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8 Ways to Unlearn Wrong Habits as a Parent: Bad Parenting Habits

Mother With Her Son Holding A Map
Mother With Her Son

Picture this, it's shared between you and your child. You feel the responsibility of making your child recognize their bad habits and fix them. For some reason, nothing you say seems to get to their head.

Your points aren't unreasonable. You want your kid to respect others, apologize, be honest, and clean up after themselves. So why won't they understand this?

If this is a daily struggle in your life as a parent, it's time to take a step back and reflect. It's possible that your child doesn't disagree with the points, but with who is saying them. Do you also have these bad parenting habits?

If so, here's how to unlearn wrong habits as a parent.


In This Article


Why Bad Habits as a Parent are Harmful?

Human nature is filled with good and bad habits, and it's no wonder if you have some in yourself. It's wonderful to be imperfect but it becomes harmful and adverse if you keep practicing them and never unlearn them and improve yourself as a being.

As a parent, you're the role model for your children. They learn what they see their parents doing. If you keep practicing bad habits, they won't listen to your good commands as they see less good coming from your side as a practice.

So, you must have to unlearn bad habits yourself to make your children obey you and learn good habits. Otherwise, your children would grow up as such individuals that you never wanted or desired.

What Impacts do Bad Habits have on your Children?

Following are some critical and adverse effects of bad habits on your children that you'll never want or desire.

  • Children Won’t Respect You

  • Causes Trust Break

  • Kids Distant Themselves

  • ‘Learned From The Best

Children Won’t Respect You

Some parents believe that children should trust and respect them no matter what they do. Yet, it is impractical to assume children don’t have feelings and will listen to whatever a parent may say. If you teach your child something you overlook, they will not value your words.

Imagine you are teaching your child traffic rules for an upcoming driving test. But, you are notorious for passing every red light and stop sign, without a seatbelt. It’s unlikely that your child will listen to you without looking amused or annoyed.

Remember, If you want your children to act upon the important things you teach them, first make sure you are in a position to do so.

Causes Trust Break

Do you often make promises and then forget about them? Or do you say a half-hearted sorry to de-escalate situations, and then make the same mistake again? It's necessary to build communication and trust to have a healthy parent-children relationship.

As a parent, denying that children deserve honesty will damage your relationship. Children also remember lies and mistreatment, even at a young age. If a child notices a careless attitude over little things, they won’t trust you with bigger problems.

Women Shouting At A Person
Mother Shouting At Teen

Kids Distant Themselves

Many parents have a weak bond with their children because they refuse to apologize. Teaching kids that parents are not answerable for their mistakes will result in kids distancing themselves.

Children need to know it’s okay to make mistakes, and that they should also apologize when they mess up. They must be able to recognize mistreatment from others as well. Being sincere and honest about your mistakes can help you become a role model for your child.

‘Learned From The Best

"I learned from the best".

Have you heard your children pass this comment whenever you point out something wrong in them? A lot of parents believe that children learn their bad habits from school or bad friends. However, children often learn their habits by seeing the way parents act.

If it's hard to get rid of bad habits, stopping them, from affecting your children might be the motivation you need.

8 Ways to Unlearn Wrong and Toxic Habits as a Parent

Find and Recognize your Bad Parenting Habits

First, accepting that there are some bad habits you need to fix as a parent is important. Ask yourself, 'do I have bad habits such as lying, overeating, and being lazy'? Or do you have a bad habit as a parent, like being hard on your child, not showing affection, or not listening to your child?

Everyone has bad habits, but as a parent, these habits can harm your child. This is why it's necessary to first admit to yourself that some changes need to happen. If you continue to deny the existence of such habits, you won't be able to recognize what bad habits you have, let alone overcome them.

Listen to your Children

Has your child been saying they avoid talking to you about problems because of the way you react? Or maybe they've mentioned they feel like they are talking to a wall instead of you?

Take a step back and listen to what your child is trying to tell you. You'll notice the bad habits they are pointing out. Always keep yourself responsive to their talk so that they know you listen to them and understand them.

Start with Yourself

Often when we recognize a problem exists, we first look to find them in others. Right now it's time to focus on yourself. First, grow and tackle your bad habits before you try to tell others to fix theirs.

It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

You will slip and make a mistake. Don't let this get to you and allow you to fall back into your bad habits. Give yourself the time to grow and overcome your habits. Let your children know you are trying to improve and ask them to be understanding of the fact that it will take time.

Remove Obstacles

First, find where these habits started. Maybe you learned them from your This, indents, or it's a habit that developed over time. Is it coming from a lousy mindset or did you learn it at work?

Once you find its root, cut it off. Having them in your life will make you fall back into your bad habits and make it harder to change.

Two People Gaming
Two People Gaming

Replace it with Something Better

Do you stress eat? First work on minimizing your stress. Do you feel lazy all the time? Start incorporating more physical activity into your schedule. Do you only use the time you get to talk to your child to lecture them? Interact and spend time with them without putting them on the spot.

Play games and do things they like without being weird about it. Show them you enjoy being with them even if you don't talk about big things. Replacing a bad habit with a good habit is the best way to overcome it.

Take it One at a Time

Habits sometimes take months to break, and longer to get used to them. Don't try to change everything all at once. Tackle one habit at a time so your goal doesn't seem as intimidating.

Try adopting a new habit each time and practice it until you get addicted to that good habit. It'll eventually cut off all bad habits and make you a new parent with organized and good habits.

Do it Together

Sometimes it is easier to overcome something when you're doing it with someone. You can try working together with your spouse or child.

For instance, ask your spouse to go on walks with you so that you don't feel lazy and skip a day. Likewise, you can help your spouse calm down when they get angry.


1. Does parenting impact the child's personality?

Parenting style has a great impact on the child's personality development. The way they see their parents, the way they grow. So, it's inevitable to not have an impact of parenting style on your child.

2. What are the signs of a bad child-parent relationship?

There are several signs of a bad child-parent relationship including not listening to your advice, showing negligence in your commands, being hesitant to talk to you about their problems, respecting restraint, and not trusting enough of you.


As a parent, it's necessary to be in a position to tell your child to fix their bad habits. It's possible that your child doesn't disagree with what you have to say, but with who is saying them. Everyone has bad habits. As a parent, if you truly want your child to listen to you, you shouldn't tell them what to do. Instead, show them by being an example.

When your child sees you admitting your mistakes and trying to overcome your faults, not only will they respect you, but it will also help them reflect on themselves. Unlearning bad habits as a parent will help you become a better version of yourself.

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