Bad habits parents need to break


As a parent, you strive to be the best one you can be for your kids. However, some actions may be doing more harm than good, and you might not even be aware of it. From spoiling your kids, to being inconsistent when you discipline them, every parent has exhibited one or more of these behaviors. But once you become fully aware of them, you’re ready to make some adjustments for the better.

Prepared to kick some bad parenting habits to the curb? Then click through the following gallery.

Feeling like you’re failingBad habits parents need to break

It’s common for parents to be hard on themselves, but this kind of thinking is counterproductive. Instead, look at the little missteps as an opportunity to grow and learn. Also, by showing your kids that it’s okay to make mistakes, you’ll teach them to be resilient in their own lives.

Doing everything for themDoing everything for them

By trying to make your kids’ lives easier, you may be doing them a disservice. To raise independent children, you need to allow them to practice being independent. They learn a lot by trying things on their own. Plus, showing that you believe in them helps build confidence.

Fighting over the little thingsFighting over the little things

Pick your parenting battles wisely. You can’t win every battle, and you shouldn’t try to. If your preschooler wants to wear a mismatched outfit, let them. Some things aren’t worth fighting over.

Neglecting your romantic relationshipNeglecting your romantic relationship

It’s easy to neglect your relationship when you’re mostly focused on raising and taking care of your kids. But make sure to nurture your partnership, perhaps by planning date nights together, and connect on a daily basis.

Overscheduling themOverscheduling them

We want our kids to learn new things and experience everything they want. But this can lead to overscheduling them. Resist the urge to cram sports, dance, piano lessons, and other activities. It’s important to give them free time to just be kids, too.

Neglecting to assign responsibilitiesNeglecting to assign responsibilities

Many kids have the luxury of a carefree life with zero responsibilities. But this can lead to the child becoming irresponsible as they get older. By assigning age-appropriate chores, kids will learn the importance of contributing to the household. They’ll also learn important life skills.

Overusing technologyOverusing technology

When was the last time you unplugged to spend one-on-one time with your child? Even if technology is today an integral part of our lives, it’s important to have some time apart from it to simply be with your family.

Trying to be together 24/7Trying to be together 24/7

It’s not uncommon for parents to feel guilty over not spending enough time with their children. Some parents even guilt themselves into trying to spend every waking moment with their kids. But that’s not healthy. Instead, enjoy quality time with your family, but also recognize the importance of letting kids play alone or with their siblings. Everyone needs some alone time.

Spoiling themSpoiling them

Many parents end up inadvertently spoiling their kids by buying them lots of things. And while material items are nice, they won’t bring lasting happiness. Teach your kids to find joy in less superficial ways and you’ll be raising a good citizen.

Forgetting to teach them gratitudeForgetting to teach them gratitude

Do you kids know what it really means to be thankful? Make sure the words they’re speaking aren’t empty. Being grateful allows children to step outside their own self-interests and recognize that they’re not entitled to all the good things in life.

Putting your needs on holdPutting your needs on hold

Unwittingly, parents often put their needs on hold in order to do things for everyone else. This can become emotionally and physically draining and lead to frustration, irritability, and burnout. Make sure to also do things that you enjoy, and to practice self-care.

Forcing them to eatForcing them to eat

Most parents want their kids to eat healthy foods. But if your kid is disgusted every time they eat a green bean, chances are you’re not going to change their food preferences. Instead of forcing them to eat stuff they don’t like, introduce them to many flavors and textures, without forcing them to eat anything.

Rushing everywhereRushing everywhere

If you’re often telling your kids to hurry up, then it might be time to slow down and understand why. Constantly rushing around is often a sign that either your schedule is too packed or you need to look at your family’s time management skills.


There’s a lot of pressure on parents to buy the latest gadgets, clothing styles, and toys. But this usually wreaks the family budget. Plus, it doesn’t teach kids the importance of delayed gratification. Instead, teach kids how to plan for the things they want, and give them a budget when shopping.

Ignoring bad behaviorIgnoring bad behavior

When kids throw tantrums or fight with their siblings, it’s tempting for parents to overlook the problem behaviors and rationalize that it’s just a phase. But it’s important to communicate that certain behaviors aren’t appropriate. Use these situations as teaching moments.


Trying to be like other parentsTrying to be like other parents

Too often, parents compare themselves to others. But doing this can be harmful to you and even contribute to parent shaming and judgmental attitudes. Instead, focus on discovering who you are as a parent, and stay true to that.

Avoiding important conversationsAvoiding important conversations

It’s not uncommon for parents to neglect addressing important subjects, such as consent and dating. They might feel nervous and think it’s not on the horizon or affecting their kids at the moment. However, it’s better to take a more proactive approach and talk to your kids about important issues early and often.

Depending on electronicsDepending on electronics

It can be very tempting to rely on tablets and video games to keep your kids quiet and busy. But you need to set time limits, stick to them, and plan other activities away from screens.

Failing to teach street smartsFailing to teach street smarts

Being street smart isn’t only about looking both ways before you cross the street. Teach your kids about how to stay safe when they are riding their bike, visiting the mall, and hanging out with friends. Also, make sure they know how to be aware of their surroundings and what to do if a stranger approaches them.

Being inconsistent in your disciplineBeing inconsistent in your discipline

Inconsistent discipline is confusing to kids and doesn’t help them learn the valuable lessons you’re trying to teach. Come up with a discipline plan and stick to it.

Allowing the wrong friendsAllowing the wrong friends

Make sure your kids know what a healthy friendship is and how to identify fake friends or toxic friendships. Learning this early on could save your child a lot of heartache later.

Blowing up at themBlowing up at them

Parenting can be frustrating, but blowing up at your kids isn’t the answer. Stop yelling, and find a better way to communicate with them. They’ll then actually listen to what you have to say.

Forcing friendships on themForcing friendships on them

While it’s fine to help them establish friendships, forcing your child into a relationship with a person that they don’t connect with will only lead to frustration. Instead, let your child take the lead on who they befriend and spend time with.

Trying to raise perfect kidsTrying to raise perfect kids

Here’s the thing: your kids aren’t perfect. No child is, and that’s perfectly fine. Expecting your kids to be perfect can be damaging to their self-esteem. It could also negatively impact their performance in the classroom and in life.

Neglecting the little momentsNeglecting the little moments

Do your best to slow down and appreciate the little things in your child’s life. Also, remind yourself that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create family memories. Some of your best memories can come from mundane events like cooking dinner together.

Overindulging in praiseOverindulging in praise

Sure, every parent thinks their kids are awesome, and we want them to know it. But overpraising can actually cause kids to develop narcissistic tendencies. Focus on giving praise in a healthy and productive way. For example, praising your children’s efforts (which they have control over) is more effective than praising their talents (which they don’t).

Acting as though failure is badActing as though failure is bad

It’s common for parents to go out of their way to make sure their kids don’t ever fail. Some even go as far as writing their child’s book report or completing their science project. However, it’s healthy for kids to experience the natural consequences of their actions, choices, or inactions. It also teaches them responsibility.

Living your life through theirsLiving your life through theirs

Remember when you wanted to be a dancer or a professional basketball player? You might now want to get your kids involved in these activities. But they might not even be interested. If so, back off and give them space to find and pursue their own passions.

Treating them like adultsTreating them like adults

Kids are kids, and they are learning, growing, and trying to understand their own feelings. Therefore, strive to have realistic, age-appropriate expectations for their actions and behaviors.

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