People Share 30 Red Flags That Scream “I’m a bad parent”

Being a bad parent is not always obvious, and sometimes it takes the perspective of others to see the red flags. People have shared common red flags that they have noticed in bad parents, such as neglecting their child’s basic needs, being emotionally or physically abusive, not setting boundaries or enforcing consequences, constantly criticizing or belittling their child, and not being involved in their child’s life. Others have also noted red flags such as having unrealistic expectations for their child, not providing stability and security, and not taking responsibility for their actions. It’s important to be aware of these red flags and to seek help if you notice any of these patterns in your own parenting. In this article below we’ve listed some of the most common red flags about bad parents that people shared in response to a question on Reddit. 



Never saying sorry to the kid when the parents make a mistake.

~ SuvenPan


Using children as pawns in divorces or separations.

~ Puzzleheaded_Rip_778


idk if this really screams it, but i absolutely hate when adults tell other adults their children’s shameful secrets for no reason. even strangers! it tells me those children probably don’t feel like they can trust their parents.

~ 50637


Treating your kid as your therapist.

~ TwentyThreePandas


Blaming your own mistakes and regrets on your kids

~ muted_npc


Making your child think they arent good enough

~ Remarkable_Lie_9125


Parents who can’t apologize to a child. It’s ok to have human emotions and moment to be triggered or struggling and lash out or be wrong but for the love of all things good APOLOGIZE AND CHANGE.

~ elizabethhill82


Ironically, never thinking you’re a bad parent.

~ RandomHeretic


Demeaning your children as means of punishment


your own children being afraid of you, no child should be afraid of the person that looks after them nearly 24/7.

~ Dependent_Noise_6249


Using your kid as therapy and then getting upset when they have issues regulating their emotions.

~ kenlycake


Zero interest in the kid. Doesn’t care what they do or what happens to them as long as they don’t inconvenience them.

~ JustinChristoph


Yelling at the kid for every trivial thing.

~ SuvenPan


Triangulation. After divorce, one of our parents immediately weaponized our relationship against the other. I’m 32 and still unweaving all of the details in my brain.

Edit: It hurts my heart to know so many can relate. But it warms my heart to be reminded that I’m not alone ♥️

~ BugzFromZpace


I was molested from age 3-6. Told my parents, but they did nothing. In my twenties, my mom had the audacity to tell me that I asked for it. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have a mother anymore.

~ bernays_scholar


I volunteer at/ have had student placements at a children’s hospital and we’ve had patients with serious brain injuries due to abuse (shaking, attempted drowning, etc.). So yeah I’d say those parents are pretty bad

~ Tapestry-of-Life


Treating your son as the man of the house because you’re single

~ Ecstasiatee


The infantilization of their children. Wanting them to stay helpless babies forever because they don’t want them to grow up.

I’m a nanny and it seems like a growing trend.

It’s one thing to engage is some infantile behavior or spoil your children a little. It’s another thing to bend to every whim and not make your kids uncomfortable. Example with some kids I’m currently dealing with, NOT POTTY TRAINING THEM.

~ Onlyfansnanny


Not correcting your kids

~ BammyQ2


Also, letting your kids boss you around.

~ CoolBreeze125


Saying “You’re too young to be depressed” and ignoring red flags from mental illnesses.

~ EclecticMermaid


Invalidating your child’s feelings, struggles, and/or mental illness in favor of “you don’t know what struggling really is” or some form of “back in my day” or “you kids are so weak”.

You have just robbed your child of support, told them their feelings do not matter, and informed them that you are not a safe person to confide in.

~ Acetamnophen


Saying things like “you’re such a disappointment” “I wish I had a daughter instead” “you ruined my and you’re mother’s sex life” this is stuff I heard for years



Your adult children don’t talk to you

~ bothwatchxfiles


Thinking that small children are just selfish tiny adults.

Your kid isn’t asking for stuff because they are selfish (mostly-we’re excluding their occasional manipulative tendenices). They are doing it because they are 5. Don’t be a dick to your kid because they are asking for support/help/food.

~ Lyeta1_1


Your kids never visiting once they move out or go to college

~ ashton_yaste123


Not believing in telling your children “no”

The world will and should tell them “no” at times. They need to be prepared for that reality, or they will be an absolute menace to everyone around them.

~ heyitsvonage


Telling your kid that you need them only for their money in the future

~ aaasyyy


downplaying their mental health struggles and taking years to realize that your child is suicidal and desperately needs help

~ Pi-s


Automatically dismissing and invalidating many of your child’s opinions because you think since they’re a child, they don’t know anything. Yes they’re not always right, but they’re still people and should be treated with respect.

~ rudderrun


So these were some of the red flags about bad parents users on reddit pointed out. Do lets us know in the comments if there are any other red flags that scream bad parents.


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