20 Signs of Bad Parenting and Tips on How to Fix Them

We, as humans, make mistakes, and being parents is no different. Unfortunately, the mistakes you unintentionally make as a parent can leave long-lasting effects on your child.  Below are the most common 20 Signs of Bad Parenting and Tips on How to Fix them, so ‘let’s dive in.

Commonly-Made Parenting Mistakes and Their Solutions

Before you start feeling bad about yourself, rest assured, there’s no such thing as perfect parenting. What matters the most is that your children feel safe and loved, anything else you can deal with as long as you pay attention to the following signs.

1. Helicopter Parenting

Children need space to grow into their independent selves. Instead of continually trying to micromanage your ‘children’s actions, try to be more understanding of their needs and let them handle their situations when they can. Parents should be ready to guide and support them when they need you while letting them be in control and share your wisdom in the form of advice. This way, ‘they’ll know that you trust them and will begin to trust you back.

2. Neglecting Your Child

Neglecting your child is a form of child abuse that can cause them life-long psychological trauma. Every child needs to feel loved and cared for, so make sure that your ‘child’s well-being is a priority and pay attention to their needs. Take the time to connect with them and make sure they feel seen. Ask your child about their day, get involved in their interests and hobbies, and do fun activities together to help bond with them.

3. Projecting Your Unfulfilled Dreams on Your Child

Crossing the line between wanting the best for your children and forcing your choices on them is a mistake most parents make. Forcing a child to try and live up to unrealistic expectations can result in their loss of identity and self-worth. Parents should set realistic expectations for your child based on their interests and capacities. They should give them enough room and motivation to develop their own set of morals and dreams that will guide them through life. Share your interests with them without pressuring them to be as involved as you are.

4.  Excessively Punishing Your Child

Excessively reprimanding your child can have the opposite effect you want. Instead of disciplining them, they can end up rebelling against you. When punishing your child, establish a realistic and clear set of rules and consequences and make sure your child understands them. Accept that your child will make mistakes and when they do, make sure the punishment is equal to the error in severity.

5. Spoiling Your Child

Sometimes we go out of our way to protect our children and accommodate their needs. It at some level can result in them taking everything for granted and becoming entitled and arrogant. ‘It’s okay to want to make your child happy with materialistic stuff but do so in moderation. Teach them to share and be grateful and charitable to ensure that they understand the value of money and give them appropriate responsibilities such as chores. It helps them learn about the importance of hard work.

6. Not Displaying Affection

A ‘child’s need for affection ‘can’t be emphasized enough. Withholding affection can make your child feel disconnected and alienated from you. Take the time to hug your children, compliment them, ask them about their day, and express your love and gratitude for them. A simple “I love you” can go a long way.

7. Abusing Them in the Name of Discipline

Using insults or spanking to discipline your child can be permanently damaging to their emotional, physical, and psychological well-being. Avoid using any form of violence and employ firm techniques that involve consistent communication such as time-outs, getting an early curfew or bedtime, and doing extra chores. The method you use depends on many factors, including the ‘child’s age. If you ‘can’t find an effective alternative to discipline your kid, consult with a professional therapist.

8. Constantly Comparing Them to Others

Parents may think that this is a way of setting good role models and motivating your child. But what continually comparing them to others does is destroy their self-worth and self-esteem. Instead, try encouraging them by suggesting new ways to learn and celebrating their accomplishments no matter how small they may be.

9. Favoring One Child over the Other

Unequal treatment can have adverse effects on siblings. Even if you have a stronger bond with one of your children, you need to be aware not to let that affect how you treat the other. Do not forget that children observe your non-verbal communication too. Parents should take the time to appreciate the unique traits of each of their children. Also, try spending quality time with your children to strengthen your relationship with all of them.

10. Setting a Bad Example

Children ‘don’t always do what you say, but they copy what you do. If ‘you’re wondering why your child is misbehaving, take a look at yourself and see what behaviors and values your child could be mirroring.  Observe your ‘child’s unwanted behavior and try to get to its origin. Set a good example by adjusting your negative habits. ‘It’s good for children to see grownups try to better themselves.

11. Too Much Advice and Not Enough Encouragement

When communicating with your children, you most likely use the form of advice. Although you mean well, this can harm the child, causing them to feel worthless and have low self-esteem. Try a more positive form of advice accompanied by personal praise to encourage them. For example, you can say “‘You’re way too smart to waste your talents, ‘I’ll help you study” instead of “You need to study to get better grades.”

12. Not Trusting Your Child

Not Trusting your ‘child’s words or decisions because you assume ‘they’re wrong can demotivate them and cause them to go behind your back while trusting your child can make them more honest and open with you. Establish an open channel of communication where they can share their thoughts and feelings and let them know that you trust and respect them by showing genuine interest in their opinions and ideas.

13. Publicly Scolding Your Child

Publicly shaming or scolding your child can make them feel humiliated, so instead of screaming at them, try to hold back your anger and frustration and explain to them in a clear and logical manner what ‘they’ve done wrong. Be considerate of their feelings and remind them of the rules and consequences ‘you’ve already set before enforcing the appropriate punishment you agreed upon.

14. Avoiding Uncomfortable Topics

Some topics such as death and sex are uncomfortable to talk about and for valid reasons, but avoiding them ‘won’t do you any good. Initiate a one-on-one conversation with your child and be mindful of their age. If ‘they’re too young and you want to explain a matter in simple terms, do so using storybooks. Make sure ‘you’re listening as much as ‘you’re talking and encourage them to ask questions.

15. Constantly Snapping at Your Child

‘It’s not always easy to hold back your anger, especially if ‘you’re having a bad day yourself. However, ‘it’s important to stay composed and make sure ‘you’re reacting appropriately to a situation. Before you reach your boiling point, ‘it’s good to warn your child in a firm yet warm tone that they ‘shouldn’t be doing what ‘they’re doing. ‘Don’t react out of anger; instead, take five to calm down if you need to and then give your child a reasonable explanation as to why the situation or action is wrong.

16. Inconsistent Parenting

Children need consistency and stability to thrive. No matter what techniques you apply to parent and discipline your child, they ‘won’t work if ‘you’re not consistent. Establish clear rules and follow through with the consequences but pick your battles wisely. Having many regulations can make it hard for your children to keep up, so make sure your priorities are clear. For instance, if your ‘child’s struggling academically, choose to address the most problematic issue first.

17. Ignoring Your ‘Child’s Questions

Kids are naturally curious beings with a lot of questions. ‘It’s essential to answer your ‘child’s questions honestly, no matter how uncomfortable they are. Some questions may be beyond the ‘child’s mental capacity. In that case, you can look for age-appropriate books or videos that can answer their questions.  If your child asks you a question that you ‘don’t know the answer to, ‘don’t be too proud to look it up. Who knows, you may even learn a thing or two.

18. Undermining Their Struggles

Whether ‘it’s toys or math, your child is likely to struggle in different areas in their life.  ‘What’s a big deal for them ‘doesn’t necessarily have to be a big deal for you so instead of saying things like “When I was your age, I used to do so and so”, try to see things from their perspective and understand where ‘they’re coming from to help them thrive, learn, and grow.

19. Setting Fixed Rules

Yes, setting clear and firm rules is crucial for good parenting, however, as kids grow and change, these rules need to be flexible enough to accommodate them through their new stages. Reevaluate your rules and decide ‘what’s appropriate for your ‘child’s age and level of maturity then adapt your boundaries accordingly. Talk with your child before loosening the boundaries to let them know that you trust them to be responsible.

20. Not Listening to Your Child

Listening to your child is a crucial element to being a good parent. ‘That’s not limited to hearing when ‘they’re screaming their heads off. Pay attention to your ‘child’s verbal and non-verbal communications, and take the time to understand their feelings and emotional needs before you respond. Instead of jumping in with advice, try asking them ‘what’s the ideal outcome ‘they’d prefer and try to direct them towards it while being mindful of their needs and capacities.

Final Thoughts

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world and ‘there’s no one out there that can tell you otherwise and because ‘it’s a demanding 24/7 job. Additionally, you may not always realize your bad parenting moments. It is the reason why we wrote this post, to shed some light on common mistakes, It gives you better alternatives that enable you to become a more nurturing parent.

Sharing is caring!