Many parents would agree that they feel like failures more often than not. There is no guide to perfect parenting, but in most cases, you merely want what is best for your child, and you should accept you cannot give your best if you are constantly stressed out about being perfect.

Redditors collected some of the clearest signs of parenting gone wrong, so if you find yourself among these 10 things that scream you might not be a good parent, try to do better.

Here are the best-rated answers from commenters on r/AskReddit "What screams I’m a bad parent?”.



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Abuse comes in various forms, such as neglecting your child’s emotional needs, as well as severe physical abuse. One scars the child’s soul, and the other could lead to real, serious injuries, often serious ones.

Children should not be afraid of their parents

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Respect is earned, but a substantial red parenting flag is if your kid is terrified of you. You are their whole world, and you risk scaring your child for life.


Always saying "yes" to your child

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As Redditor explained: "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."

This is also important for setting boundaries apart from teaching, especially for teenagers, they can only have it their way sometimes.

Lack of interest

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This is pretty straightforward. If you show no interest in your child, you are sending them a message they are an inconvenience. If a parent does not care, who will?

Children stopped talking to you

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If your adult children stop talking to you, you are guilty of bad parenting.

The lack of communication does not mean your children are bad people. It means that you failed them at some point.

Not apologizing to your children

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A Redditor explained: "It’s ok to have human emotions and moments to be triggered or struggling and lash out or be wrong, but for the love of all things good, APOLOGIZE AND CHANGE."

It is not about making a mistake but admitting to your child and yourself that you can do something wrong and set up a proper example.

Your child is not your therapist

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As one Redditor simply put it: "Using your kid as therapy and then getting upset when they have issues regulating their emotions" is a clear sign of parenting gone wrong. If you want to talk, find a therapist, call your BFF, but do not burden your child.

Not having an understanding of your child’s needs or emotions

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Feelings are valid, and talking about them is important for mental health. As one Redditor said, one of the worst parent mistakes is "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."

Screaming all the time

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When we constantly yell at our children, they are not to blame. It is our responsibility as adults to manage our emotions and behavior. If we yell at our children frequently, it might be a good idea to apologize for any outbursts and work on finding more constructive ways to communicate with them. Let’s try to be more understanding and patient with our kids and set a positive example for them to follow.

Accusing your child of your shortcomings

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A Redditor wrote, "Saying things like "you’re such a disappointment" "I wish I had a daughter instead" and "you ruined my and you’re mother’s s*x life" is clearly a sign of a massive parenting fail.

Balancing between being a respectful adult, your child’s friend, and a mentor is a challenging task. Clearly, for some, it comes easier than others. But we can all agree that we are products of our environment. And if you want to raise a child who will be a decent person, you need to provide a safe space for your kid, despite how you might feel.

Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia’s engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.