12 Bad Parenting Examples To Avoid With Your Teens

Every parent will ask themselves regularly if they are a good parent or not. Are we making the right choices for our children, are we raising them in a loving, healthy, and enriching way?

The fact that we ask ourselves these questions, already tells us that we are not bad parents. Bad parenting is not losing your cool with your kids, there is much more to it.

Every parent will sometimes reach boiling point when their children are misbehaving, and this is ok. So then, what is bad parenting and how do we deal with it?

In this blog, we are going to discuss bad parenting examples, how to deal with bad parents and what the psychological effects of bad parenting are. Let us dive right in!

12 Bad Parenting Examples

bad parenting examples 1

Let us look at some bad parenting examples and discuss them a bit more in detail. There are many examples of bad parenting, some very serious and difficult to solve without professional help.

Now, we all know that neglect or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse is without a doubt considered bad parenting, but let’s look at some more subtle examples that can easily be overlooked.

1. Often Using a Negative Approach

Some parents may always use a negative approach when responding to their children, or even physically intimidate them, possibly making them feel inadequate or unworthy.

If we are always going to be responding to our children in a grumpy or condescending manner, it will negatively affect them and give them poor confidence levels.

2. Too Little Praise for Achievements

We underestimate how important it is to show praise for our children’s achievements, whether big or small. Some parents even go as far as comparing their achievements to that of other students in the class or even family members.

If we choose to constantly not show enough praise for their achievements, we may deal with a teen or adult that feels their efforts are not good enough for anyone.

3. Not Providing Adequate Affection

Children need affection to feel loved. It provides emotional and physical warmth for them. Children will often act up in situations when they feel they are lacking something.

Often, you will find that if your child is misbehaving, there may be a lack of physical or emotional connection between you and the child.

4. Not Being Supportive Enough

We are supposed to be supportive and encouraging of our children. If your child is needing assistance with a decision or task at hand, offer both advice and encouragement.

Support them in their endeavors, go to their sports games and help them with their homework. Being a supportive parent will bring the result of a whole and healthy individual who feels supported, loved and ready to take on the world.

5. Spoiling your Child Too Much

We all love to spoil our children, but the last thing we want is to teach them that everything in life comes for free.

We can easily find a healthy balance between spoiling them and helping them learn that what they long for, they need to work for. We don’t want to raise spoiled brats, do we?

6. Publicly Humiliating Them

Ever seen a parent reprimanding their child in the mall, in front of everyone or in front of their friends? Being publicly humiliated has such a negative effect on our children.

7. Setting a Poor Example

Even when it seems like your teenagers are rebelling, teens will often look at their parents for help with modelling behavior and learning how to act and how to respond to life’s many challenges.

Parents who set a poor example for their teens are setting their teens up for failure. It’s true that some teenagers will be able to learn from their parent’s poor example and do the opposite, but that takes an exceptional teen to overcome.

Sometimes all you need to do is look at the parents if you’re ever wondering “Why do teens act out?

8. Not Letting Them Make Their Own Decisions

Teens will make mistakes, it’s part of growing up. Letting a teenager make mistakes and learn from them is really important as a parent. But it’s also important for a parent to know when things are getting out of hand, or a teen is gearing up to make a mistake that is much more costly than the lesson they might learn.

Some mistakes have permanent consequences and can literally ruin a life, so a parent needs to set a teen up to avoid those types of decisions and mistakes while also being able to navigate when to give teens a little more room to make smaller mistakes, face the consequences, and learn from them.

9. Not Trying To Respect and Understand Their Feelings

A parent should give their teens room to explore their feelings and emotions, and to feel safe sharing those feelings. One of the key ways to do that is to make an effort to understand a teenager’s feelings, to listen to them, to hear them out, and to empathize.

Helping teenagers explore their feelings, respecting and trying to understand them can help them to develop emotional intelligence and learn that these types of things aren’t something to be shied away from.

10. Punishing Them for Being Honest

If your teen comes forward and tells you something they’ve done wrong, and owns up to it, and shows that they understand why it was wrong, and you still choose to punish them harshly, then you need to ask yourself: what’s the point of a punishment?

Punishments for teenagers are meant to help them, right? It’s not just about being vindictive. If they’ve already learned a lesson, you need to take that into account when punishing them.

Also, do you want them to come to you and be honest next time they make a mistake, or do you want them to be too afraid to tell you so that they just keep it to themselves?

11. Not Helping With Problems (Even Small Ones)

To follow-up on some of the points about letting your teens make mistakes and learn from them, it’s also very important to be there to help them when they come to you.

If a teenager feels like their own parents don’t have their back or aren’t in their corner, it can make them feel very resentful, alone, and can create a complex that will make it harder for them to get close to people throughout their lives.

Signs of Bad Parenting

signs of bad parenting

How do we know if a teen is dealing with bad parenting behaviors at home? There are many signs of bad parenting, here are a few of the more notable ones.

Antisocial behaviors

This is when a child will act without thinking how it may affect others. Severe forms of this can easily lead to substance abuse, mental health issues, crime etc.

Poor Resilience

Children learn from their parents how to deal with emotional hardships in life. Children who are experiencing bad parenting will not seem strong or have a lack of emotional intelligence in dealing with life’s problems.

Low Moods

A child who is experiencing bad parenting at home, may often have low moods or even depression.


Aggression is a very distinct sign of bad parenting. Children who are experiencing abuse or negative vibes at home, will often have issues with aggression.

Difficulty Building Relationships

A child who has low confidence levels will find it difficult to build friendships or to maintain healthy relationships.

Lack of Empathy for Others

For children who have experienced some form of abuse, you will find that they will battle to have empathy for others, as the example was not set for them of showing empathy for others or even themselves.

How To Deal with Bad Parents

Dealing with bad parents is not always easy, but we have put together a few tips to help you. You may be a teenager who is having some issues with your own parents, or you might be a parent who has to interact with “bad parents” at your kid’s school, in your community, and so on.

It’s a touchy subject either way, but here are some tips for dealing with bad parents.

  • Set healthy boundaries
  • Be assertive and direct in your approach
  • Stop seeking their approval
  • Keep expectations low
  • Gain a new perspective

Psychological Effects of Bad Parenting

Children who have experienced the negative effects of bad parenting will suffer problems such as mental health disorders, relationship troubles, depression / anxiety and even aggression. In extreme cases where abusive parenting is at play, you may find that substance abuse or even crime will be evident.

Bad parenting can leave a massive scar on our children’s emotional well being. There are many psychological effects of bad parenting that we need to be aware of and look out for.

In this article, we have looked at some examples of bad parenting, noted some of the signs of bad parenting and can see the emotional and social effects it can have on our children.

Remember, the future of the world we live in, will be in the hands of the next generation, therefore how we raise them will determine what the future holds.

It is important for us as parents to assess advice we receive from others as well, when it comes to our parenting, as we don’t want to be implementing bad parenting advice from others.

Final Thoughts on Bad Parents

Bad parents can come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be defined by many different combinations of the bad parenting examples mentioned above. It can be tricky to deal with bad parents, and in some cases, the best thing that you can do is to make sure that you don’t become one yourself.

Sara Dylan

Author Information

Sara Dylan is passionate about researching and writing interesting articles to help people. Sara is a prolific writer at TeenWire.org, and enjoys a nice cup of tea as much as the next person.