Updated: Nov 27, 2021
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” –Frederick Douglass
Having a mindful and consistent parenting style is not easy. Our own childhood experiences and the way that our parents raised us affect our parenting behaviors and decisions. Most parents use their own upbringing as a blueprint for parenting. The impact of bad parenting has lasting consequences on children.
Some parenting behaviors and decisions can have an adverse impact on the child's demeanor and mental health. Some parents are not aware of the ramifications of their behavior. Bad parenting can result from a lack of knowledge on being a better parent or a general aversion to learning the proper approach.
Parenting Mistakes and Their Impact Of On Children
Following are a few examples of what parents do and their impact on the children.
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Excessive reprimanding of the child
Some parents have no or low tolerance for mistakes. They give lectures, scold or yell at their children for any mistakes. Children growing up with these parents become adults with low self-esteem. They might experience more anxiety and aggression. These children are more subject to bullying because they don't have a good understanding of healthy boundaries and self-respect.
Some parents know nothing but criticize their children. They only notice their children's failings and compare them with others. It seems nothing is ever good enough for these parents. Children of these parents develop negative belief systems about themselves that affect them for the rest of their lives. Children exposed to high levels of criticism are at a higher risk of experiencing depression and anxiety. The findings of a research published online in May in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology revealed that children of highly critical parents pay less attention to emotional facial expressions. Children of these parents feel hopeless and helpless. They doubt their ability to be successful and are dependent on eternal validation.
Disciplining the Child in Front of Everyone
Some parents might lose their patience and scold, yell, or even slap their child in front of others. These children feel constant embarrassment and humiliation and will struggle to shake off the shame associated with this kind of discipline for the rest of their life.
No Encouragement but Corrections
Some parents think that their role is to correct their children all the time. They keep correcting them for everything, what they should say or do. These parents seem very engaged and dedicated to their children. They decide on everything from the color of their child's cloth to their kid's future partner or job. There is no encouragement, support or freedom for these kids. These parents raise a child with low self-esteem and dependence; they will have problems self-governing. Despite their intelligence, they are emotionally immature.
Withholding Affection and Invalidating Feelings
Some parents are not available emotionally, and some might think hugging and kissing kids can spoil them. The younger the kid, the more needs to receive affection. Children of these parents will be emotionally disconnected. They believe that emotions are wrong. These parents are more inclined to ignore or invalidate their children's feelings. When their children express their feeling and insecurities, these parents feel insecure themselves and try to correct them, offer unsolicited advice, or use it as an opportunity to lecture about their experiences. Many symptoms of hyperactivity, defiance, and mood problems are generated in children of parents who invalidate their feelings.
Not Discipline and Set Up Rules
Some parents believe that disciplining their kids will affect them negatively. However, structure and boundaries are necessary for children to develop into healthy adults. Growing up with these parents is like being in a desert with no compass. Wherever you look is sand and nothing. These kids will grow into anxious adults who can't regulate their behavior, especially in social settings.
Some parents want to protect their children from every imaginable danger. These children become fearful and afraid of taking any risk.
Not explaining or too much explaining
Some parents explain nothing to their children. Their children live a life full of surprise. For example, one of my clients explained that they moved to another country when she was ten. Her parents didn't prepare her for this transition. He said, 'I thought we were going on one of our trips to another country which we normally go to because of my father's job. But this time, we never came back home." This client has a chronic fear of change. Even small changes in her life can cause severe panic attacks.
Too much explanation also can be harmful to the kids depending on their age. These kids feel overwhelmed and anxious.
Being a Poor Example
Some parents are very good lecturers and expect their kids to be good people without any mistakes. However, they are not a good role model for their kids. The first and foremost job of a parent is to be a good role model. If a parent lies or burst into rage and anger or has low self-esteem, they cant expect their children to be different. We need to know that our children tune with us, even what we feel can affect them. If a mother is an anxious person, subconsciously, their children will feel danger. Our child will pick up on all our feelings, habits and behaviors.
Being inconsistent in parenting is one of the most harmful parenting styles. Children of parents who can't take a stand, change from strict parents to ignorant or liberal, are very likely to become emotionally volatile children. These children emerge with unstable cores and weak identities and have trouble defining themselves. These kids often develop oppositional and defiant behaviors to camouflage their insecurities. Providing a stable and consistent home may not always be possible, but providing stable and consistent parenting is always within reach.