Parents often ask themselves if they are a bad parent or not. This is completely normal since it is so easy to end up feeling like parenting skills are not as great as they should be especially when a bad day creeps in.
The truth is that the simple fact that you are wondering if you are a bad parent or not is a good sign. It shows that you most likely want to be a good parent. You might simply not know how to do that.
Let’s Understand Bad Parenting
Some things are obviously bad and you can easily figure out who is a bad parent when they appear. Just think about things like sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and physical abuse. These are clearly damaging and serious behavior traits we can all agree are a part of bad parenting.
Beyond neglect and abuse though, there are several things that would lead to some bad outcomes for children. You need to recognize if you do things that could hurt your children.
Everything starts with carefully analyzing your own parenting style. This is not something easy. However, it is mandatory.
Remember that the fact you come to the conclusion you are a bad parent does not actually mean you did something right. It is completely normal to lose your temper from time to time. But this does not give you an excuse for treating the child as if they were dumb or useless.
Bad Parenting – Signs To Be Aware Of
Some of the clearer signs of bad parenting are presented below. But, remember they are not the only ones. We will focus on some that are pretty easy to spot since going to the extremes is always a very bad idea.
Under Or Over Involvement
Uninvolved parents do not respond to the needs of their children and are neglectful. Usually, they only think about basics like clothing, food, and shelter. With over involvement, we basically talk about helicopter parents. They do a lot of harm because they control every single decision for the child, together with doing everything for the child. This can only lead to children not learning anything.
No Or Little Discipline
A child who has no or little discipline is left to fend for themselves. This can lead to injuries and the child will usually not understand boundaries. It is important for children to see parents as a way to define both boundaries and consequences.
Rigid Or Strict Discipline
Parents who are practicing rigid or strict discipline fall into the category of authoritarian parenting. Children do not explore and so they end up being rebellious, anxious, or fearful.
Withdrawing Attention And Affection
When you ignore the child, you tell them a very important thing. You tell them love is conditional. Withdrawing the affection you show because the child is not doing what you want will also lead to huge farm. Such behaviors make children have low confidence and low self-esteem. It then leads to the unwanted situation in which children do not express needs and wants.
As time passes, the child can end up with co-dependency. The child basically adapts to how they will feel the person around them wants the child to act. As a result, the abusive can quickly become abusive.
Both private and public shaming are huge problems. Those who kept being shamed will develop serious issues with perfection. They can also experience fear of failure and it is very common for children to end up facing anxiety or depression.
Bad Parenting – Effects
Without positive parenting, children are a hug risk of developing depression, relationship troubles, aggression, anxiety, and much more. The effects highlighted below are those that you do not want to see and are caused by bad parenting.
Negative Perception Of Self
Because of the constant use of shaming and negative labels, lasting consequences appear. The sense of self of the child is affected and several self-fulfilling prophecies and self-narratives appear.
Shame is a very negative emotion that is paralyzing. Bad parents use it to deter the negative behavior and motivate positive behavior. Unfortunately, this is not the effect that appears. The common tactic of using negative labels can only make children internalize and they end up embodying negative messages.
Rebellion And Control Issues
When experiencing strict discipline or overly rigid discipline, the child can end up with control issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or even anxious behaviors. The mindset is negatively affected and the idea that the entire world is dangerous becomes reality. The child can also end up with rebellious personality and will want to fight parents, break rules, and will engage in several possible negative behaviors.
Behavioral And Emotional Problems
When the parent is harsh and uses physical and verbal threats, yells a lot, hits the child, and similar actions, there are clear immediate consequences. This can lead to the child having serious behavioral and emotional issues, like not following school directions and aggressiveness.
Stopping Bad Parenting
Negative parenting behaviors will put children at huge risk. But, they are not the only factor that will determine the outcome of the situation. Sometimes, even parents that use positive discipline and interaction will end up with children who are struggling with emotional issues or behavioral problems.
Parenting is basically a fully ongoing process. It never stops. It can become even a lot worse when your own parents were problematic.
Whenever you find it that you are a bad parent and you see the things highlighted above, it is time to make changes. Fortunately, changes can always be made.
You can always revamp the parenting style you use. This does take patience, a lot of honesty, and much hard work. Fortunately though, it is never too late and you can start right now. All the positive changes you make will lead to a better outcome for the child, which is exactly what you should want at the end of the day.
Remember that the internet is filled with articles covering parenting. They can teach you a lot about the best things you can do and how to improve, regardless of what your situation is.