The Signs of Bad Parenting and How they Affect Children

Parenthood didn’t come with a manual and a book full of guidelines. There are parents that will reenact how they were brought up, while some parents learn from the ground up how to properly take care of their children. 

The truth is, having a consistent parenting style is difficult to maintain. Children will go through different stages in life, and so you will your patience. The disciplinary measures you have when your little one was a toddler will need to adjust when he grows a bit older. And these changes will test your parenting skills. 

There will be rough days, patience will run thin, stress will overflow, and during these moments, it is so easy to ask ourselves, “Am I a bad parent?” 

Every parent goes through this phase and it is nearly impossible to be a good, all-around parent 100% of the time. Parents are humans too, they, too, make actions and say words that they regret they ever did and said. However, this is not an excuse to not try and be the best that you can be. 

What is bad parenting?

Though “bad” is hard to define, there are things that are considered just straight-up bad by all of us. 

The baddest of bad parenting has to be physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and neglect. These are the top-tier bad parenting and should be addressed immediately by professional help. These can have a lasting negative effect on the child, affecting their mindset and the way they socialize and react. 

Beyond that, everything else is debatable. But as parents, it is important to know that sometimes things or actions we unintentionally did will still have a mark on a child. Acknowledging and apologizing for those is already a step closer to becoming a “good” parent. 

Since there are different beliefs and principles on being a “good” and “bad” parent, the topic is uncertain. However, there is a distinction between being a bad parent and having a bad day. Losing your temper once in a while is not the same as telling your child that his questions and feelings are invalid. 

Remember, you’re not alone in your parenting struggles and every parent both have good and bad parenting characteristics. 

Signs of Bad Parenting

While the topic of parenting is debatable, there are still a few things you must avoid or not do as parents. 

Excessive Reprimanding

Reprimanding a child for bad behavior or mistake is one of the roles of a parent, however, excessively reprimanding them can result in a negative influence or mindset on the child. Especially, when the child acknowledges his mistake and has been honest about it. 

Public Disciplinary Measures

Children will test our patience all the time and at any time. Inside and outside the house. But when you lose your temper and scolds, yell, or even hit your child in public or in front of everyone, this might result in a negative effect on the child’s confidence. Embarrassment and shame will arise from this form of discipline. 

No Affection

Not giving your child affection, like hugs, words of affirmations, and quality time often can make them feel disconnected from you. 

No Rules

As much as we want our children to learn by the flow, it is still a parent’s primary job to set guidelines and boundaries for the child to have a healthy mindset and attitude and to grow with discipline. It is important to set these rules at an early age so that the child will grow with these instilled in their mind. 

Lack of Support

Your child will need your support. It could be for his academic performance, or in a sport or hobby he is interested in. Show him that you are there for him and give him encouraging words. Not doing so will make your child feel alone and anxious. 

Being a poor example

Children are learning beings. They have yet a full grasps of things so it is only natural that they follow what their older siblings or parents are doing. Sometimes, a child’s unwanted behavior stems from those surrounding him. Think twice before performing a specific act with your little ones around, be mindful of your words, and tell their older siblings to also act accordingly. 

Too much indulgence

It is normal for parents to want to give everything to their children. However, this is bad practice and this can result in undesirable behavior and even social isolation. 

Invalidating their feelings

You disregard their opinions, not letting them explain, and not taking time out of the day to talk with your child is a bad parenting habit. Listen to them, even though you might not agree with their opinions, at least you’ve heard them and acknowledged their feelings. 


This is a common parenting mistake. Comparing your child to other children can greatly affect their confidence. 

How Bad Parenting Affect your Children

Bad parenting has a lot of negative effects on children, especially psychologically and on their behaviors. 

Anti-social behaviors

Anti-social behavior is when your child “does not consider how his actions might affect others.”

The worst-case scenario of this leads to substance abuse, mental health issues, criminal activities, and even poor health. Bad parenting acts like drug abuse and violence can contribute to the worsening of this condition. 


Depression is not to be taken lightly, and even children can experience them. Bad parenting actions such as low levels of emotional and physical support and a whole lot of negative emotions and expressions make children prone to depression. 

Remember, children are learning individuals. They need all the assurance, positive affirmations, and support they can get from their parents. 

Relationship Difficulties

When a parent doesn’t help their children express their emotions and opinions healthily, they are setting their children up to have difficulties in maintaining relationships. Teach your child to communicate in a good manner and help them develop their self-confidence.