What is Bad Parenting and How They Can Affect Your Child

If you have a child, you are a parent. The title has some weight behind it. Being a parent brings with it a certain set of responsibilities and obligations. One such responsibility that many feels are important is to ensure our children aren’t negatively impacted by the improper parenting style or decisions we have seen others make.

What is Negative/Bad Parenting?

All children are born innocent. With time, they learn the values of life we teach them. If a child is taught to be aggressive and intolerant, it’s bad parenting.

“Negative/Bad parenting” is a term that refers to parents who:

  • set unreasonable expectations for their children;
  • are overly critical, controlling, or overprotective; and/or
  • do not encourage independence in their children.

Parents can be more likely to engage in negative parenting behavior when they perceive themselves as being under stress, or when they believe that it is for the child’s own good. Some psychologists also contend that negative parenting can be a response to parental depression or other stressors. Additionally, some have found that parents cannot see beyond their own fears and may view their lack of nurturing behaviors as protecting the child. Many people believe that there is a genetic component to negative parenting, but this has not been proven.

The term “negative parenting” does not refer to the type of parenting that is based on discipline and establishing rules for the child. Nor does it refer to parents who are overprotective or who are overly romantic. Nor does it refer to parents who have experienced abuse or neglect in their background.

Instead, using the above definitions, negative parenting refers to a pattern of behavior that is excessive in its rigid demands and harsh reactions, and which serves no purpose other than protecting the parent from his/her own fear of being close to the children.

Negative parenting is defined as the consistent use of critical and controlling behaviors. These actions are designed to control children’s behavior and make them feel bad about themselves. It is important to remember that negative parenting can be a result of a variety of factors including stress, disease, or even mental health issues.

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For example, one nurse who experienced such parenting described it this way:

“I saw my father beat and yell at his children. I saw how he trembled with fear every time he had to be alone with us. I’ve seen him hide from us as if we were the enemy, and cringe all the time when we finally got close to him.”

18 Signs Of Bad Parenting

Bad parenting is something that we all judge and think ‘I don’t want to be like that… I’ll never be like that!’ right? Sometimes the signs of bad parenting take us by surprise when it’s too late, but if you’re on the lookout for them you can prevent it before you get to that stage.

The main signs of bad parenting are displayed when a parent behaves in such a way as to cause harm to their child and/or children. The numerous things I am about to mention in this article are all things that I think are bad parenting.

  1. Not responding to your children
  2. Attention seeking
  3. Using the children as a pawn
  4. Irresponsible and unreliable
  5. Having no time for the children
  6. Ignoring their basic needs such as food and water
  7. Fail to Meet Emotional Needs
  8. Ignoring children’s negative behavior
  9. Yelling at their children
  10. Shouting at them or in their faces
  11. Avoiding talking to their children or spending time with them
  12. Threatening them
  13. Manipulating or confusing them
  14. Excessive teasing
  15. Spanking for non-discipline issues
  16. Ignoring the needs of the child due to petty reasons
  17. Whining excessively
  18. Punishing indiscriminately

What are some negative parenting practices?

Instead of teaching their children that they have a right to their own feelings, parents may deprive them of emotional expression and urgency by over arousing their child’s fears. When parents do this, they are not only denying the child his or her own feelings but also trying to protect themselves from their own feelings of fear.

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For example, in the above nurse’s story, the father didn’t want to feel vulnerable with his children – he was fearful that they would reject him if he allowed his feelings to surface.

How does negative parenting affect a child?

Although negative parenting may make us feel as though we are being protective of our children, it actually leaves us feeling lonely, afraid, and empty. The primary symptom of toxic parenting is a parent who is so overwhelmed by his/her own insecurities that he/she is emotionally absent from the children.

Remember: it is impossible to be a good parent to your child and at the same time avoid intimacy. All forms of intimacy are necessary for healthy relationships.

The psychology behind Negative Parenting

I have found that toxic parents often try to convince themselves that they are not doing anything wrong. In this way, they can avoid recognizing the distress they are causing to their children. This is one of the greatest problems in toxic parenting. When a parent is able to convince themselves that they are not responsible for what they are doing, they generally feel free to continue doing it – which only makes matters worse for their children.

This may be an especially significant issue when the children have been traumatized by abuse or neglect. When children are unable to acknowledge their own feelings, they have very little chance of being able to repair the damage that has been done.

Parents past

Sometimes, a parent may have been badly treated in some way in the past and may feel as if he/she is constantly being victimized so that he/she cannot become more intimate with his child(ren). When this is the case, it makes sense that the parent might come across as controlling or overly protective. However, such parents are usually acting out of a desperate need for love – which they believe can only be found in overprotecting their children.

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Toxic parenting involves more than just being controlling and/or overprotective. It also entails a lack of empathy and compassion, as well as sometimes a lack of nurturing behaviors.

Narcissistic parents

This is especially true when the parent is extremely or pathologically narcissistic. Narcissistic parents are so entrenched in their own self-importance that it never occurs to them to consider the feelings of their children. These parents may be very miserable and may feel as if they are “trapped” in a life that doesn’t make them happy. They may have grown up with parents who were also narcissistic, or they may have been traumatized in some way.

Case Study

In my interaction with individuals and families, I have found that toxic parents tend to be extremely critical, even when the criticism is unproductive. This can serve the purpose of encouraging their child to give up easily when faced with stressful situations – which only makes matters worse for their children.

Furthermore, instead of encouraging their children to take risks in life by developing healthy self-esteem and self-confidence, these parents make comments that would have an impact on the child’s self-esteem and self-confidence.


Bad Parenting related FAQ

How common is bad parenting?

It’s no secret that the world has gone topsy-turvy, but a new study published in Pediatrics this month says it is affecting parenting. An astonishing 30 percent of parents said they’d been accused of being bad parents by someone else.

What parents should not do?

As a new parent, there are lots of things you’ll want to do to ensure the health and welfare of your child. But, it’s crucial that you not do the following 3 things – ever. These are 3 mistakes that in most cases have been proven to be universally fatal.

Here I am listing some of those 5 things parents should never do.

1. Don’t ever smoke in front of your kids.
2. Avoid giving money to your children as it teaches them how to be irresponsible with money.
3. Not giving family time.