What Does Bad Parenting Look Like?

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What Does Bad Parenting Look Like? 

Parenting is a tough job; even the best of us can make mistakes. However, some behaviors and actions can negatively affect a child’s development and well-being. In this episode of The Impactful Parent, we’ll explore what bad parenting is and provide examples so that you can recognize it and avoid it.

Hello, my name is Kristina Campos. I am the founder of the Impactful Parent. Every week I give you parenting videos that can help you in your parenting journey. If you have a particular topic or parenting question about your school-aged child that you would like me to address, please submit it at [email protected] or by messaging me on social media. All submissions are kept anonymous. 

Today, we are going to talk about BAD PARENTING! Just because you may recognize some of the 10 bad parenting moves I will tell you today doesn’t mean you are a bad parent. We all make mistakes. But if you’re trying to be the best parent you can, want to learn from your mistakes, or just need assurance that you’re doing things right, this episode is for you! Let’s get started!

Bad parenting #1: Scolding your child with an audience.

Scolding a child in front of an audience can be bad for several reasons. According to Psychology Today, shaming and humiliating children is emotionally abusive and can negatively affect a child’s mental health and self-esteem. In fact, research has shown that scolding can make a child feel fearful, defiant, or aggressive.

Bad parenting #2: Reprimanding a child harshly even if they spoke the truth.

I get it. Maybe your child did something without asking and is only telling you the truth because they got caught. But, reprimanding a child when they told the truth teaches the child that honesty is not valued or appreciated, which can lead to future lying. This is where you must find a way to hold your child accountable for their actions WITHOUT having the offense against them. Suppose you reprimand a child and don’t give them some sort of resolution for being truthful. In that case, you can create a cycle of dishonesty and mistrust. Instead, focus on teaching your child the importance of honesty and how being honest can make things easier or better for them.

What Does Bad Parenting Look Like?

What Does Bad Parenting Look Like?

Bad parenting #3: Comparing your child to someone else.

Comparing children to others can negatively impact a child’s self-esteem, cause feelings of insecurity, and breed unhealthy competition among siblings or peers. For instance, a child constantly compared to their siblings in a negative light may feel inadequate, break trust and make the child feel like they are not good enough. Moreover, compared to other children, they may feel intimidated, leading to aggressive behavior and bullying others to feel better about themselves. This is why parents should try not to compare their child to anyone who accepts the child’s past self. According to a study, children who compare themselves with their past selves are likelier to have healthy self-esteem and not compete with others.

Bad parenting #4: Neglect

Neglect is one of the most damaging forms of bad parenting. It involves failing to provide a child with food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and emotional support. Neglect includes leaving a child alone for extended periods, failing to seek medical attention for a sick child, not providing adequate supervision, and even not giving your child enough attention or affection. Kids need their parents. So, examine your schedule and if you are leaving your child home alone for too long.

What Does Bad Parenting Look Like?

What Does Bad Parenting Look Like?

Bad parenting #5: Physical abuse

Physical abuse involves intentionally causing harm to a child’s body. Most parents know that hitting, kicking, slapping, or burning a child is unacceptable. Still, more common examples of physical abuse include shaking a child, hitting a child with an object, or locking a child in a closet. Physical abuse can also be holding your child to a particular weight standard. Making a child overeat (like insisting they finish all the food on a plate when it’s loaded to the brim.) Or depriving your child of nutritional food (like having a household full of potato chips and canned foods. This type of physical abuse is more common than most people realize.

Bad parenting #6: Role modeling behaviors you don’t want to pass down.

Yes, what YOU do in front of your child matters. Kids look to their parents for how to act. If you drink a glass of wine every night after dinner, your child is more likely to grow up and mimic that behavior. Children who witnessed domestic violence were more likely to repeat the behavior as adults. You can tell kids not to do what you do, but actions speak louder than words. Kids learn much more from their eyes and life experiences than what they are told. 

Bad parenting #7: Avoid understanding and listening to your child’s feelings.

What Does Bad Parenting Look Like?

What Does Bad Parenting Look Like?

Not listening to a child’s feelings can damage mental health and self-esteem. So, if you catch yourself saying, “Don’t worry about it. You’re making a big deal out of nothing!” or “Stop crying. There is nothing to cry about,” then consider how you are devaluing and belittling your child’s emotions. This can result in the child feeling like their feelings are unimportant, leading to long-lasting effects on their emotional well-being.

Bad parenting #8: Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse involves harming a child’s self-esteem. It can take many forms, such as belittling, insulting, threatening, or isolating a child. Emotional abuse can have long-lasting effects on a child’s mental health and ability to form healthy relationships. Examples of emotional abuse include constantly criticizing a child, withholding affection, or blaming a child for problems in the family. Many parents that are emotional abusers don’t even do this intentionally. Usually, these parents were also parented with emotional abuse growing up. They didn’t realize they passed down the same behaviors to their children. So, watch that you don’t always have a criticizing tone or are correcting your child consistently (making them feel like they can’t do anything right.)  

Bad parenting #9: Inconsistent discipline

Inconsistent discipline can confuse a child and make them feel insecure. It can involve punishing a child for one behavior one day and then ignoring it the next. It can implement rules one day but ignore the same rule later. This makes it difficult for a child to understand the consequences of their actions. They are always playing a guessing game of whether or not they can get caught, and this also creates feelings of instability and anxiety and teaches kids to be manipulative. Stay consistent with your discipline, rules, and expectations.

Bad parenting #10: Overprotection

Overprotection can limit a child’s ability to develop independence and self-reliance. It can involve shielding a child from any potential harm or failure, which can prevent them from learning important life skills and coping mechanisms. Whether you are a helicopter parent (hovering over your child, ready to catch them before they fall) or a lawn mower parent (mowing down all the obstacles that can be in their way), both kinds of parents can lead to childhood anxiety and other mental health problems. Examples of overprotection include not allowing a child to play outside, pampering a child too much, or simply taking the stand that you know better ALL OF THE TIME. Instead, it is important to allow your child to have choices. Give them as many choices as you can within the boundaries of your rules. Allow your child to make mistakes, even if you know the mistake is stupid. Sometimes kids need to learn for themselves the hard way before they will learn at all.


If this information was valuable for you today, BECOME a more impactful parent by downloading The Impactful Parent App. The Impactful Parent app is FREE and full of episodes like this one to help you in your parenting journey. Investing in your family looks like learning the warning signs of certain behaviors so you can stop bad things before they start, discovering new parenting techniques to make your parenting more effective, and joining a community of like-minded parents who want to be the best parent they can for their child. All of this, plus so much more, can be found inside The Impactful Parent app, so download it today. You got nothing to lose with this free parenting resource. Go to theimpactfulparent.com and discover how you can step up your parenting game and be a more impactful parent.

 But until next time, you got this, parents. I am just here to help.

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