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Though it is difficult to define ideal and perfect parenting, bad parenting can be easier to define. Parenting which is uninvolved, abusive or hurts the child physically, mentally and emotionally can be termed as bad parenting. It may also be the outcome of our own upbringing.

According to child psychology, the first seven years of a child’s life are very crucial in defining the course of its future life. The effect of bad parenting on the child can be so profound and far-reaching, that any negative practices used can scar them for life or traumatize them enough to seek medical intervention.

Children learn by imitation and hence you may set a bad example if you give out orders for their behaviour but do not follow them yourself. Though the effects are more profound when they are targeted directly, any case of disrespect, abuse or violence between you and your spouse or any other family member can also affect them in adverse ways.

Some common practices of bad parenting may be –

  1. Imposing your very own unfulfilled desires or expectations on the child, and expecting them to fulfil them for you, at the cost of ignoring their own needs and desires.
  2. Assuming to know what is best for them, and then acting from there, thereby overprotecting them, without encouraging open dialogue or expression
  3. Demanding compliance to your high standards of conduct and expectations or pushing and abusing them and making them feel guilty, if they fail to do so.
  4. Not providing your child privacy and micromanaging their lives
  5. Over indulging them and pampering them with gifts, sweets or money as a way of expressing love.
  6. Comparing them with other children around their age and demanding them to act similarly
  7. Using force to make them understand, in case they need extra time to learn and grasp
  8. Being uninvolved and unavailable physically or emotionally, and withdrawn since infancy or throughout the childhood
  9. Resorting to physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse as a way to teach them lessons or just because you think it will help them
  10. Not teaching them how and then trusting them to make sound and informed decisions, be responsible and express honestly

Bad parenting practices have negative effects on both – the child and parents. It is not uncommon to find children from such backgrounds to become delinquents, criminals, anti-social elements, use drugs or violence and spoil their and many other lives too!A simple shift in words, thoughts and actions, towards respecting and loving the child can have exponentially positive effects on the child and you as a parent!

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