Some toxic parent situations are fairly obvious. Physical and sexual abuse: ding ding ding, we have a winner. But others are less evident. Children of toxic parents (or primary caregivers) can dig in their heels and insist that everything is fine and their parents are excellent, often because they’ve spent so long making that argument to themselves and the world around them. Toxic parents can be intentionally malevolent, but more often, they’re just self-centered and don’t understand that their children have their own conflicting emotional needs and desires. And all parents slip up; one bad argument when you were 15 doesn’t make a toxic parent.