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There are many reasons behind why some people become bad parents, but of those many reasons, four of those are the most common. While we would all like to believe that all parents want what’s best for their children, not all are capable of giving that.

It’s sad to think that many parents go into parenthood not realizing what the job of a parent entails. Being a parent is one of the most difficult and daunting things a person can do, and while it’s a rewarding experience, not all are going to be fit for the job.

In some cases, a seemingly harmless person can go into parenting with the best intentions, only to realize along the way that they are unprepared. Here are 4 reasons why some people become bad parents.

1. They are emotionally disconnected.

Children come into the world completely helpless and in need of love and support. Many people put guards up between themselves and other people, and when a person does this with their child- the results can be catastrophic. Children thrive off of their emotional connection with their parents. They need that connection to feel whole, to feel secure, and to feel stable in the world. When a parent is emotionally disconnected- the child is left feeling unloved and unstable in life.

2. They don’t understand love or how to give it.

Some people may believe they understand what love is. They may provide financial support to their children, and make sure all of their physical needs (food, shelter, doctor’s appointments) are met. However, children need much more than that. They need genuine and unconditional love. When a parent has never learned what love is, they come to the position of parent unprepared and unequipped. No matter how much they may believe that they are being a good parent, without real and unconditional love, they are unintentionally bad parents.

3. They have unhealed trauma.

In order to be a good parent, you have to be able to put yourself in the place and mindset of a child. When trauma happens at an early age, though, we often block ourselves from reliving the trauma by blocking the memories of our past. We do this so we don’t ever have to be vulnerable again. Unfortunately, having unhealed trauma as a parent can make parenting even more difficult. When you are unable to revisit your childhood as a parent, it can leave you handicapped, and thus cause you to unintentionally become a bad parent.

4. They have a generational curse they don’t recognize.

A generational curse is simply a convoluted way to say that you are carrying on the bad behaviors and choices of your own parents and grandparents. Some people may experience a bad childhood, and in turn, they may carry on their bad experiences by passing them on to their children. An example of this is when a person has an abusive parent. Later in life, when they have a child, they are emotionally unequipped to see the flaws in their parent’s behavior, and in turn, they continue on with this behavior and the cycle continues. This cycle will continue until someone has the courage to stop it and realize that the behavior is abusive.