18 Parenting Mistakes That Have Negative Effects On Children

18 Parenting Mistakes You Should Avoid

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What are some common parenting mistakes, and how you can fix them asap! I also go into what actually makes a bad parent, and how you can tell if you are one and need to change – I bet you’re not though, and you’ll find out why!

Parenting is one of the most difficult responsibilities you will ever do and we all make mistakes.

I make mistakes all the time as a stay at home, work from home, busy tired momma bear, I am not perfect in any way. Sometimes I yell at my kids when I have all the tools in my toolbox to help me stay calm, but I’m not perfect and I lose my shit.

Sometimes I don’t cook dinner and we get pizza or we eat ramen noodles for dinner. Because I’m not perfect and sometimes I’m just too tired.

I, just like you, have good days and bad days. I have days where I’m super mom, and I have days where I’m super tired mess.

These things do not make me a bad mom, and they do not make you a bad parent either.

What does make a bad parent though? Harsh discipline, shaming, lack of affection, no rules, lazy all the time and more. Keep reading for common parenting mistakes parents make, and what actually makes a parent get labelled as a “bad parent”.

What Makes A Bad Parent?

Many parents question if they are horrible parents on difficult days. I can almost guarantee that if you’re loving and kind on the best of days, your children will forgive you on the worst of days.

I know as parents we are so hard on ourselves when we feel like we could have done a better job, but many of us aren’t actually bad parents.

And the thing is…once we learn how to be better, we can do better!

So, let’s look at the telltale symptoms of bad parenting and see if you’re making any of these parenting mistakes that could lead to raising kids with lower self esteem and many other issues later on in life.

Common Parenting Mistakes and Their Effects On Kids

Parenting Mistakes and Signs of Bad Parenting

Not Fixing Problems

Whether you are facing common problems at home such as bedtime battles or temper tantrums, just going through them without looking for solutions is not a good idea.

You can read plenty of positive parenting books, take a class like this one or talk to your healthcare provider to get some help with your family struggles. Not getting the help you know you need is a parenting mistake that can be easily fixed.

Disciplining Too Much Or Too Little

It’s an indication of bad parenting if you punish your children excessively using physically violent forces or use mentally harmful phrases.

It lowers children’s self-esteem and makes them feel unwanted and unloved.

According to studies, such children are more prone to engage in antisocial behavior and become addicted to drugs and alcohol to deal with their traumatic childhood experiences.

Discipline is necessary for children to learn good behavior at home and in society, as well as self-discipline, in order to become responsible adults, but it doesn’t need to include hitting and spanking.

Underestimating Concerns

When a child comes to you with a problem or a concern, you should look into it, no matter how insignificant you think it may be. The thing is, one day your child may not come to you with a problem because you’ve been known to dismiss their issues in the past, and that right there is the parenting mistake. Another mistake that can be fixed by listening to your kiddo and figuring out what the trouble is before things get really bad.

Showing Lack Of Affection

To thrive, children require a lot of love and compassion in addition to discipline. In fact, the more love and time you can provide your children, the happier they will be. As a direct result, they grow and learn, and become better human beings.

Withholding affection is a sign of bad parenting, please don’t do it!

Having High Expectations

This is a parenting mistake I’ve made all too often. Setting up unrealistic expectations of your children who aren’t developmentally ready for what you’re expecting of them can lead to lower self esteem. They can start to believe they aren’t good enough and never will be.

Meeting your child where they are instead of making your child meet you where your expectations are is the mistake.

Using shaming As A Discipline Strategy

If you’re a parent who uses shame as a form of discipline, you are making a parenting mistake. Now this is one that can also be fixed!

Shaming is a tactic often used by parents who simply do not have the tools to discipline in more effective ways. If you shame your child often, then I highly suggest looking into a parenting course. I’m not shaming you for shaming, I totally get it. When we don’t have the tools we need, we resort to what we know to do.

Comparing your Kids To Others

This is something that a lot of parents do. I understand how difficult it is not to compare children of the same age, if not verbally, then at least intellectually.

When our children lag behind other children their age in terms of development, we tend to compare them. If our children are not acting as we would want, we may feel compelled to compare them to others.

Despite the fact that it is done to inspire them, it has the exact opposite impact.

Using Criticism

Some parents only notice the worst in their child’s actions and continually talk in a critical tone.

They are unable to recognise their children’s accomplishments and continually criticize them.

What is the impact of frequent criticism on a child?

Children with critical parents learn to pay less attention to faces that exhibit any form of emotion, whether good and negative, according to study published in The Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. This has an impact on their capacity to read others, which is crucial for forming bonds.

Not Being Consistent

If you’re all over the place with your parenting, then that is a parenting mistake – but one that can be fixed! If you’re very strict one day and very lazy the next, your child may not know what the rules are. This can make it difficult for them to understand how to act in certain situations, and thus they can miss your expectations on any given day.

Not Encouraging Your Child

Not promoting excellent behavior, like continuously condemning it, does not provide children with the reinforcement they need to repeat it.

We all want to be recognised for the excellent things we do for our loved ones.

It provides a sense of belonging to the child, which leads to more positive actions.

To keep things in balance, for every disciplinary action or criticism, strive to do five acts of praise and kindness to encourage good behavior in your children.

Not Taking Their Feelings Into Consideration

Being Too Overprotective and Overbearing

Parents that are overprotective are often helicopter parents who hover over their children all of the time, addressing all of their issues.

They want to spare kids from all of the agony and help them succeed, but they are doing so at the price of not giving them the skills they will need to live on their own.

Getting Too Busy With Life

Due to changing lifestyles and rising prices, we are all in a rush to create a comfortable living in today’s world.

And it usually happens at the price of spending quality time with family.

It’s a terrible fact, but if we let busyness rule our days, we may find ourselves with strained relationships.

For children to grow up happy, they must be seen, heard, and listened to.

Making significant time commitments, even if it is only ten minutes per day, is enough to assure greater connection with children.

Fighting Back Your Kids

Getting upset and fighting back with your kids is a parenting mistake that many of us make. I know I’m guilty of it, even though I try my very best to remain calm.

Learning how to take power struggles and turn them around without turning into a fight is a skill and it takes practice, but it’s an important one.

Not Setting Limits and Boundaries At home

To understand how to act in society, children must grow up with regulated routines and rules.

Giving kids unrestricted screen time or allowing them to consume junk food will result in a lack of self-discipline later in life.

As a result, creating clear limits can aid in the development of disciplined individuals later in life.

Not Allowing Kids To Choose

If you don’t give your children the freedom to make their own decisions, they may become frustrated.

Children feel helpless when we don’t offer them alternatives. When they don’t obtain the power they seek, they retaliate by engaging in power battles.

Children should have the opportunity to make their own decisions and have some influence over their lives. Making smart decisions is an important life skill for them to master.

Using Threats As Discipline

Using Threats As Discipline

What I’ve discovered is that these tactics perform significantly better than threats and are the superior long-term solution.

To get people to comply with our wishes or demands, we threaten them by stating things like “I will take away this privilege” or “I will not purchase you this or that.”

It is, after all, influencing children to get them to do what we want. And this has an impact on their sense of safety.

Being A Lazy Parent

Though lazy parenting can assist raise independent children to a degree, using it as an excuse to ignore one’s responsibilities can be damaging to children and creating bad parenting examples.

Lazy parenting involves not wanting to spend time and energy with children, providing children toys to keep them quiet, refusing to listen to children because they are too tired to cope with unpleasant feelings and tantrums, and so on.

Not Listening To Your Child

It’s actually very important to listen to what your children are saying to you. Even if it seems super insignificant in your eyes, it’s important to them.

Not listening to your little one when they’re small can lead to them not telling you anything when they’re teens. That’s when you need them to be open and honest, and if they learned long time ago that mom and da don’t care about what I have to say, they won’t be coming to you with their issues.

Parenting Mistakes That Have Negative Effects On Children Bottom Line

I know many parents aren’t just waking up one day wanting to be bad parents. Actually making mistakes and learning from them does not make you a bad parent.

A bad parent consistently does these things and refuses to change. If you’re here, and you want to know more about how to be a better parent, I can guarantee you that you are not a bad parent.

Be open, be flexible, and change if you need to. No one said this parenting thing was easy, but we are so lucky to be in the information age where we can find the answer to any problem with a few clicks.

Free Resource For You

I’ve created a free pdf just for you! If you are struggling with gentle parenting with your kids this PDF will help you find one that will work for your family.

This free pdf can show you:

  • The pillars of gentle parenting
  • Example conversations you can have with kids
  • Example consequences you can use
  • Family activity ideas for connection

Click here to sign up for your gentle parenting guide.


What is poor parenting?

Poor parenting is frequently associated with negative expectancies, such as children being at danger of neglect or mistreatment. The state’s intervention is intended at ensuring that children are spared from such parents, either through training or placement in institutions that provide better care.

What are some bad parenting habits?

Parents that are uninvolved are insensitive to their children’s physical and emotional needs. They don’t give much supervision, and the parent is largely gone from the child’s life. This is, without a doubt, the most detrimental parenting method.

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