I didn’t mean what I said” but that is of no use then.

2. She Makes You Feel Guilty About Leaving Her

Toxic mothers may try to guilt you into staying with them by making you feel bad about leaving, using statements like “you’re abandoning me” or “don’t leave me all alone”. As children who were raised by such moms, we tend to internalize this guilt and blame ourselves.

3. She Abuses Power As A Way To Control You

Experts say that parents often tend to abuse their powers over their kids but sometimes, this abuse gets too extreme.

A mother who repeatedly puts down the child will use her power as a caregiver to manipulate you into doing what she wants. She may have complete control over the finances or threaten to take away you from your father. Staying in this situation is dangerous for your health, find help to protect yourself.

4. She Is Remarkably Unemotional

When you try talking with her about anything that is upsetting you, she seems unmoved by it or says something hurtful instead of trying to make things better. This creates distance between the two of you and makes it difficult for you to feel loved by her.

5. She Dismisses Your Needs And Desires

Your mother may be so self-centered that she won’t even notice certain needs that you have. This is a form of neglect that can leave you feeling invisible or unworthy of attention.

6. She Monitors Your Every Move And Question Everything You Do

A controlling and overly involved mother will try to micromanage every aspect of your life by constantly asking who your friends are and where you’re going after school. If you stay out too late then it becomes a big deal as well as anything else that makes her feel like she needs to “keep tabs” on you.

7. She Makes You Question Your Sanity

When your mom constantly tells you that your thoughts, feelings and perceptions about a certain situation are wrong this will make you start questioning yourself.

Being put down by the mother can affect a child's mental health

In order to avoid conflict with her it’s easier for us to believe that we must be mistaken instead of acknowledging the abuse.

8. She Compares You With Others, Unfairly

Healthy mothers encourage their children to be the best possible versions of themselves. Toxic mothers, on the other hand, have a habit of comparing you with others—especially siblings or friends–in a way that makes you feel like you could never win.

9. She Has Unachievable Standards For You

A toxic mother is always striving for the unattainable, which leaves her feeling unaccomplished and frustrated. This can be seen in how she treats her children—making them feel that they’re never good enough or thin enough even if their bodies are completely healthy.

Possible Reasons Your Mother Puts You Down So Much

There are lots of harsh reasons why mothers put down their children, and some of them are quite typical. Here are a few possibilities:

1. It is a Family Legacy

If your mother is always putting you down, then there’s a good chance that your grandmother treated her the same way.

In fact, if your family has been in America for more than two or three generations, then there may have been a mother who put down a daughter who put down her daughter and so on.

If this is true, it’s important for you to understand that this is your heritage. You were born into it, and chances are that it will continue unless you take action to change it.

2. You Don’t Meet Her Expectations

Your mother treats you the way she does because deep down you’re not what she wanted. She either wanted a boy, and you’re a girl or it is the other way around. She might have wanted a child who was more like her.

Since you are your own person and do not fit in her image of you, she has no option but to demean your entire persona so much that you give up on being you!

3. You Remind Her Of Someone She Hates

You probably remind her of your father, an ex-husband or even someone she knew and hated in high school. If this is true, you need to ask yourself if meeting your mother’s expectations is important enough to put up with all the negative aspects of her behavior?

4. She Feels Threatened

Your mother may treat you like dirt because she is afraid that you will outshine her. If this is the case, it’s important to understand that as long as you stay mediocre, your achievements can never really threaten her. She may want you to stop competing with her so that she’ll love you again.

5. She Is Envious Of You

Your mother may put you down and treat you like you’re a failure, but in reality, she’s just envious of what you have or who you are.

Mothers aren’t supposed to act jealous and even though your mother knows this, she can’t help but feel that way in your presence. She may be afraid to show her feelings so instead she acts out by being demeaning and hurtful.

6. She Fears Her Reputation As A Mother Will be Damaged

Your mother may put you down so that no one will ever know how she really feels about you. She doesn’t want anyone to question her good intentions as a parent, even though deep down she knows that sometimes her efforts are misguided or misplaced.

7. She Thinks She Must Control You

Your mother might put you down only because she thinks that her criticism is a way to keep you in line. She may have been kept down during her childhood so she has a skewed idea of how she should be as a parent, as well as what’s right and wrong for that matter.

8. She Suffers From Mental And Personality Disorders

It’s possible that your mother may have several mental disorders that are causing her to act out. Borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and paranoid personality disorder are just a few of the many disorders that can affect parents or even grandparents in some cases.

How To Deal With A Mother Who Puts You Down

If you have a mother who consistently puts you down, then it’s time to stand up for yourself. Remember that your mother is just trying to control you with her criticism and your job is not to let her do that.

Here are some ways to deal with a mother you do not like because of how she loves putting you down all the time:

1. Confront Her

Talk to your mother about the constant put-downs and how they’re making you feel. Communication is the key to solving any problem and your mother may stop this hurtful behavior once you have a heart-to-heart discussion.

confronting a mother can help solve the problems

2. Distance Yourself

Don’t let her try to guilt trip you into staying in her life. If need be, cut ties with your mom for a while so that she can work on herself and not continue to put you down.

3. Ignore Her Criticism

If you’re tired of feeling bad about yourself due to your mother’s constant criticism, then stop giving her the satisfaction of knowing that it still bothers you. Act as if her words don’t bother you and soon they’ll be nothing more than pointless insults that roll off your back like water from a duck.

4. Stand Up For Yourself

Don’t be a jerk but don’t roll over and take it either. When your mother tries to put you down, stand up for yourself. She may lose her temper or even break down in tears because you’re refusing to let her treat you badly anymore.

Regardless of what happens, stand your ground even if it’s just to see the look of disbelief on her face that you won’t let her hurt you anymore.


You can still have a relationship with your mother if she’s not emotionally abusive. But if she is, then you need to decide for yourself whether the relationship is worth preserving or not.

As always, thank you for reading! Please share this article if you found it helpful.


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