What Ariel Winter’s Instagram “Rant” Can Teach Us About Having Boundaries With a Parent

This story was published by Juliette Virzi on The Mighty, a platform for people facing mental health challenges to share their stories and connect.

Last week, Ariel Winter made headlines because her estranged mother, Crystal Workman, criticized the dress she wore to the Emmys. Workman’s interview highlights that sometimes, comments that look like “parenting” on the surface can actually be emotional abuse.

But perhaps the more important part of this story is how Winter continues to respond in the wake of incidents like these. In an Instagram post she captioned #Rant, the Modern Family star addressed the backlash about her Hollywood Reporter interview and asserted her identity as an autonomous adult.

In her four photo Instagram post she wrote, “As a child, you do what you’re told regardless of what is good for you. I’m an ADULT now and can make my own choices and have my own identity.”

Though Workman’s decision to give an interview criticizing Winter showed a lack of respect for her estranged daughter’s no-contact boundary, Winter’s response highlights the importance of continuing to state your boundaries as an adult.

If you’ve experienced childhood emotional abuse at the hands of a parent, the decision about whether or not to have your parent in your life can be a difficult one. Some may wonder, Is it possible to keep my abusive parent in my life? If yes, how do I assert boundaries for myself? What if they don’t respect my boundaries?

To open up this discussion, The Mighty spoke with Anna Lindberg Cedar, a licensed clinical social worker who works with clients navigating toxic relationships.

When navigating boundaries with a parent who was emotionally abusive to you growing up, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

1. Remind yourself how much contact you want with your parent is up to you.

The decision on whether or not to keep an abusive parent in your life is a very personal one. Some may opt to have no contact, and others may pursue…

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