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The Consequences of Bad Parenting: The Truth | Parent Coach | MegAnne Ford

The Consequences of Bad Parenting: The Truth


What are the consequences of bad parenting? What if I told you I believe that there is no such thing as a bad parent? Would you believe me? 

If you have found this blog post, either you are curious cause you might feel like a bad parent or wondering how to find fault in your parents. Let's sit with that; that is a heavy weight on your shoulders to believe that you are a bad parent or that your parents are so 'bad' that you are seeking answers. 


Are there bad parents?

Okay, so did you catch what I said? I said my belief is there is no such thing as a bad parent. Being a parent is an identity you take on as soon as you find out or seek to be a parent to another living being that can never be taken away from you. 

Here is the catch, I do think there is such a thing as bad parenting, there are ineffective tools that we as society have deemed okay, or just okay enough to get the kids out of the house and into the world. When you can separate yourself from the identity of being a parent and the parenting skills that you process, a whole new world will open to you. 

You can improve and gain new skills. Humans are capable beings. You and I are capable humans. 


What are Bad Parenting Skills?

Maybe you can see that we are able to improve and add to our skills, so let's go through some common parenting skills that are bad or ineffective. You can get a whole list of ineffective parenting strategies you might be using in your home for free.  

1. Comparisons involve noting similarities or differences between people, things, or situations. In a social context, it often refers to highlighting perceived contrasts between individuals, potentially influencing judgments or evaluations.

Academic Achievements: "Why can't you be more like your sister? She always excels in her studies and brings home top grades."
Behavioral Comparisons: "Look at how well-behaved Tommy is. Why can't you behave like him and listen the first time I ask?"
Social Comparisons: "Your friend Sarah is so polite and respectful to her parents. I wish you would learn from her and show more respect at home."

2. Another common ineffective strategy is using commands because they are authoritative instructions or orders given with the expectation of compliance, directing someone to perform a specific action or behave in a certain way.

Sounds like:
"You need to go pick up your coat right now."
"You need to listen to me. It's homework time."
"Pick up your toys; do it NOW!"
"I need you to come help me. Hurry up!"


What are good parenting skills?

While there are ineffective strategies, there are effective strategies as well. As a parent coach, I teach these new skills to parents who are seeking a better way to live day to day. They quickly realize that they were never taught these skills and, therefore, are able to set aside the mom guilt or shame that prevents them from learning and practicing

1. Clear and kind agreements in parenting are mutually (with child involvement) agreed-upon rules, expectations, or plans negotiated between parents and children to foster cooperation and understanding.

Homework Agreement: Parent: "Let's agree that homework needs to be completed before any screen time. What do you think is a reasonable time to start homework each day?"

Contribution Agreement: Parent: "We can create a list of chores for each family member. Once we agree on the tasks, we'll all be responsible for completing our assigned chores."

Communication Agreement: Parent: "Can we agree to have a family meeting once a week to discuss our schedules and any concerns or events coming up? This way, we're all on the same page.


2. Child-led routines in parenting involve allowing the child to take an active role in shaping and participating in daily routines, fostering a sense of autonomy and responsibility.

Getting buy-in: "What all needs to happen in the morning before we leave for school?"

Brainstorm all their ideas in their words: "How are you going to carry all your things?" (Backpack!) Put it into the order they want to use. "What would you want to do first?"

Create a visual chart/list with the child to refer back to by asking, "Where are you? How can I support you?"

The impact of parenting on child development

Parenting plays a crucial role in shaping a child's development, influencing their emotional intelligence and social and cognitive growth. Positive parenting practices, such as providing love, support, and positive discipline, can foster healthy self-esteem and resilience in children.

One secure relationship with a child can make a world of difference.

Love is a tricky thing; it can blind us to the harm that we are causing to small humans if we are inconsistent in our care of them. I like to think about an electric fence; what if you had to walk up and touch an electric fence each morning, not knowing if it was going to shock you that day or that minute? I think we can agree that we would either stay away from the fence or be scared every time we were made to touch it.

Well, your child might have experienced this with you. They bring you a problem, say they were roughhousing with their sibling, and things went too far, so one came to ask for help; maybe the first time it happens, you come to the rescue and help, but maybe the third time, you explode and lash out taking screen time away or put them in timeout

That inconsistent response is the electric fence being turned on and off. That is building an insecure relationship. PAUSE! This is not a practice in perfection. This is a practice of rupture & repair. Meaning we all have bad days, and it is okay and normal to misstep; the practice of apology is just as important as all the other steps. That is why the CLEAR Method is a circle. 


Breaking the cycle of bad parenting

Breaking the cycle of bad parenting involves recognizing and addressing harmful patterns learned from previous generations.

It requires a commitment to self-awareness, reflection, and personal growth. By seeking support, whether through therapy, parenting classes, or community resources, parents can learn better, healthier ways of interacting with their children and break free from detrimental behaviors.

Embracing positive parenting techniques, such as effective communication, setting boundaries, and fostering empathy, empowers parents to create a nurturing and supportive environment for their children, ultimately breaking the cycle of negative parenting for future generations.


Seeking support and resources for parents

Once you are ready to dig into the abundance of parenting skills that will support the healthy growth of the parent-child relationship, the internet has provided us with online parenting classes.

They offer invaluable support and guidance for parents seeking to improve their parenting skills and family dynamics. offer convenient access to expert advice, evidence-based strategies, and practical tips for addressing specific parenting challenges, such as tantrums, communication issues, or sibling rivalry.

These classes often allow parents to learn at their own pace and connect with a supportive community of fellow parents facing similar struggles.

You might also consider therapy a safe and confidential space for parents to explore their emotions, behaviors, and relationships, helping them gain insight into underlying issues and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Whether through therapy or online classes, investing in personal growth as a parent can lead to greater confidence, harmony, and fulfillment within the family.


You are an Amazing Parent

Although I have not worked with you yet, I know you are an amazing parent ready to up your game and learn new skills that will support you as you find joy in parenting and knowledge that you are nurturing a secure relationship with your kids. 


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