“Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.” – Dale Carnegie
Bad parenting is usually the root cause of problem children. I prefer the concept child problems over the concept problem children because a child is not always the obstructing factor as the origin of the problem is not always the child. Parents should continually strive to get to know their child in order to parent them more effectively as well as improve him/herself as an educator. I will discuss some of the consequences of ineffectual parenting
Parenting is the major cause of obesity, anxiety, demanding children, defiant attitudes, screen addiction (cellphone, X-Box, computer games etc) and all other behaviour problems with children
It is difficult to parent a child correctly, and no one likes to feel that they’re not doing a good job. Since no one is perfect, means that we can never be perfect parents. Mistakes are made either on the basis of indifference or ignorance.
In this modern world many parents are at a loss as to how to maintain their control and authority with their children. This uncertainty leads to a great deal of anxiety as they seek to find a way of parenting that will keep them calm and in control. This has led to parenting styles that inhibit the child in developing to their potential.
Parenting plays a very important role in the socialisation of children. It has been found that the manner in which parents discipline their children plays a major role in their behaviour. Parents should be the main authority figure in a child’s life but this does not mean authoritarian.
Studies have found a correlation between inconsistent, harsh and/or excessively lax discipline and problematic outcomes in children. This often leads to delinquency and aggression. Mothers who are either very harsh or permissive in their use of discipline tended to have children who were poorly behaved or aggressive.
Further, it has also been found that parents of aggressive, anti-social and non-compliant children are submissive, ambiguous, and inconsistent in their responses to problematic behaviour. Also, these parents are likely to reinforce oppositional behaviour by constantly nagging, shouting, coaxing or lecturing their children.
All of the following parenting styles have a negative impact on the child’s development as well as their ability to actualise their potential. This can result in various disorders such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder), ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and other behavioural disorders, as well as poor school performance, low self-esteem, learned helplessness and lack of motivation.
This bad parenting style refers to a child who receives insufficient or to much material care. Parents are often absent and are not available for support in the forms of guidance, discipline, establishment of boundaries and routines etc. Parents who are overly indulgent with their children are too busy with their occupational or social life that they have no time to give the necessary attention to their child.
They are just not involved enough and as a consequence their children maybe insecure, unmotivated and display various behavour disorders such as ADHD, ODD, poor attitude and so on. Often, the child is allowed to do whatever he pleases and this leaves him insecure as he is not been given the skills to cope with the demands of the real world.
He often will tend to opt out of a challenge and refuse to explore and become involved with the world around him. His conduct and behaviour often becomes unacceptable and he tends to be self-absorbed and inconsiderate of others.
Although there may be mention of good intellectual potential, at school they are not disciplined enough to perform at their best academically. Often in class they may tend to be restless, obstinate and unrestrained and as a result they choose to only become involved in things that they wants to do. Also, no effort is made with regards to any thinking activity.
Our modern society is demanding and as a result gives rise to a number of factors that ultimately result in the adult educator (parent) becoming neurotic. The adult who is neurotic or disposed to neuroticism does not have at his disposal the inner control, stability and mental strength to deal effectively with the challenges, problems and tensions that he comes up against, and this includes parenting
They find the burden of educating or parenting their children difficult to manage because of other stresses in their life such as financial, career, social and marriage tensions. This neurosis and tension is transferred to the child who becomes the victim of this bad parenting style which results in a high level of tension and anxiety. This results in the parent then becoming alienated from their child.
Over-correcting is closely connected with a bad parenting style that is too strict. Blind obedience, and submissiveness are demanded of the child. Virtually every moment of the day he is pressured to fit into what the parents want him to be. Educating in this sense means that the child must continually be corrected (approval, disapproval, punishment, censure, chastised).
A child´s mistakes are continually being pointed out and he is given the chance to correct them or else face quite severe punishment. The problem with this perfectionistic bad parenting style is that things can degenerate into situations which consists of a chain reaction of corrections where their relationship with their child consists mainly of intervening and pointing out mistakes. This smothers the child´s initiative and as a result they have a fear of failure. They then opt out of a challenge, are dependent and as a result have low self-esteem and fit into the mould of learned helplessness child.
Over-protecting is essentially a bad parenting style and means that the parent (usually the mother) underestimates what their child is able to do and as a result the child is never challenged. This results in the child not wanting to take a challenge. The child is often treated as if he was much younger and the demands made on him are the same as those made on a much younger child.
It is often said of the over-protected child that he is `pampered up´ rather than `brought up!´ This educative mistake arises from a parent´s excessive fear that something will happen to the child. The parent sees danger in everything and tries to protect the child from this perceived danger, to the extent that the parent does not let the child out of her sight.
Over-protective parents will often not let their child play on his own at a friend´s house. Often it is the parent´s aim to keep him little in order to `possess´ him longer. A child´s wanting-to-be-someone-himself and his increasing need for independence are not taken into account enough. Mothers are the main culprits in this regard and one often hears of an overprotective mom `smothering´ her child.
This attitude shows itself in the child being excessively bonded to his mother and excessively seeking his mother´s attention. Many bad parents allow their child to sleep in the same room as them, until a late age.
Over-protected children are generally helped with everything – homework, going to school, eating, bathing and dressing. These parents forget the important educational principle that in order for the child to become independent the child has to learn to do things for themselves and given choices whereby clear consequences are spelt out for bad choices.
Often the mother interferes when the child disagrees with the father, a teacher or a playmate, and as a result the child’s socialisation skills are poor and he has difficulty coping with his world. He is sheltered from associating and competing with peers.
It seems that there are two forms of over-protective parents: the domineering and the submissive mother.
The domineering mother – demands of her child strict obedience and submissiveness. All aggressive inclinations are smothered. The child is really a love object that is possessed by his mother´s complete will. He does everything that his mother wants and passively submits to her will.
Such over-protected children are seriously restrained in their psychic development. With this child there is no mention of obedience but rather docility – a child needs to be disobedient at times before there can be mention of obedience.
However, the child cannot be disobedient; he is too afraid that a distance will come between him and his parents. He is merely docile, `sweet´, submissive, too polite, obliging and reserved. He will never take the lead within a group of peers. He doesn´t take the initiative, is dependent, passive, lacks perseverance – his life is lead for him.
He remains helpless and finds himself hand-in-hand with his mother rather than among his peers. He drifts between the tenderness at home and the hardness at school and with his playmates. For this he may often risk the ridicule and teasing of others.
A consequence of this bad parenting style exhibited by the parent, is that the child may develop excessive fears in that he learns that everything he comes into contact with means something extremely dangerous. He tends to remain `little´ because he is restrained and disrupted in his growing up.
The submissive mother – on the other hand, gives herself completely to her child who happily demands her attention and complete services. Yet this person is often aggressive towards persons who dare lift a finger to her child. She is unable to assert her authority and as a result the child is too free and often behaves rudely towards his mother. The more arrogant he becomes, the more his mother´s discipline fails. This results in her having to increasingly endure the situation and actually apologize to her child. The child tyrannizes his mother and makes her life intolerable.
A child with a passive, over-protective mother often violates the rules of the school and shows minimal interest in the learning material. He abuses his mother´s weakness and is demanding, insubordinate and aggressive. At school he often cannot assimilate a teacher´s demands and firmness and as a result he may be restless, stubborn and troublesome.
Toughening up is another example of bad parenting styles. It is, in fact, the opposite of over-indulgence. Many educators (parents and teachers) exaggerate the view that a child should be made hard through education in order to sustain himself in a tough world and against the difficulties and problems of life.
Fathers especially might find a `gentle´ son too soft and may want to make his son a man. Sometimes the parent´s attitude is one of lovelessness and a sadistic mentality and will often deliberately create situations where his child is uncomfortable e.g. cold bath water.
The child has to learn to cope with anxiety and disappointment and must learn to `suffer´. Sometimes a child is treated ruthlessly – beaten and punished, or he is rejected when he tries to reconcile with his father. These types of parents stress participation in games and sport in order to make the child tough and hard.
The parents in these cases know nothing regarding being firm but gentle as well as forgiving and reconciling. Some parents even engage in the `silent treatment´ by refusing to speak to the child for days and even weeks. This form of punishment is often an expression of the parent´s own inadequacies and their ability to have their authority respected is compromised authoritative rather than it being a responsible means of educating. Another example of a bad parenting style.
Irrespective of the anxiety that is central in the world of the educationally hardened child, he may become blunted, devoid of showing feelings, devalued and as a result ends up hard and lacking any ability to empathise with others. The hardened child is unable to grow and fulfil their potential
Another example of bad parenting styles is one of the most difficult educative mistakes to avoid. If a parent can´t say `no´ and distance themselves from their child, they are going to encounter problems. These types of parents give in to everything their child wants rather than what they ought to get.
Allowing your child to virtually have everything they want actually causes chaos for the child. The parents try to avoid conflict and unpleasantness by giving in to their child’s whims. They may often try and buy kindness and favour from the child. This attitude is short-sighted as this usually ends up with the child making even more demands on his/her parents.
Often, when there is a chronically ill or handicapped child in the family, the parents tend to over-indulge the child because of his difficulties. All they achieve is to make the child helpless and dependent. The physical handicap is aggravated in that the child may become a mental invalid as well.
Sometimes, because of their guilt in not always being available to the child, the parent compensates for this apparent deficiency in `giving love´, taking more interest, or administering effective discipline, by over-indulging.
Grandparents often have a bad parenting style and can be a huge problem in this regard. They aren´t able to effectively control or discipline the child yet may constantly undermine the parents authority. Many grandparents tend to overindulge their grandchildren.
A child who is spoiled and treated indulgently has difficulty in coping with the harsh realities of life. They remains on a gratification level while achievement on a reality level is what´s required. They battle to endure difficulties, disappointments and frustrations and as a result is unable to put in their best effort and meet the demands of the real world.
Often at school, they have difficulty accepting punishment and discipline from the teacher. They also underachieve as they are used to standing on the side opting out of the challenges offered to them. A child who is spoiled doesn´t learn the value of money and goods, and they never appreciate the joy of receiving because they are too used to receiving in excess.
A spoiled child becomes egocentric. The world is made only for them. They tyrannizes their environment and over-react when they don’t get their own way. They are without boundaries and respects nothing and no one. They are impulsive and directs themselves selfishly for their own gratification.
In the SmartChoice Parenting workshops, parents are shown how to increase positive interactions with their children. Feedback from participants show quite dramatic improvements in their children’s attitude and behaviour, their own parenting skills, as well as an improvement in children’s social skills and school adjustment.
Parenting Decoded is the only parenting programme that has success in eliminating extreme behaviour disorders.
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“Thank you so much for your wonderful program. We have successfully implemented it in our school. My teachers are very happy with the change we see in the children with in 24hrs after starting the program and with children as young as 3 years of age. The difference with your program is that it enables the parents and teachers to work together towards the same goal. The previous methods resulted in irate parents accusing our teachers of “picking” on them. The teachers blamed the parents for not having discipline at home. The children of course very cleverly played the parents up against the teachers”. – Arther Steinfeld