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13 signs of bad parenting: Are you showing any of them?

What is bad parenting?

Bad parenting is when there is a general apathy towards learning to be a better parent. It is not confined to a single act; rather, it is a series of actions that have deleterious effects on children. Bad parenting may not be intentional, but this doesn’t lessen the seriousness of its negative consequences. Unsurprisingly, many parents are too busy or less prepared to face the worst-case scenarios of bad parenting. And, by the time they feel guilty about their actions or wish to reconcile, they realise that it is too late for them to take any corrective measures. 

Bad parenting is damaging for children, but how do you determine whether or not you are a bad parent? What are the signs of bad parenting? Let us go through the 13 signs of bad parenting, which you should avoid at all costs. 

  1. Scolding your child frequently

If you reprimand or scold your child excessively for the mistake they have made, it may have a negative influence on them in the later years of their lives. This can manifest during their adolescence when they may develop psychological problems and even become aggressive. The effect can be worse if they are honest and confess their mistakes. 

2. Disciplining your child in public

If you lose your patience and hit your child in public, it can have negative implications for their personality. In fact, screaming, hitting, or engaging in any form of verbal or physical violence will give rise to more problems. The feeling of shame resulting from your impatient behaviour can make your child reclusive and withdrawn over time. 

3. Withholding affection

Children prosper when they feel a sense of attachment to their everyday surroundings. As such, it’s natural for them to expect emotional warmth from the people they are close to. If you don’t hug them often or deprive them of words of encouragement, it will create an undesired emotional distance between you and them.   

4. Comparing your child with other children

Comparing your child to ascertain their academic performance is not only wrong  but also counterproductive to your expectations. By constantly putting them down, you are essentially pushing them away from you, damaging their self-esteem and diminishing their worth. 

5. Lack of support

Many stressful situations that a child experiences may cause undue stress to them. Be it exam pressure, bitter conflict with a close friend or the transition to adulthood, the resultant stress can leave them feeling emotionally drained. As much as parental support can assuage the situation, a lack of it can aggravate the child’s suffering. 

6. Lack of appreciation

All children want to be appreciated for their efforts. When a parent rewards their child for their achievements, big or small, it boosts their confidence and allows them to take things in their stride. On the other hand, if they constantly reproach their child and do not consider their accomplishments to be worthy of praise, it harms their self-image. 

7. Lack of conversations

Having a frank conversation with children is the best way to understand their daily schedule. As opposed to this, if your child feels that your concerns/problems are the subject of most of your daily conversations, it can cause a deep resentment in them, which, in turn, can be difficult to root out. 

8. Not setting clear rules

Setting clear and consistent rules is crucially important so that your child has a better understanding of what things they are supposed to do. You also need to make them understand the purpose of these rules. Doing this makes your child feel important and valued. On the contrary, if there is a gap in communicating your expectations, then your child is likely to oppose the rules. 

9. Using a critical tone

Parents often forget that giving feedback to the point of becoming overly critical of their child’s work does more harm than good. You will surely want your child to make improvements in the areas in which they lag behind. However, if you keep finding faults with their work without giving due justification, it will deter them from making any attempts in the future. 

10. Being overprotective

Good parenting is not about protecting your child from every imaginable danger. It is about letting them venture beyond their familiar domains and setting the right precedents for future actions. To not allow your child the freedom to take risks or follow adventurous pursuits is to arrest the development of their personality.

11. Being a poor example

Your child tends to emulate your habits and behaviours, whether good or bad. For example, if your child is witness to domestic conflicts being handled destructively,  they will most likely pick the same attitude. So, spare a moment to introspect your behaviour. 

12. Not giving a choice

As a parent, you would want to decide everything for your child, from the school they will study in to the clothes they will wear. Although this shows your concern for them, it is a telltale sign of bad parenting. Sometimes, you tend to become too rigid in the process of deciding things, leaving no scope for your child to exercise their choice. This not only breeds feelings of hostility towards parents but also leaves them feeling mentally chafed.  

13. Excessive pampering

It is not good to shower attention and gifts to the extent of making your child arrogant. They may take things for granted and devalue the efforts put into meeting their needs. As a parent, you may not realise that excessive pampering can hinder the development of the skills your child needs to be by themselves in the future. Also, by being overindulgent, you hold them back from setting realistic expectations for themselves.  

Impact of bad parenting on children 

Have you ever wondered what impact bad parenting can have on your children? 

Listed below are a few effects of bad parenting.

  1. Anti-social behaviour, such as substance abuse, poor mental health and proclivity to crime
  2. Poor display of emotional, mental and physical resilience in crisis 
  3. Indifferent attitude towards family and others stemming from a dysfunctional relationship with parents
  4. Low estimation of self and a general mistrust of people
  5. Strong feelings of resentment and hostility leading to anger 

How can you, as a parent, change for the better?

One of the biggest first steps to becoming a better parent is to acknowledge the bad parenting techniques you have been knowingly or unknowingly practising. The next step is to take responsibility for instituting good parenting techniques. Listed below are a few good parenting techniques for you to deliberate over:

  1. Focus on building an emotional rapport with your child
  2. Practise patience with your child and desist from using a critical tone as much as possible
  3. Take out time for your child and have a candid conversation with them about their problems
  4. Explain the intent behind your instructions and give them situational examples to think through
  5. Have a discussion with your child before you set a rule and seek their opinion
  6. Let your child take ownership of different chores so as to boost their self-esteem
  7. Allow your child to exercise their choice wherever possible
  8. Avoid resorting to physical intimidation and other destructive behaviours
  9. Reward good behaviour and set non-physical deterrents for bad behaviour
  10. Encourage your child to solve their problems on their own to help cultivate their decision-making ability
  11. Be welcoming of your child’s peer group and try to know their likes and dislikes

Always remember that there is no such thing as perfect parenting. Just be a mindful one by following the good parenting techniques. 

Happy parenting!

Image source: Google

Manalisa Sarmah

Manalisa Sarmah is a copywriter at Next Education Pvt. Ltd. She has completed her MPhil in Sociology from the University of Hyderabad. She has worked on different educational projects with Hope Foundation and Adhyayan respectively. Her interest areas include reading, creative writing, and travelling.


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