6 Toxic Parenting Habits to Ditch Immediately

Parenting is a tough job, and every parent knows that mistakes are sometimes made. It’s normal and absolutely okay not to be a perfect parent.

However, there are some parenting behaviors and choices that go beyond mistakes and into the realm of toxicity. Whether this happens with homeschooling or just in general, here are some parenting habits to ban from your parent-child relationship.

Parenting Habits to Ditch Immediately

Not Admitting When You Are Wrong 

Everyone is wrong sometimes, and there are two important reasons to admit it to your kids when you make a mistake. First, you are modeling a difficult skill that will serve them well as adults. We know that many adults have relationship problems because they cannot admit responsibility and apologize. That’s something that your kids need you to teach them.

The other important reason to admit to your kids when you’re wrong is to show them that no one is perfect and that they don’t have to be either. Sure, mistakes often have consequences, but messing up doesn’t make the child a bad person. People can have psychological problems when they grow up thinking that they have to be perfect.

Humiliation as Punishment 

You don’t have to scroll through social media for too long before you see a well-meaning parent that is using humiliation to punish and shame a child. Parents take pictures of children holding signs that say they broke the rules, or they announce the child’s transgressions to the online world.

This type of action might seem like tough love, but it can be dangerous to a child’s self-esteem and well-being. It’s not worth the risk. Please note that there is a big difference between discipline and punishment so keep that in mind.

Not Allowing Negative Emotions 

It’s not wrong for parents to expect their children to have a good attitude and not throw a tantrum when asked to do something like complete a chore or go to bed. But there is a fine line between not accepting a bad attitude and allowing children to express their feelings. In order to process emotions in a healthy way, kids must be allowed to express negative emotions like sadness and anger. Emphasize that the child’s feelings are okay, but it is not okay to use angry words or gestures to show those feelings. For young children, it can be helpful to give them the words to express themselves and have them repeat those words to you.

Forcing Hugs 

Most people grew up being expected to give hugs and kisses to older members of the family and even parents’ friends, but it is time for parents to see this practice in a new light. When children feel that they don’t have power over their own bodies, they are more likely to be the victims of sexual abuse.

You can help protect your children by letting them know that they have control over their own bodies and can decide when to give physical affection to another person. This doesn’t mean that they are allowed to be rude to adults, but it may mean that people will have to settle for a high-five instead of a hug. You will have to be the one to stand up for your child and explain to your family members why this is necessary.

Giving the Silent Treatment 

There may be times as a parent when you have to walk away from your child and take a time-out because your anger is escalating. That is very different from refusing to talk to your child because you are mad.

Ignoring someone is an immature way of handling conflict with anyone, but it is especially dangerous when it involves a child. This type of treatment is abusive and can lead to serious emotional problems.

Body Shaming 

Childhood obesity is a serious problem that has caused some parents to be hyper-vigilant about their children’s weight. While it’s important to help a child make healthy choices, an obsession with weight can have severe consequences. When you talk to your child about nutrition and exercise, keep the focus off of the child’s appearance. Instead, concentrate on the child’s health and ability to participate in physical activities.

Shaming anyone’s body does not cause them to become healthier. For most people, it does just the opposite. It makes them feel bad about themselves, and they turn to food. It can even lead to eating disorders.

Parenting is tough, and it’s not always clear how to do the right thing. However, these 6 behaviors are toxic and can set a child up for a problematic future. Apologize to your children when you have made a mistake, and make a commitment to always act in your children’s best interests to be the best parent you can be.

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