Parenting is not an easy job, and even the most well-intentioned parents can end up making major mistakes. In some cases, I would barter in most cases, some of the most toxic parents likely don’t even realize how much their bad habits will end up impacting their children.
Everyone makes mistakes, that much is true. And children don’t come with guidebooks. Some parents would do whatever it takes to make their child happy, and with the barrage of parenting tips, it’s honestly hard to know who is right and who is wrong.
And then some parents simply don’t care either way, because they are selfish and lack empathy.
Regardless of your intentions, there are just some parenting habits that will eventually ruin your child. These habits should be avoided at all costs, and if you partake in them, I implore you to question why.
Here are 12 toxic parenting habits.
1. Giving in to your child’s every wish.
I think that for the most part, parents do this because they feel like they want their child to be happy, no matter what. And while it’s noble to want your child to be happy and satisfied, it’s important to not give your child everything they ask for. When you do, you are setting a precedent that they are entitled to whatever they want. Additionally, when you give them everything they want, whenever they want it, they never learn the value of delayed gratification.
2. Comparing your child to others.
When a parent compares their child to their siblings, friends, cousins, or whomever, they are clearly saying “Why can’t you be better?” or “Why are you not enough?” Talk about self-esteem problems…
3. Living through your child.
Another toxic behavior of parents is living through their child. Every child is born with their dreams, talents, and interests. When parents try to make their child join the football team, so they can live out their dreams of being a quarterback, even when their child doesn’t like football, you are robbing them of their ability to define themselves.
4. Expect your child to agree with you all the time.
There again, children have their views, opinions, and way of seeing the world. Expecting them to agree with everything you say is an attempt to control even their thoughts. Ultimately, they will either rebel against you, or they will never learn to critically think.
5. Not allowing your child any privacy.
As children get older, they need space, and unfortunately, some parents fail to give them that space. But, kids need privacy as a deep-rooted and emotional need. They need space to grow.
6. Disciplining your child out of anger or fear.
When you discipline your child out of anger, you are not disciplining them. Discipline is a form of teaching that shows children how to navigate through hard situations. When you punish your child out of anger, they only know that they are being reprimanded because they made you upset.
7. Failing to make your child feel secure.
Children are born into the world needing affection and security. And as parents, that is our job to provide. When you are constantly yelling at your child or invalidating their emotions, you are giving them neither security nor affection. Instead, you are giving them a jump start on unhealthy coping mechanisms and unresolved emotional problems.
8. Overly criticizing your child.
Many parents criticize their children because they want them to be the best version of themselves they can be. However, when all you do is nitpick and tear your child down, they will end up believing that nothing they do is right.
9. Helicopter parenting.
Helicopter parenting happens when parents stand over their children, constantly navigating them through things and doing everything for them. They don’t allow them any space, and in turn, their children end up with major anxiety. In some situations, they never learn how to do anything for themselves and end up completely dependent on their parents.
10. Keeping score.
There are parents in this world that keep a tally of everything their children do wrong. Each time their child gets in trouble, they don’t fail to bring up every little thing they have ever done. Unfortunately, when you do this, you are placing a heavy burden on their shoulders and teaching them that no matter what they do, they will always be the equivalent of their mistakes.
11. Not allowing your child to express their emotions.
Children need to learn how to manage their emotions. When you tell them to “Stop!” every time they are sad, happy, or upset, you are telling them that their emotions aren’t valid.
12. Withholding love and affection as punishment.
Some parents like to think that if their child does something wrong, they should withhold affection as an incentive for their kids to do better. When you do this, though, you are teaching your kids that love comes at a price.