One of the hardest tasks to achieve is to have a good and consistent parenting style. There are instances of bad parenting that can have lasting consequences for children. Most parents use their upbringing as a blueprint for parenting, which is not recommended due to the evolution of society and social environment. It is proven that certain practices of parenting are more harmful than they are beneficial to your child.
Most parenting mistakes are usually made for the sake of love. Parents may often think that they’re helping their children to develop and grow (sometimes even through punishment). But the long-term results in the form of depression, anxiety, or cancer, for example, show that something went wrong back there. But if you recognize what you are doing wrong, there is still a chance to raise a new generation of wise and happy people.
Are you a bad parent to your child? Children who do not have an affectionate childhood are victim of bad parenting. There are many such examples which provide harm to the kids. The common signs of bad parenting include the child suffering from low self-esteem, aggressive, antisocial, and hostile behaviour. You can imagine the impact of these issues on your child as he/she grows older.
Your child’s attitude, goals, perspective, and viewpoint depend on what he/she learns from you. What your kids experience or learn at their young age will have an imprint on them. And this learning is directly fueled from ‘you’ the parent and the environment at home.
Therefore, you must focus on your parenting skills and know-how to become a better parent. Read on to know about the signs of bad parenting and how to fix them.
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Are You a Bad Parent to Your Child?
We have all heard that bad kid come from bad parents, and there are several ways to be a bad parent. Parents are a child’s first teachers in life. A child’s attitude, views, goals, and perspective depend on what he or she learns from their parents. A child’s demeanour is also a reflection of how their parents have treated them. What a child learns or experiences in their early years is known to leave a lasting impression on them. This is why good parenting is an absolute necessity.
Whenever a child makes a mistake or displays bad manners, the blame is mostly put on the parents because they are responsible for teaching their children how to behave. When a child’s bad behaviour or emotional state are linked to his or her parents’ actions, it is natural to wonder if the parents made a mistake or if they are simply bad parents.
It’s clear that bad parenting is damaging for children, but how do you determine whether or not someone is a bad parent? Can good kids survive bad parenting? What are the signs of bad parenting? And how can you be a better parent?
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 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 in your child, it might be best to consult a child psychologist.
Signs of Bad Parenting
Avoiding and Neglecting Your Child
Neglecting your child physically or emotionally can affect him or her in an extremely negative way. Neglect is a very common type of child abuse, and it can be as harmful as physical abuse. Ignoring the needs of children, leaving them unsupervised or in dangerous situations, or making a child feel worthless can cause low self-esteem and lead to isolation. Neglect can also affect the mental health or social development of a child, and it may even cause life-long psychological scars.
Neglect can negatively affect a child’s cognition, emotions, behaviour, motor development, language development, and overall ability to function. According to The Lasting Impact of Neglect by Kiersten Wier, neglect can lead to a long list of problems including low self-esteem, social withdrawal, poor impulse control, stealing, problems coping with or regulating emotions, and pathological behaviours like tics, tantrums, and self-harm. Neglect can also affect intellectual functioning and academic achievement. Those who don’t get the attention they need in childhood may have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships later in life.
Physical or Verbal Abuse
Exposing a child to physical violence or verbal abuse can be very damaging to his or her well-being. Many parents vent their frustrations at their children without realizing what sort of psychological damage they are inflicting. Even one spanking or slur can affect a child for years. These forms of abuse can cause the child to lose confidence and develop an inferiority complex.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, verbal and physical abuse can cause lifelong psychological, physical, behavioural, and economic problems. Victims will also most likely struggle with poor physical and mental health as a result. Aside from observable signs of physical damage, the effects of verbal and physical abuse might manifest as depression, anxiety, or high-risk behaviours such as casual sex, self-harm, crime, chemical dependency, and other unhealthy, dangerous behaviours. Some abused children may develop eating disorders, struggle with sleep issues, become hostile, apathetic, or lethargic, and develop attention deficit disorders.
Setting a Bad Example
Many parents do nothing to discourage bad behaviour or manners in their kids, and these kinds of parents usually turn a blind eye to their kids’ problematic behaviour. As the saying goes, what you sow is what you reap. If you are someone who shouts or uses bad words in front of children, then it is only natural that they will take after you. That may be why the children of smokers, drinkers, or drug users are more likely to start experimenting with substances at a young age. Their parents are in no position to stop their kids from developing these bad habits. It would be hypocritical to forbid an activity that they have modelled for their children. Children will often emulate what they observe in their homes. If parents use drugs or other harmful substances, then children may eventually do the same.
Favouritism or Partiality
It can be very damaging when a parent makes it clear that they prefer one child over another, and children are more likely to exhibit depression later in life as a result. You might think that the preferred child would benefit from all the positive attention, but that’s not what happens. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re the chosen child or not; the perception of unequal treatment has damaging effects for all siblings.”
In many households, boys get preferential treatment, which makes girls feel inferior or neglected. With regard to education, social opportunities, or other necessities, girls often get fewer opportunities than boys, and this bias typically begins in their own homes. Many parents also have a habit of complaining about their children. They may grumble or complain about their child in front of other kids rather than communicate and parent responsibly—parents who are overly critical, unfair, or biased end up damaging their children with their behaviour.
Oppressive, Overbearing Authoritarianism
Indeed, a parent usually knows what is best for his or her child, but some parents force their choices onto their children without considering their interests, intelligence level, or capabilities. Many parents are very controlling, and they try to project their unfulfilled dreams and ambitions onto their children.
An authoritarian parent is one who demands constant obedience and uses threats, shame, and other punishments to enforce good behaviour. Research suggests that these types of oppressive tactics are toxic for kids. When a child cannot live up to the expectations of the parent, it can be very demotivating and disappointing for everyone. A child requires encouragement and motivation, but forcing them to be something that goes against their nature can affect them adversely.
Irresponsible Financial Attitude
Many parents are not very wise with money and don’t model healthy financial responsibility to their children. While some parents cater to a child’s every whim and fancy, others are excessively stingy. Some continuously over-spend and live beyond their means, while others keep finances a secret and pretend like money doesn’t matter.
Privileged or spoiled children may fail to realize the real value of money, and they may develop bad habits as a result. Studies have shown that by age 7, most children have already formed the money habits they will carry into adulthood, so it’s important to teach kids about money while they are young.
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Too Much Pampering or Interfering
Too much pampering or involvement is the opposite of neglect, and it can spoil a child by making them too demanding and dependent. Many parents over-protect their children and interfere in their activities to such an extent that when they grow up, they are incapable of taking care of themselves. They become anxious, incompetent, and incapable of making decisions.
Not Trusting the Child
Many parents believe others more than they believe their children. Sometimes, they do not even allow their child to offer an explanation before they form their opinions. Many have no faith in their children and demotivate them with their words or actions. This sort of behaviour can cause a child to rebel or do things they are not supposed to do.
What Is The Impact Of Bad Parenting On Children?
When your child doesn’t realize how his/her actions reflect or affect others, it is a symptom of “antisocial behaviour”. Domestic violence, parenting pressure, abusive behaviour, etc. contribute to this condition. These behaviours are not built overnight, and poor parenting is one of the major causes of these behaviours in adults.
Your parenting can set a good or a bad example, depending on how your behaviour with your child is. Your child learns how to cope with mental, emotional and physical traumas seeing your hardships. However, your negative behaviour can impact their mind resulting in poor resilience. Hence showing love to your children in every situation is important.
Emotionally abusive parents can put a toll on their kids. You might be abusing your child unknowingly (click to see the video in our app) by doing things that harm them emotionally. Bad parenting leads to anxieties, anger, depression and mindset of negativity. Bad parenting will affect your child’s future which will make them a bad person or parent in their adult life.
Aggressiveness is another negative emotion that hugely impacts the various aspects of your child’s life. It is one of the signs of a bad mother who have poorly treated their child or had emotional disconnect resulting in the high level of anger in the kid.
Lack of empathy
Your child will behave with others in a way you’d treat them. If your kid is mistreated at home, the impact of the emotion will likely burst in public places like school or elsewhere. Such kids eventually develop apathy towards other people.
At times parents indulge in cruel behaviour because they believe that it is the only way to deal with bratty kids. But, repeatedly using that same approach will make your child think that it is all right to strike somebody for any reason, which is a big NO-NO?
How to be a better parent?
It is never too late to change your parenting style, and here are some tips on being a better parent:
Have Hands-on Involvement In Parenting
You are not just the guardian of the child but also someone who teaches essential life lessons. Go beyond the provisionary creature comforts, and strike an emotional rapport. Focus on a relationship that has control, but not at the cost of love so that the child has a healthy upbringing.
Refrain From Yelling And Striking The Child
Children can be difficult with their tendency to be naughty. It is quite likely you lose patience and yell, which can leave the child wailing and upset. Some parents have few qualms at slapping their child even if it is in front of relatives or even strangers. That makes you bad parents. You may feel sorry for it later, but the damage would have been done.
Learn to control the child’s naughty outbursts in a more reasonable manner. For example, if he breaks a sibling’s toy, then take away his favourite toy and say he gets it only when he apologizes and promises never to do it again. Once he does so, you must explain to him why his actions were wrong and how he must never damage someone else’s belongings.
Give Reasons For Your Instructions
A child will not understand the underlying purpose behind an instruction like “Sleep on time at night.” As a parent, you have to elaborate on the reasons in a manner the kid understands. Do not say things like “Because I say so!” or “Do not ask questions, just go to bed!” That sets a wrong precedent, and children have a natural tendency to oppose things they do not understand.
Set Rules After Discussion
If you set some new rules, then have a word with the child before implementing them. That way, he is a part of the proceedings and is aware that he is not supposed to do some things. Having discussions with the child makes him feel important and can boost his self-esteem. He will also be in charge of his actions and will hesitate from doing something wrong.
Let The Child Have Some Choice
Ask for an opinion before deciding something for the child. It is more applicable for adolescents, who may feel irked when no one asks their preference before making a decision for them. For example, instead of jumping to a conclusion, “You need new tuition. I will get it changed tomorrow”, you can say, “I don’t think this tuition is working out well. Shall we get it changed tomorrow?” It is an excellent way to teach the child decision-making, and invariably introduce him to the concept of being responsible.
Listen When He Says Something
Good parenting is also about listening to your child with rapt attention when he has something to share. It includes his mundane narrative of the day and all his achievements, which all seem trivial but could mean a lot to the child. Do not brush aside his words to hear them another day or override it with something else like “I will listen to you later. First, get your room cleaned!” That is disheartening, and although it is just a child, he does sense that you just behaved with him rudely.
Appreciate your little one when he is truthful and honest. Children who are reprimanded for speaking the truth may eventually prefer a lie to save their skin.
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Set Good Examples
An action can talk louder than words, and it is perhaps the best way to make your child understand the importance of something. You set a positive example by practising something that you always ask your child to do. Children learn healthy habits from parents and are less likely to adopt bad ones when their parents themselves refrain from it.
Remember, bad parenting is your flaw, and it is your responsibility to bring a change. Good parenting is important for the holistic development of the child, while also enabling him to reap its benefits for the rest of his life.
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.