Are You a Bad Parent? 10 Signs to Prove You Are (Plus Solutions)


Did you know that nearly 65% of parents trying to be the best ones actually promote toxic behaviors that could genuinely lead to mental and emotional damage to their child?

This will clearly lead to severe, long-term consequences.

As a parent, you want what’s best for your children. There is no news here. Everyone wishes to offer a healthy and happy childhood to their children.

Still, everyone makes mistakes.

According to this source, bad parenting could lead to psychological disorders, including depression and low self-esteem. These will only increase as the child grows up.

However, you should try to correct those mistakes.

Coping with tantrums, mischief, and other similar problems is crucial for your kid’s healthy childhood. I’m sure that many of you have experienced the consequences of bad parenting. And of course, you are the ones that need to break the pattern.

So, what are the signs that indicate bad parenting all the way?

I will try my best to answer this question in the following paragraphs and I also want to offer you some suggestions for solving these problems.

  • You fail to provide a sense of security and affirmation

Applying the concept of tough love is a common mistake that most of us make.

In fact, research indicates that most people assume strict parenting is the way to grow well-behaved kids.

That’s because they think this helps them become independent and develop as individuals. Nonetheless, if children don’t find security and encouragement in a family, they are prone to have a low self-esteem.

In essence, strict parenting, also referred to as tough love, could teach a child to become a bully.

It’s no secret that children copy the behaviors they observe in adults. In this respect, if your child doesn’t find empathy and support in you, he/she will grow into an insecure adult.

Additionally, this approach harms the parent-child relationship, making it less rewarding.

So, what is the solution? What works best for both parents and children?

Failing to establish limits and rules isn’t the way to go.

On the opposite, this could lead to another set of problems.

Ideally you should strive to provide empathy to your child while setting limits. Without them, children won’t develop properly.

Based on this source, children raised in overly permissive environments are at a higher risk of developing antisocial behaviors.

  • What are the results of parental acceptance?

Your child will develop positive self-esteem.

Secondly, giving your child a feeling of acceptance facilitates security.

In other words, your kids will feel free to explore themselves without fearing your disapproval. They will be more willing to open up to you and the child-parent bond will grow stronger. Parental acceptance is about acknowledging your child’s feeling without wanting to change them but letting them grow into confident individuals.

Do You Demand Your Child’s Continuous Attention?

Making your child your emotional substitute is another sign of toxic parenting. Insisting on receiving your child’s permanent attention isn’t a good thing.

In truth, this could be conveyed as a parasitic relationship. It requires too much of a child’s time and energy. We’re talking about time and energy they could use for learning or for other things.

This only points that you are insecure.

A well-rounded parent, however, gives his/her child space. Demanding frequent interaction to suit your individual needs is a sign of selfishness.

  • What could you do in this respect?

The first step is acknowledging that what you’re doing isn’t okay. Next, you should determine the main reason you’re so dependent on your child’s permanent attention. Knowing the source of a problem is the first step to solving it.

Do You Promote Verbal Abuse?

Exposing a kid to verbal abuse or physical violence can be extremely damaging.

Many parents unconsciously vent their frustrations on their children.

Most of the time, they don’t realize the psychological implications.

According to this source, experiencing a form of violence is traumatizing. This applies whether the child is a victim or a witness. In essence, kids that see violence are prone to suffer from anxiety, attachment issues, aggression, and depression.

As a result, you should do what stands in your power to put an end to such behaviors. If you cannot manage to control your negative emotions, you should see what causes them.

  • What to do?

Everyone gets frustrated now and then.

But it’s crucial to learn how to cope with your negative feelings in a productive way. As opposed to embracing negative coping techniques, you should promote empathy and understanding. Don’t give up: practice makes perfect.

Do NOT Give Your Child The Silent Treatment

We already said that verbal abuse isn’t ok. So, what do you do when you’re frustrated?

Walk away and give your child the silent treatment, perhaps?

It’s true that talking to your child when you’re angry can be difficult but giving a kid the silent treatment is a sign of immaturity. It can be very damaging to your relationship.

You should realize that the passive aggressive treatment harms the relationship and can make the other person feel pressured and guilty.

So, as opposed to willingly ignoring your child when he wrongs you, you should excuse yourself. Get some air, reassess the situation, and then deal with it from another angle.

Does Your Child Express Negative Emotions?

We all enjoy feeling happy and satisfied. Still, negative emotions are a part of our lives, whether we like it or not. We cannot escape them, nor can our children.

You might not be willing to support your children in expressing negative emotions as you want to see them always happy. But ignoring negative emotions won’t contribute to that.

According to a study, many distressed parents approach harsh coping strategies. As a result, their children are likely to experience emotions much more intensely. The problem is that some parents see negative emotions as threats. Or forms of rebellion.

Your role is to teach your child to regulate his emotions. Ignoring or shoving them away isn’t the way to do this.

Children who never get the chance to learn this will most likely deal with unpleasant family interactions. Additionally, they are prone to school failure or even peer rejections.

By being communicative, understanding and empathic, you could break this cycle. Children absorb everything you do and say. So, parents who cope with emotions productively will grow children who do the same. Make sure you nurture your own happiness, and you’ll have so much more to offer.

Do You Use Guilt And Money To Control Your Children?

Guilt is something that many use as leverage on children. This could happen even to adults. For instance you may give expensive gifts and you might expect to get something in return.

In the case in which you doesn’t get it, the child feels guilty. The phrase “Everything I’ve done for you” makes the kid develop guilt.

You should understand that your child doesn’t owe you anything and a strong bond isn’t constructed on negative feelings such as guilt and blame.

  • In other words:

Your happiness shouldn’t depend on your child. This places a lot of pressure on him/her to please you. Being in such a relationship has long term repercussions. Adult children, in their turn, will consider other people responsible for their happiness.

Don’t Encourage Favoritism or Partiality

Did you know 70% of mothers admit having a favorite child and only 15% of children experienced equal treatment from their parents which is genuinely damaging to a child.

However, the long term implications shouldn’t be overlooked. Parental favoritism harms young and adolescent children. It could further affect them as adults as well.

An example of favoritism is giving more attention to a newborn, than to your older children. This applies in the case of disabled or sick children, too. Birth order is another aspect that influences that. For example, a mom is most likely to prefer the first or last child over the middle one.

Of course, a child’s personality and gender could play a role.

On that note, disfavored children are prone to experience depression, poor academic performance, and low self-esteem. These repercussions shouldn’t be ignored.

What is left of you to do is aim at comprehending your child’s behavior. Under no circumstances should you compare him/her with his/her siblings. Each child has a different personality. And should be treated as such. Letting go of your prejudices will enable you to convey parenthood distinctively.

Do You Want To Control Your Children?

As I said before, you want what’s best for your child so you might think you are entitled to take decisions for them. We often fail to consider children’s capacity, intelligence level, temperament, and interest.

  • Do you impose on your children the career you wanted to follow?
  • Do you want to see your wishes come true through your child?

It is needless to say that this expectation is dysfunctional.

Your child is an individual with his/her own interests and passions. Overlooking them will only harm your kid, diminishing his/her self-esteem.

A child who lives with the pressure of meeting their parents’ expectations isn’t happy. In fact, this behavior is disappointing and demoralizing.

Each child needs motivation and encouragement from his/her parents. De-motivating or trying to impose your will on them will affect them adversely.

Are You Wise When It Comes To Spending Money?

Managing your finances is crucial and when you fail at this chapter, your child could suffer.

The problem with granting your kids everything they want will prevent them from realizing the value of money.

On the other hand, some parents willingly ignore their children’s wishes or needs. These are adepts of the strict parenting approach. A child could develop unhealthy habits such as stealing, in this situation.

As a result, it is fundamental to realize the importance of healthy money management. As always, maintaining a balance is vital. You shouldn’t be too stingy, nor too permissive.

Last But Not Least – Do You Trust Your Child?

Trusting your child gives him/her a sense of self-confidence and encouragement. On the other hand, failing to trust your child could make him/her feel insecure. That could demotivate them. Also, it could prevent them from pursuing their goals.

When they don’t find support in a parent-child relationship, they won’t trust you. A relationship that isn’t built on confidence isn’t healthy nor flourishing.

If you know that you don’t trust your child, you might have experienced this on your own skin. Naturally, when you don’t have enough self-confidence, you’ll also have trouble trusting others.

That’s why a child who doesn’t receive enough trust will lack self-esteem. It’s as simple as that. Respecting mutual rights and decisions it the key to a long-lasting bond. This is also crucial for a progressive society.

Final Thoughts

I’ve learned that parenting is a never-ending job and you should too. You will learn that anyway, but it’s up to you if you go the easy way or the hard way. It is linked to responsibilities we have to assume fully once we go down this road.

No one ever said that being a good parent is an easy task.

It takes more discipline than you’d think. But striving to do your best is your duty and it is undeniably rewarding. Implementing healthy parenting approaches will help your child to develop into a self-sufficient adult.

If you’d like to add something to my list or share your experiences, please feel free to do so in the comment section. Happy parenting!

Andreea is a proud mother of four who got into blogging after she realized how confusing the world of baby products was. She has tried just about every monitor, mattress, and car seat on the market and hopes that her insights can help other parents.