Breaking bad parenting habits

Parenting is a learning curve that requires one to be flexible and admit to mistakes, and to harness strengths. There is no set way to parent, and each and every one has different rules and standards that they conform to. What works best for one, may not work for another. However, one quality that all parents have is that they want what’s best for their children. It can be easy to fall foul of bad habits, especially when under pressure and in strained times. Bad parenting habits can form, which can put strain on the relationship between parent and child.

Here is a look at bad parenting habits to break:


Tired parents can feel the strain which can lead to yelling when feeling frustrated, and this can become methodical with discipline. Yelling isn’t effective; it only shows children how to be aggressive. Children are likely to mimic this behavior, and display unwanted and unruly behavior. It can cause resentment and anger in them, which creates a hostile and damaging environment. This can easily be resolved, and the yelling can be stopped. Instead of yelling, get down to the child’s level and use a low tone but assertive voice. A calm approach yields better results, and children respond better. Initially this change may seem difficult, but over time the benefits will become apparent.


Spanking is the least effective form of discipline, which causes a negative reaction and bitter resentment. Spanking allows a child to immediately know that they have done wrong, however, they cannot be sure as to what they have done wrong, if it is not clearly explained. This form of discipline is damaging to a child’s emotional well-being, it breaks the trust and causes damage to the relationship between parent and child. To change this, when feeling angry walk away from the situation until calm, or take a deep breath before handling the situation. Instead of spanking, explain in a low tone what the child has done wrong, and issue appropriate discipline, from time-out, to having privileges taken away for a set amount of time.

Not being attentive

Children need to know that they are loved, and feel important. They are sensitive, and are still developing their self-worth and confidence. It can be very upsetting for a child to feel like there is little quality time set aside for them. They can feel ignored, which is damaging to their emotional well-being. Parents often multitask, and whilst doing so, they tend to be busy doing other tasks at the same time as listening or playing. It is important to be in the moment with children, and to give them undivided attention. Listening to a child is imperative to help foster confidence. Take time out each day to spend one-on-one time together to let them know that they are special and important. When they want to talk, always stop and listen attentively, as this shows respect and teaches them important social skills.

Don’t push it

All parents want their children to be successful in every which way. However, parents can push children too hard to succeed, expecting them to develop and grow quickly. Pushing a child to be successful can have damaging results, as it can have the opposite effect. Children become anxious, and the enjoyment is taken away from what they do well in. Having parent’s encouragement is healthy, but pushing too far can have drastic results. Children need to learn and grow in their own time. If they are pushed too hard, too fast then they may just quit, as they will start having self-doubts. Children shouldn’t be put under too much pressure and feel like their life has been planned out for them. They need to find their own direction, and want to learn at their own pace. Children that are given the right encouragement without pressure will be far more successful, and enjoy reaching their goals.

Freedom and free play

Parents that work on a tight schedule may not always give their children freedom. Oftentimes they grow concerned that their children are bored, and think it is their job to constantly find ways to entertain them by giving them set activities or games to play. Parents rush in to save boredom, however, this isn’t always wise, as children need to learn and grow by having freedom. It is essential to a child’s development that they are given freedom at times, and are allowed to have quiet time to reflect and think. This is just as important for children, as it is for adults. Free play is important, as it allows a child to develop creativity and imagination. Children need to learn how to be independent, and think for themselves to come up with new ways to play and entertain their time. It is important that there is good balance, as children need time with parents, but they also need their own time.

Parents are models to their children, and they must set a good example to allow them to grow into well-rounded individuals. There is no shame in realizing that one has fallen into bad habits, becoming aware of these habits shows that one cares. It is never too late to break bad habits, to improve and change for a better and healthier, happier, harmonious home life. Children are adaptable, and will harness change for the better and this will reflect in their behavior. Bad parenting habits are easy to fall into, but are just as easy to break. Make the change, and continue on the wonderful journey of parenthood.