Yes. There IS such a thing as a bad parent. Yes, most of us have the best intentions for our kids. We want to give our best and we want to ensure that they have a great life. But, sometimes despite the best intentions, we genuinely get a little derailed on this whole parenting gig. When you are a bad parent, you don’t have to necessarily physically abuse them to hurt them. You can still do a few things which would scar them for life and make you a real lousy parent. Here are a few signs that you are going down the wrong path.
1. You believe it is wrong to compliment
Some parents are very free with the criticism but they are very stingy with the compliments. They believe that compliments would make their kids complacent and not aspire for greater things. NO matter what the child does, it will never be as good as they possibly can be. This can be very disheartening for kids who feel they can never satisfy their parents and bring down their self-esteem.
2.You think you are joking
If you are constantly making fun of your child in public, you should stop. You might think it is funny, but it stops being funny if it is too frequent and erodes the self-esteem of the child. Teens especially are very sensitive about what is spoken about their physique or their abilities and mocking your child publicly in the name of humour is just a bad habit that you need to quit immediately. I still remember my dad ribbing my math skills in front of my uncles making me want to run away in shame.
3. You constantly guilt them
“Guilt” is a very strong emotion that can accomplish a lot. Once parents get a taste of it, they wield it strongly as a weapon of choice because it is easy. Over a period of time however it creates a rift between the child and parent. When a parent guilt a child, children don’t feel good and they will avoid what does not feel good. So if you want your child to maintain contact with you and have a good relationship long term, skip the guilt tactic.
4.You are Hyper Critical
Some parents are always hyper critical about their children because they believe that “someone” has to give it to them straight. Anything they do, you zoom in on what went wrong instead of what went right. They are always looking for perfection in their children and hold them up to the most impossible standards. Such children sadly grow up still pining for parental approval even as adults or they give up completely.
5.You Scare them
Some parents still believe that a child should have a “healthy” amount of fear for a parent in them. They are amazing at the art of intimidation even after their kids have become adults. In the name of “Respect”, we make our children be wary of us or do things which they really don’t want to do. Fear cannot be a good foundation for a healthy relationship.
It is important as you reflect on your parenting to figure out, what is it that you desire ‘long term’ with your children? Do you want them to have the ease of picking up the phone and calling you for a chat? Have you built the kind of relationship that makes them want to call you when they run into troubled waters- for comfort, for advice, or even for just venting? – Or do you want to be the sort of parent who is the last to know to about what is going on in your kid’s life because you have been overly critical, harshly judgemental and quick to scare and be abrasive? What kind of a parent do you want to be?