Bad Parenting Signs and Its Impact on Children

Bad Parenting Signs and Its Impact on Children

One of the most challenging tasks is having a good and consistent parenting style. There are instances of bad parenting that can have lasting consequences on children. Most parents use their upbringing as a blueprint for parenting, which is not recommended because of the evolution of society and new social standards. It is proven that specific parenting practices are more harmful than beneficial to your child. And what could they be? Continue reading to learn about various aspects of parenting and understand the difference you can make by being a good parent while moving farther away from bad parenting styles.

What Is Bad Parenting?

Bad parenting is a series of actions that can seriously harm the child’s demeanour and psychology. Bad parenting isn’t restricted to a single act; it is a collection of these acts that are usually what contributes to a harmful effect on the child. Most poor parenting may not be intentional, but this does not reduce its negative impact on the child. Some parents are not aware of the consequences of these actions, and some might not even care. Bad parenting might stem from not knowing enough to be a better parent or from a general lack of apathy to learning the right way.

Bad parenting can have many adverse effects on your child. With our lifestyles being as fast-paced as they are today, it might seem easy to just tell your child what to do. However, you must remember that your child is an individual who requires care and nurturing from you. Make the time to join parenting groups and forums and bring up any issues you might be facing. Have an honest conversation with other parents and listen to any advice they might have. If there are any signs of the effects of poor parenting on your child, it might be best to consult a child psychologist.

Signs of Bad Parenting

There are several actions and incidences that could make you a bad parent. Here are a few examples of bad parenting that you must avoid at all costs:

1. Reprimanding the Child Excessively

If your child does something wrong and you reprimand or scold him excessively for the mistake, it can have a negative influence on your child. This practice can have a worse effect if your child has displayed honesty and has confessed to making a mistake.

2. Disciplining the Child in Front of Everyone

You might lose your patience and scold, yell, or even hit your child in front of others. This is one of the top bad parenting signs. Such an act can have a serious impact on your child’s confidence, and the feeling of shame arising from this method of discipline will be hard to shake off.

3. All Advice, No Encouragement

You dispense advice about everything, from brushing your teeth to picking the right clothes, rather than encouraging your child with support.

4. Withholding Affection

You do not give your child hugs or say ‘I love you’ to your child often. This will make your child feel emotionally disconnected from you.

5. Not Setting Rules

Children need structure and boundaries in order to grow up to be healthy individuals. If the child does not grow with discipline, then he/she will suffer in situations outside the home environment.

6. Lack of Support

Children need support, especially during stressful times like a performance at school or examinations. You could be more concerned about your work, and this might leave your child feeling anxious.

7. Comparing Your Child

You constantly tell your child that he/she should be like other children and emulate their positive traits. This is a sign of bad parenting.

8. Not Proud of His/Her Achievements

You never praise your child for his/her achievements and do not show pride in hard work.

9. Using a Criticising Tone

Using a tone that shows disapproval of all your child’s actions will leave a negative mark on him/her.

Keep a Watch on Your Tone When Talking to Your Child

10. Not Respecting His/Her Feelings

You do not take the time to have a conversation with your child and understand his/her feelings. When opinions and feelings are disregarded and not addressed in a healthy manner, it could adversely affect kids.

11. Being a Poor Example

Your child will pick up on all your habits and behaviours. You might want to think about why and where your child has picked up a particular behaviour.

12. Not Giving Him/Her a Choice

You do not give your child a choice and instead expect him/her to do something because you have said so.

13. Too Much Pampering

You might think that your child is the most special child, but for the rest of the world they are just another child. Making him/her feel entitled could lead to bad behaviour that causes social isolation.

14. Being Overprotective

You protect your child from every imaginable danger out there. This will make your child fearful and afraid of taking any type of risk, from making new friends to trying new activities.

15. Lack of Trust

You do not allow your child to make decisions because you are sure that they will make the wrong choices or you do not believe him/her.

16. Not Giving Your Time

You are always too busy to talk or play with your child or just have no interest in doing these things. Being glued to your phone screen while your child is talking to you can make them feel neglected.

17. Emotional Invalidation

Emotional invalidation occurs when parents dismiss, ignore, or belittle their child’s emotions. It involves minimising or trivialising their feelings, often by saying things like “Stop crying, it’s not a big deal” or “You’re overreacting.” This form of parenting can lead to the child feeling unheard, invalidated, and emotionally neglected. Over time, it may result in difficulties expressing emotions, low self-esteem, and challenges with emotional regulation.

18. Enmeshment

Enmeshment refers to a lack of healthy boundaries between parents and children. It occurs when parents overly involve themselves in their child’s life, emotions, and decisions, blurring the lines between the child’s individuality and the parents’ identity. Enmeshed parents have difficulty allowing their child to develop autonomy and independence, often exhibiting controlling behaviours, over-protectiveness, or intrusive involvement in the child’s friendships, relationships, or hobbies. This dynamic can hinder the child’s ability to develop a strong sense of self, make independent choices, and establish healthy boundaries in future relationships.

These bad parent signs are neither healthy for the children nor the parents themselves.

Impact of Bad Parenting on Children

Bad parenting can have a lasting adverse impact on your child in terms of behaviour and psychology. Here are a few effects of bad parenting:

1. Antisocial Behaviours

When your child does not consider how his actions might affect others, it is known as antisocial behaviour. A severe form of this can lead to substance abuse, mental health problems, crime, and poor health. Bad parenting actions like parental drug abuse, domestic violence, and maternal depression usually contribute to this condition. This is also observed in children whose parents displayed critical, negative, and coercive behaviour.

2. Poor Resilience

Children learn how to cope with emotional, mental, and physical trauma from seeing how their parents deal with any hardships themselves. In this case, bad parenting comes in the form of not shielding the child from a crisis or not being able to handle negative emotions, which in turn, rubs off on the child.

3. Depression

Many studies have shown that parents who have a negative approach will have children with a higher susceptibility to depression. Bad parenting actions that lead to depression include low levels of emotional and physical support, physical punishment, and an unhealthy expression of negative emotions.

Depression - Impact of Bad Parenting on Your Child

4. Aggression

Many studies have shown that kindergarteners who have explosive anger issues usually have a poor relationship with their mothers. Negative parenting techniques like rough handling and expressing negative emotions towards the child during infancy will cause the child to have high levels of anger.

5. Lack of Empathy

If the child is treated with indifference at home, then chances are high that he/she will behave the same with others outside.

6. Difficulty with Relationships

Parents who do not help their child express their emotions in a healthy manner will find that their children are unable to maintain friendships. Bad parenting also could cause the child to question trust and develop low self-confidence.

What Are the Reasons for Bad Parenting?

Every parent desires to avoid spoiling their children, yet certain circumstances can lead to terrible parenting. Let’s explore how seemingly insignificant aspects of your daily routines can inadvertently contribute to less effective parenting.

  1. Egoism: Some parents put their wants before those of their kids, acting egotistically in ways that could harm their kids’ wellbeing. Such circumstances may have an impact on children’s mental health.
  2. Psychological Disorders: Parents facing mental health issues may struggle to care for their children adequately. Taking care of oneself while dealing with such disorders is already tricky, let alone raising a child.
  3. Poverty: Children raised in households where poverty is a significant problem are more likely to lack access to quality education and other life requirements, even though their parents may be aware of the problem.
  4. Families in Crisis: Parents not living with their partners can significantly impact their children’s happiness and well-being. While a single parent can be an excellent caregiver, having both parents present generally benefits a child’s happiness.
  5. Technology: Allowing children unrestricted access to electronics without proper supervision shows poor parenting. While technology has its benefits, excessive exposure can harm children, making it essential for parents to monitor their children’s usage of technology, especially on social media platforms.

How to Be a Good Parent?

How To Be A Good Parent

One of the biggest steps you can take is admitting that you have a few bad parenting techniques. You can always learn new ways to overcome these shortcomings. Here are a few tips on being a good parent:

1. Hands-on Parenting

Get involved with your child’s life and take it upon yourself to teach your child some of life’s most important lessons. Focus your energy on building an emotional rapport with your child.

2. Do Not Shout at Your Child

Instead of shouting at or scolding children, try to reason with them calmly. Give them a time-out if they’re being difficult and then sit down and listen to why they were upset in the first place. If it has to do with school, then calmly ask your child to explain the difficulties he/she is facing. Explain to your child why his/her actions are wrong and the larger consequences of those actions.

3. Give Reasons

If you want your child to do something, then explain to him/her the reasons behind your request. If you want him/her to finish school work before going out to play, then explain the reasons behind it. A great way to explain it would be to say that the second he/she finishes, playtime begins. This also works as motivation.

4. Set Rules

The structure is important for your child’s development. However, whatever new rules you put in place, make sure to discuss them with your child. In case you want your child to take up a chore around the house, then have a discussion with him/her about which chore he/she would like to do and to what degree you want that chore to be done. Ask your child to set up a schedule for this new chore. Sticking to this new schedule will boost self-esteem.

5. Give Your Child Choices

Talk to your child about the different options he/she might have. It can be something small like deciding if he/she wants to go to the park with you the next day. Allowing your child to make choices will boost confidence in making decisions.

6. Listen

One of the most important aspects of parenting is listening to your child. Even if what your child says seems mundane to you, you must listen, as it might be something important to him/her.

7. Be a Good Example

Children are known to pick up habits and actions from the people around them. As a parent, your child will be looking up to you for advice on almost everything, particularly in the younger years. Practice healthy habits and your child is bound to pick them up himself/herself.

8. Don’t Raise Your Hand

You’ll encounter numerous times during your parenting journey when your child may misbehave or disobey to a large extent, making you lose your patience. However, take a deep breath and count before you raise your hand on him/her. Physical violence can have serious psychological effects on the child, affecting development. In turn, this causes children to emulate the same behaviour when they become parents/

9. Inculcate Reward and Punishment

Reward and punishment are by far the best ways to discipline a child. Rewarding good behaviour and punishing bad behaviour sets a touchstone for the child on which behaviour to follow and which to avoid. Make sure to set punishments that are non-physical.

10. Don’t Suffocate Your Child

Rather than being too controlling and constantly hovering around your child’s every step, give them some element of freedom. If they know the consequences of bad behaviour, they are likely to misuse the freedom they’ve been given.


1. Which Parenting Style Is Most Successful?

The concept of a “most successful” parenting style is subjective and can vary depending on cultural norms, individual circumstances, and the child’s temperament. However, research has identified some parenting styles that tend to promote positive outcomes for children:

  1. Authoritative Parenting: This style combines warmth and responsiveness with clear boundaries and expectations. Authoritative parents provide support and guidance while allowing their children to develop autonomy.
  2. Positive Parenting: Positive parenting emphasises nurturing, positive reinforcement, and open communication. It involves setting age-appropriate limits, promoting independence, and using non-punitive discipline strategies.

2. What Are the Biggest Mistakes Parents Make While Parenting?

Parenting is a challenging journey, and mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Here are a few common mistakes parents may make:

  • Inconsistent discipline
  • Overprotection and helicopter parenting
  • Neglecting self-care
  • Focusing solely on achievements
  • Not listening or invalidating emotions

Bad parenting is not just harmful to your child at the moment but will definitely have a lasting negative impact on your child for years to come, which could stay on, even as an adult. Remember that parenting is not just about imparting wisdom to your child but about allowing them to grow and find their own lifestyles. This includes raising them to be responsible for their actions and accepting responsibility for the decisions they make and the actions they take. How you decide to impart the knowledge and teach them about responsibility can be the key element to raising your child. This should not be forced onto them in any manner. Talk to child psychologists to learn how to communicate with your child. It is recommended that as a parent, both your partner and you attend parenting seminars, talk to counsellors and work out a manner in which to develop and navigate through your parenting philosophy.

Coming up with a parenting philosophy can be a challenge due to the numerous hurdles in both faith and conscience that you will face. Remember that the past generations of parenting are not just to be followed blindly but to be used as a platform to evolve from. In the past hitting your child was acceptable, but research shows physical intimidation does more harm than good when it comes to raising your child. Establishing mutual respect and a line of open communication is important, so is allowing your child to make mistakes and encouraging them to recover from their failures. A point every parent must remember is not to overwhelm the child with restrictions. Letting your child grow while having fun and being social has numerous benefits to their mental health.

Also Read:

Best Parenting Books
Tips to Be a Nurturing Parent
How to Raise Happy Kids
Tips to Enhance Your Parenting Skills
Successful Co-Parenting Tips One Should Know

Previous article «
Next article »