I’ve always been very vocal about my disagreement with the social tendency to arbitrarily blame parents, for everything. Parenting is the hardest job in the world.

There is no single “right way” to parent.  Whether it be circumstance, values, culture, a parent’s own upbringing or experience from previous parenting successes and failures,that influence a person’s parenting style; it still comes down to personal choice.   Most of us don’t even parent each of our children with exactly the same style.

Don’t let the know-it-all people fool you! Everyone has an opinion.  Who cares?  How you parent is your choice. I absolutely adore, enjoy, love, and LIKE my own children, but I wouldn’t want the world to be full of people who were exactly like them.

I love the diversity of our world and am especially moved by the newest generations’ devotion to human rights and equality.  Parenting in a completely different way from Susie down the block, with the perfect kids, doesn’t make you a bad parent.

The problem is, we often (conveniently) forget that no one is perfect, especially when it comes to parenting. We get into debates over semantics and forget about the big picture.  I’ve been thinking about this whole fascinating topic for years. Maybe, all my life.  I was certainly raised differently than I am raising my own children.  Whatever the case may be, something has remained constant in my personal beliefs over the years.  Specifically, what all good parents do:

5 Things Bad Parents Are NOT Doing.

1. Counting Their Blessings

They see their children as more of a burden than a blessing.  At best they consider their parental sacrifices as inconvenient.  More often, they are resentful and consider personal sacrifices a tremendous injustice, and avoid them at all costs.  

Always find your way full circle in the day to appreciate the blessings of having children. No matter the extent of the sacrifice, be willing to make them over and over again, whenever it’s what is best for your child.

2.  Intentionally Raising Women & Men

Their children are being raised without plans, standards, expectations, and deliberate parenting techniques that will help their children in the future.  This can result in grown-children, not grownups. 

Parenting inevitably requires us to make a choices.  Try to give children the tools to go out into the world and make happy grown-up lives for themselves.  Be deliberate and raise your children on purpose, with purpose.

3. Giving Back To Others

They’re narcissists and don’t see a reason to give back, because they never believe they have enough.  

Don’t expect the world to revolve around you.  Be teaching appreciation, we can avoid rasing children with a gross sense of entitlement.

4. Learning To Be Better Parents

They aren’t learning how to be better parents.  They have such a simplistic view on parenting that they don’t see any reason to do anything differently and are always right. 

Don’t be quick to give up. If your relationship with your child lacks trust, fun, respect, or common-ground, don’t bee satisfied with giving up after little or no attempts to find a solution.  Good parents don’t give in or give up on raising their children. Ever. They don’t quit, just because they don’t know how to deal with something.  They learn.

5. Teaching “Good” Through Example

They don’t teach “good.”  Ironically, they are often experts at teaching “bad.”  They might intentionally teach hate, entitlement, and narcissism.

Regardless of religious views, culture, or upbringing, teach your children to be good people, through example.  Don’t bully the people in your life.

Teach your children to support others through your own examples of being a good friend.  Apologize to others when you are wrong.  Through this example, you will teach their children humility.  Be honest.  Set the example on having integrity.   Teach your children how to be a part of a community. Inspire children to love by making them feel loved.  Teach through example.

While doing some research for this post, I came across a book I’m looking forward to reading. The title pretty much sums of many of our lives as parents. THE PARENTS WE MEAN TO BE by Richard Weissbourd. Have you read it?

What would you add to this list of bad parenting?

By:  Alicia Gonzalez (Updated 12/8/19. Orginally posted 01/21/15)