Are You Showing the Signs of Bad Parenting?

There is nothing wrong with making mistakes while parenting. We’ve all done it. But when a parent doesn’t see the mistake they made and continues doing it, well then, that is bad parenting. I can almost promise every adult has thought or said, I will never do what my parents did. I have.

Are you showing the signs of bad parenting?

Parenting is the hardest job on the planet. There is no manual given at the birth of a child to teach us how to parent the tiny human. We learn as we go. We sink or we swim. If we sink, our children sink. When we swim, our children swim with us.


We want our adult children to say, “my parents were not perfect, they made mistakes, but they acknowledged the mistakes and we all moved on”. We want good relationships with our adult children without past problems standing in the way. Bad parenting causes more conflict with our children.

Are You Showing the Signs of Bad Parenting?

By Being Fake - obsession of a “perfect image” of your home and parenting style is a huge mistake. Being perfect in the eyes of others while forcing perfection at home will usually end up biting you in the backside.

When others see you as a normal, imperfect parent, it is not a bad thing. You are parenting little humans who make mistakes; so is every other family. Learn from the mistakes and carry on.

Most people can see fake coming from a mile away. Be real. Be authentic.

By Being Closed Minded - children are curious. There are things in life they want to learn about. Life, sex, and body changes are all natural and should be open subjects with our children.

Not allowing your children to talk without interrupting them with “we are not talking about that” or “you’re not old enough” only opens the door for children to find someone else who will listen and tell them what they want to hear.

Be open-minded and listen to your children, then talk with them.

By Ruling with an Iron Fist - a toxic home is a scary home. What a parent sees as reverence and honor, a child knows as fear. Fear of what will happen, not a fear of reverence.

Are you showing the signs of bad parenting?

Our children are people with feelings and emotions. They deserve respect as a human, just like anyone else. They deserve privacy and alone time as they grow older.

Threats and intimidation are a ticking time bomb. For example, “If you do/don’t _____, then this will happen.” “If you ever_____, you’ll stand before the church and apologize for your sin and bringing shame on the family.”

Making threats or intimidating comments kills the confidence your child has in being able to come and speak openly and honestly with you. And sometimes, a child will test the waters to see if you mean what you say.

By Comparing - it doesn’t matter what other children are doing. Children need to be who they are, not someone else. Children are unique creations and they are not like other children. Each one has strengths and weaknesses.

Don’t say, “you need to be like your cousin Suzie, she spends every free time studying and makes straight A’s.”

If your child moves up to a higher bracket of grades–be proud of them. Don’t discourage them by saying, “why didn’t you make it to this grade bracket?” That comment tells a child they are not good enough.

Be proud of your children and their achievements. Encourage them to keep working hard.

By Ignoring Serious Issues - small problems can snowball into a gigantic mess. If you see a small problem within your child, confront it, because it will more than likely not go away. Parents need to be upfront, open-minded, and sympathetic for our children. Whether the situation is bullying, mental health, sexual abuse, or something else; your child is foremost your top priority. We should not sacrifice them for a church, school, or organization–little league, dance, etc. 

I remember a teacher in upper elementary school. He was a bully. He zeroed in on certain students and wreaked havoc on them. He made fun of poor grades and belittled students over their weakness. He loved paddling students, and he even pulled strings to have the authority to paddle the girls. That didn’t fly with one mother in my sister’s class. Thankfully, she had the backbone to speak her mind on the situation. Bully teachers are a real thing!

Know the signs of depression. Children suffer from depression just as adults. For many, they suffer quietly for many years with no help.

If your child comes to you about sexual abuse. STOP what you are doing. LISTEN to them completely before interrupting. ASK questions. GET help. DON’T let someone silence you and your child. You don't want your child knowing you did nothing to protect them.

Like I said earlier, we all make mistakes in our parenting. But what really makes us a great parent is to step back and re-examine our parenting methods, admit when we are wrong, and ask our children for forgiveness.

Admit when we are/were wrong. Ask for forgiveness.

We are all in the same boat as parents. We’ve all experienced rough waters. If you see someone struggling with an issue, don’t shame them. Don’t judge them, you never know what they are experiencing with their family and their home.

Are you showing the signs of bad parenting? 

Are you showing the signs of bad parenting?


  1. This!!!! This is so good, Lori. I have had to apologize to my children for parenting mistakes I have made. It takes a humble heart to look your child in the face and say you are sorry for something you've done while parenting. It shows them you too are human and can make mistakes, but it also shows the parents has to humble themselves to accept responsibility. Thank you for sharing these gentle reminders.

    1. Thanks, Denise. It is so important to have a humble heart and ask for forgiveness when needed.


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