Parenting is something you'd imagine humans would be more evolved to do. We've spent billions of years raising our children, and yet we make mistakes all the time. Perhaps it's because our instincts aren't tailored to the modern world. Whatever the case, we make mistakes. Our hormones and emotions override the logical way to raise our kids. It happens. Here are some of the worst mistakes, failures, and examples of what not to do as a parent for the parents out there.
You've probably seen it in a store. A kid is misbehaving, and the parent responds by giving them empty threats. "I'm gonna count to three; you better stop it before I reach three. One…. Two…" and then nothing. There is never a three.
If you keep giving a child empty threats, they're not going to take them seriously. We all know that person in real life who is all talk, no action. You laugh every time they threaten something because they don't follow through.
Your child will listen more if you follow through on your threat. Don't threaten to ground them. Ground them.
Living Through Your Kids
We all make mistakes growing up. Maybe you didn't go to college, and now you regret it. Perhaps you wanted to join a sports team, but you never got a chance to. For some parents, having a child is a way to have another chance at life. Your kid can experience things you never got to do, and it's a way to bring closure.
But there's a limit to it. Your child isn't a clone of you; they have their interests too. If you get upset because your child doesn't want to choose the same career or do the same hobbies as you, don't let it. Instead, try to fill the holes your way. It's never too late.
Not Letting Them Do Chores
There are a lot of young adults who are inept at doing chores. They are unable to do basic tasks such as laundry, cooking, or washing dishes. One of the reasons this may be is because their parents never asked them to do chores.
Perhaps it's because when the parents were kids, their parents treated them like miniature housemaids, and they don't want their kids to live like that. But there is a balance you can achieve. You shouldn't make your child work like a dog around the house, but making them do chores on occasion, as well as letting them clean their room, teaches them valuable life skills.
Don't let your child grow up to be that person. Show them how to make a sparkling clean dish. Teach them how to cook and help out in the kitchen. Make it fun, too.
Letting The Screen Raise Them
When television became mainstream, it was almost a godsend for parents. TV shows can keep children entertained, letting the parents do whatever they please. The same applies to the video game console, the computer, the tablet, and so on.
There's nothing wrong with your child watching a few shows or playing a few games. The problem is letting them do it all the time and making the screen more of a parent than you are. We all know the story of a parent who let the screen raise the child unsupervised, the child saw something that wasn't appropriate for them, and then the parent gets mad at the program instead of at themselves for not watching them.
You don't have to supervise your child 24/7, but have a good idea what they're watching, and have a conversation with them about it too if they see something inappropriate.
Losing Control Of Your Emotions
Parenting is stressful, especially if there are other factors in your life. If your kid is annoying you, and you have bills, job problems, and other troubles to deal with as well, it can build up. You can't take your anger out on your boss or the electric guy for charging too much, but you can take your anger out on your child, right?
Don't. Being intimidating or yelling at your child is a sign you're not in control as a parent. Worst of all, it can negatively impact your child's life. It may sound therapeutic to yell at your child, point at them, and even be violent with them, but it's not something you should do. They may get anger issues as a result or become intimidating as well.
When you feel the anger rising, stop, take a deep breath, and find a way to calm yourself down. A good authority figure will not be shouting at you to do something, but instead someone who can direct in a cool, calm manner.
The hardest part about parenting is that it requires a balance. You shouldn't let your child run around and do whatever they want without any supervision, but at the same time, being too protective is not good at all. Children of overprotective parents will go into the adult world with no life skills, or they'll be so rebellious that they'll take so many risks that it ruins their lives.
So what's the balance? When should you let a kid play outside without you hovering around them to make sure they don't get a scrape? When should you let a teen be a teen, and when should you make them come home before curfew? We could write an entire article on this subject alone. If you feel like you're too overbearing, let your kid make a few risky decisions within reason. Obviously, they shouldn't venture into the woods unsupervised, but let them play with their friends outside for a while.
Being A Bad Example
We all know of hypocritical parents. We've seen the mom who lights up a cigarette in front of their child and says, "Don't do this." We all know of parents who fight in front of their children. Everyone has their bad habits, but when a child sees the parent doing them, they will want to repeat it, regardless of if a parent tries to discourage them. If you smoke, hide it from your kids, or quit altogether. When you fight, do it in private. And we mean private, not lock yourself in another room where you're still in earshot in front of your child.
If you have multiple kids or your friend has a child whose behavior is better, it's hard to resist comparing your child's sibling or friend to them. "Why can't you be more like your brother?" Adding competition to your child's life is damaging. They may grow up feeling inferior and may resent their sibling for being a favorite. Instead, please point out the good traits in all of them. Life may be competitive, but you should teach your child to strive for success, not put them down for being inferior.
Not Using Positive Reinforcement
Humans love to showcase the negative and avoid the positive. When your child is misbehaving, you punish them. However, when your child does a good deed, you shrug it off. That's not something you should do. When your child does something desirable, reward them. Don't spoil them and buy them a toy every time, but give them a hug, a high-five, or something else they enjoy. Finding the good in life is a great lesson to teach your child.
Spoiling The Kid Rotten, As Well As Being Stingy
Again, parenting requires balance, and here is a case where two extremes can be bad for the child. We all know of the spoiled child. The one who cries for something, and they get their way instantly. This is obviously not a good way to parent. The child will grow up unprepared for the real world and may depend on others.
However, never letting your child have a treat isn't that good either. Your child may grow up to be stingy themselves and never show compassion for another person.
Reaching the balance is hard. Another thing you should teach your child is finance. Explain to them that you can't buy them everything they want because of money. Don't be afraid to talk to your kids about the real world at times.
Not Seeking Family Therapy
For some parents, the idea of having a therapist handle a parenting situation is a sign of failure. However, you have to understand that it does take more than one or two people to raise a child, and a child psychologist or a family therapist will know more about how the child's mind works than you may and can provide solutions to help both the parent and child. And as we said, parenting is a balance, and a therapist can help you achieve said balance.
A person's childhood is a big influence on how they'll be as an adult. By raising your child properly, you can help them succeed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the signs of bad parenting?
It is never too late to change one’s behavior with their children. People are not perfect, and first-time parents especially may not be well-versed in fulfilling their child’s every need while still punishing them when appropriate. Parenting fails do not mean that parents should give up on their responsibilities. While certain funny parenting fails to exist, parents should understand the importance of caring for their children. Whether you want to educate yourself, know a parent, or are a parent, here are a few possible signs of bad parenting and some parenting tips to go along with them:
Is it too late to fix parenting mistakes?
It is probably never too late to fix parenting mistakes. Every parent has likely felt a tinge of regret about some way in which they raised their child. Some may have thought about how they wished they spent more time with them instead of working, while other parents may recall fails funny parenting that they feel were embarrassing to their children. Hopefully, these parenting fails funny moments can instead eventually be viewed as good memories with one’s children. However, parenting does not end when a child goes off to college or moves out for the first time. Parenting is a lifetime commitment that neither child nor parent will forget.
Children may remember when their parents got into fights often or engaged in risky behavior, like drinking or aggressive driving. Some individuals may believe that their parents cannot change and think they want to face life without parental support. But many people are capable of recognizing their faults and changing their attitude in response. There may be some hilarious parenting moments that could also be interpreted as a serious parenting failure. Furthermore, it is important not to forget about true epic fails. Epic fails, such as a throwback to holiday parent moments in which children may have felt neglected, are important to acknowledge. By learning more about holiday parent fails, and other parents fail moments, a parent can show their child that they care for them in the present moment and acknowledge while atoning past mistakes.
Before anyone can move on from their parenting mistakes, they may need to forgive themselves. If you genuinely believe that you can still be a good part of your child’s life, or if a child thinks that their parents are redeemable, then try to forgive them and yourself. Many people advise that life is too short to hold onto regrets. Both parents and their children can throw back to holiday parent parenting fails funny moments and reminisce about when they were both innocent and maybe a little misguided. Some epic may be seen from initially being a serious parent fail to hilarious parenting.
How do you recover from parenting mistakes?
The first step in recovering from parenting mistakes is acknowledging the past problems and using the knowledge to look toward trying harder in the future. Holding yourself to an impossibly high, perfect standard can make it much harder to find ways to move on with life. Parents may have to move on from both a serious parent fail to hilarious parenting moments. It is okay to look back on the past and remember who you were before, so long as you move on with your life in the present. Remembering that children are still people, who deserve apologies, amends, and time to accept or reject new attempts to be in their lives, gives them the agency they deserve.
Parents may have made mistakes raising their children because they did not have good role models as parents themselves. Children in dysfunctional families are not often taught healthy coping mechanisms that result in emotion regulation. As such, parents may feel shame for the issues that their adult children are experiencing, even though these unhealthy patterns are often cyclical and buried deep in subconscious habits. However, there is a chance that the parent may have had failed funny parenting moments that did not affect their child’s growth.
If a parent truly feels they did their best, they should also give themselves a break. A parent whose child feels stressed can consider helping their children by learning to forgive themselves, which may help the parent openly discuss their past, take responsibility, and make apologies. Parents can also ask others for help and receive advice that explains how they can support their adult children.
What should you not do when parenting?
Parenting is more than learning from self-help books and blogs. However, there are some types of negative behavior that you can try avoiding during parenting moments. Be wary of the following negative behaviors and warnings of what you could be doing wrong or forgetting:
What is the most psychologically damaging thing you can say to a child?
When taking care of a child, these examples of two psychologically damaging things are a major parenting fail. They can include a parent fail:
What is a toxic mom?
A toxic mom could exhibit behavior that makes children feel guilt or a sense of obligation for their parents during a holiday parent failure or other parenting moments. These behaviors could range from acting overly self-centered to deliberately manipulating the people around them. Since a child’s family has such a significant impact, the child may incur lasting side effects from toxic parenting.
Adult children may have internalized their parents' treatment of them as normal because they thought their parents were doing what was best for them during parenting moments. Some children learn to rationalize physical or emotional abuse (of themselves or between domestic partners) as deserving it, and this is never okay. If you suspect that you or a loved one could be living in an abusive situation, consider calling the hotline 1.800.799.SAFE.
The behaviors of toxic parents can deeply harm young children. While it should not be on the child to feel responsible for a parent's behavior, older children who may be dealing with toxic parents can try to set boundaries with their toxic parents. If you are a child trying to deal with potentially toxic parents, consider trying resources at teencounseling.com.
If a parent suspects that their child mistrusts them, they could take the opportunity to evaluate themselves and make better decisions that can benefit their kid in the long run. Hearing a phrase like toxic applied to parenting could be a wake-up call. If you fear turning into a toxic parent, consider listing attitudes you want to improve on your own or consider seeking therapy from a licensed professional.