9 Bad Parenting Habits To Stop Immediately

Jelani Clay Child Development Leave a Comment

Every Kid's A Genius: Lesson 1 - The only music smart kids listen to.

Bad Habits to Stop Doing for Great Children

9 Parenting Habits You Should Never Do

Bad habits are contagious and as much as we don’t want to admit it, the phrase “do as I say not as I do” holds little weight.

Every kid wants the same thing, to be grown. Kids look to their parents as the example on how to be a grown human being. They mimic our facial expressions, our walk, our accent, and unfortunately our bad habits.

We have to find a way to create positive habits while eliminating the bad ones.

I know I know, this means more work for you. Not only do you have to raise a child from scratch, but you have to do it well. When a kid goes crazy, who does everyone look at, the parents.

So just keep an open mind and take an honest look at yourself to see if you practice any of the habits mentioned. Not only will eliminating these habits lead to raising a better child, it will lead you to better peace of mind and an overall happy life.

A quick warning, habits can be difficult to form or break and the progress won’t happen overnight. You will have to be diligent about creating new habits over a longer period of time and eliminating the bad ones.

As a parent, developing these habits is crucial to your success. Here are nine bad habits and how you can avoid them with your child.

1. Complaining

When you complain around your kids, you are letting negativity get into their lives. When you complain about your kids, you are creating that negativity.

A negative mind will never give you a positive life.

Work on only building your child up. As Earl Nightengale said, we become what we think about. If we are always thinking about negative things, we are going to lead a negative life. Teach your children early about the power of positive thought and finding the good in every situation. This will give them a great head start that will help them for the rest of their lives.

Best of all by not complaining so much, you’ll soon notice that the cicrumstances you used to complain about slowly disappear.

2. Being Unorganized

An unorganized life is asking for chaos.

We demand organization from others in all walks of life, yet we don’t require it for ourselves. Would you work an employer that didn’t have a set schedule or amount to pay you? Would you go to a movie theater that didn’t have showtimes? Would you be in a relationship with a person that is nonchalant about the type of relationship you are in? Sorry, that’s a different conversation.

When you have a child, organization is a must. Your children crave structure and having that organized structure will allow them to keep clearer heads.

When you make a habit of constantly looking for and implementing new ways to make your life more organized, you will have a much happier time in life including better parenting.

Keeping your home clean is a great example of one way you can stay organized. You’ll be worry-free when friends & family unexpectedly visit and you won’t be overwhelmed when your to-do lists get filled.

For more expert knowledge on organizational habits, check out the best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In it she takes you step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

3. Procrastinating

Procrastination is like a bad friend that gets you into stressful situations and then bails when things get too tough.

The more you don’t do today, the more you have to do tomorrow, which leads to you not wanting to do anything, and nothing ever gets done.

Many experts that have overcome procrastination say the best way is to do the most distasteful thing first. Just wake up, do it and get it over with. You’ll be free of that burden forever and you can continue the pattern until all tasks are complete.

When your children see that you are not procrastinating, they will learn the same skills. They will tackle chores and difficult assignments with ease. You’ll even notice an improvement in your professional life as well.

Procrastination is a deadly enemy that all should work diligently to master. Don’t be a pro at crastination. Yeah that was corny, I’m sorry.

4. Breaking Promises

I remember as a child, breaking promises was the worse possible thing my parents could do to me. It was worse than discipline.

Your kids depend on you for a lot. No matter their age, you need to make sure that you are going to be there for them no matter what. Don’t make promises you don’t intend on keeping and don’t break the ones you set. Otherwise, they won’t be able to trust you or feel like they can count on you. Not only that, your word loses it’s power and you won’t even believe the words you say anymore, creating a sort of internal distrust that’s not even worth having.

Therefore it is important that you always keep your promises that you make to your children. In addition, let your kids know that it is important to keep promises and explain why. Set a good example for your kids by always keeping your word.

My favorite saying ever is the following:

Watch your thoughts for they become your words ... habits

Notice the role that words play in influencing your habits. Use this as a guide to influence your life. Memorize this saying if you have to and never break a promise.

5. Spending Without Saving

Money is a complex subject, but it doesn’t have to be. The truth is most don’t talk about money openly and its proper handling is not taught in schools so money mistakes are constantly being repeated.

Let’s look at this example. If you make $100 and you spend $100, how much money do you have left? $0. See, I knew y’all were good at math. $100 – $100 = $0. Now at this same rate of pay per spending, how much money will have in 2 years? $0. Yes, y’all are some math geniuses. $0 * 2 years is $0.

Now let’s change things slightly. If you make $100 and you spend $90, how much money do you have left? $10. Alllll yeah. Now let’s say this is your pay and expenses per month. In 2 years, how much money will you have? Let’s find out.

$10 extra per month * 12 months * 2 years = $240

I don’t know about you, but I could use an extra $240. It’s a lot better than an extra $0. 🤑

And that ladies and gentlemen is the simple truth to saving money. Emergencies will happen and you have to be prepared. If you have no money left over, you will have to depend on loans and credit, which will lead you down the rabbit hole of more and more debt. Plus you won’t be able to take advantage of awesome deals or investments that may arise unexpectedly.

Girl counting money

Children are directly affected by your financial situation. Lack of money can lead to your children feeling like a financial burden. Worse, they may believe some of the words you say in regards to money and adopt them as the foundation of their money habits. For example: we can’t afford that, money is the root of all evil, wealthy people are greedy, etc.

Break the trend. Get rid of bad debt, get insurances, build an emergency fund, set aside money for investing, invest, pay off house, be set for life.

It is important that you never make your children feel like they are making your life worse financially. When you have money saved in the bank, it can be easy to have a much more relaxed approach to life. Try saving just a little bit every time you get your paycheck. You will be amazed at how this will add up over time. Teaching your children to save at an early age will help them to have great financial habits by the time they become adults.

Here are some free resources to get you started:

If your kids are between the ages of 0-6, you can also teach them this money song.

6. Being a Hypocrite

Nobody likes liars and being a hypocrite is lying-adjacent. You say one thing yet you do another.

I can tell you now that if you do this, your kids will not like it one bit. The result is that your kids will mimic this habit and start to show signs of hypocrisy themselves.

Children are very impressionable and if you are constantly contradicting yourself, your children won’t take you seriously. This will anger you deeply when trying to discipline them, but you’ll have no choice but to understand.

Setting a good example is key to having a great relationship with your kids. Avoiding being a hypocrite is a great habit to adopt for every aspect of your life.

Riskology has some great ideas on how you can avoid being a hypocrite. Start slow and soon the habit will become part of your lifestyle.

7. Speaking Ill of Others

There is never a good reason to speak ill of others. This is an easy way to ruin your reputation and bring unneeded negativity into your life.

You never know who is friends with whom and how the slip of the tongue can have a ripple effect on you not closing a business deal or getting a job.

Even if you’re asked to vouch for someone’s character and you’ve had nothing but bad experiences with that individual, still speak only of their good qualities. Here’s an example: “Donald has successfully made a name for himself in the business world. He doesn’t take no for an answer and is an excellent negotiator. However, our personalities just didn’t align so I’m not the best person to vouch for his character.”

Handling situations of that nature in this manner allows you to stay in the good graces of those around you. It can even lead to your so-called enemies respecting you more and apologizing to you in the future.

If your kids learn this habit of speaking ill of others from you, they could run the risk of turning into the school bully.

It is a good idea to teach your children early on that you should only say nice things about others. If you learn to never speak ill of others, you will set a great example for your kids and create a great reputation for you in the community and at work.

Steps you can take to remove this habit.

  1. Make a list of people who’ve done you wrong in the past that you still feel resentment towards.
  2. Next to each name, list as many positive qualities about that person that you can.
  3. From now on, only speak of these qualities when asked about that person.
  4. Find one person each day (stranger, friend, relative, anyone) and tell them something positive about themselves that you admire.
  5. To better understand the benefits of this and gain more insight, check out the highly recommended book by many successful people How to Win Friends & Influence People.

8. Making Excuses

When you’re in the habit of making excuses with your kids, your children are going to feel like they are at the bottom of your list.

Work toward owning up to your shortcomings and working toward a resolution immediately.

We all have obstacles that get in the way of us even completing the most mundane task, but just like we don’t want to hear other’s excuses, we shouldn’t give any either.

If you want to truly succeed in life, you need to learn to stop making excuses. Starting with your kids is a great place to finally end this habit.

Action Steps

These steps are inspired from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.

  1. Write down a big goal for yourself that you will accomplish in 5 years.
  2. Make sure this goal will bring you ultimate happiness and is not at the expense of others.
  3. Also be specific as possible in your goal.
  4. Sign your name to it and keep it next to your bed.
  5. Every night before you go to sleep and immediately after awaking, read your goal and visualize yourself achieving it.
  6. Next write a plan for your goal and go after it everyday with complete faith that it will work.
  7. If your plan needs to change, change it, but don’t change your goal before achieving it.

The following is an example said to be Bruce Lee’s goal (source Bruce Lee – My Definite Chief Aim).

I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.Bruce Lee, Jan 1969

And we all know how well that turned out. The same will be true for you as it was with countless others.

So now there isn’t anymore need to make excuses. You have exactly what you need to be your very own wish-granting genie.

9. Lying

I’ve learned that many people don’t even realize that they are liars. First lets identify if you lie because if you don’t lie, then you can skip this section.

  • You complain often about things you can’t control. You’re lying to yourself because you can control your destiny.
  • You are unorganized. You’re lying to yourself because you demand order in all areas of your life, but won’t take the time to create order for yourself.
  • You are procrastinating. You’re lying to yourself by not doing what you said you wanted to do.
  • You are breaking promises left and right. You’re lying to others about what you are going to do because you rarely follow through.
  • You spend freely without saving. You’re lying to yourself and others about your financial status leading yourself deeper into ruin.
  • You are being a hypocrite. You’re lying to others about your core values yet you indulge in those activities in the dark that you preach against in the light.
  • You speak ill of others. People’s perceptions of others are just that, perceptions. Your perception of others are true for you and only you. When you outwardly speak ill of others, you’re lying to those that may see this person as a positive influence making you look like a bitter Betty.
  • You consistently make excuses about your circumstances. You’re lying to others and yourself because there are no excuses when it comes to doing what you want to do.

It’s ok. We’ve all been there and we can change because lying to your kids is quite possibly one of the most damaging things that you can do for your relationships. You should never avoid telling your kids the truth, even when playing The WHY Game.

If you get into the habit of telling the truth all the time, you are going to have a much easier life overall. Sometimes when you tell a small lie, it can turn into a much bigger collection of lies. It can quickly become a full time job just remembering which lies you told to which people.

You need to make sure that you never lie to your children, yourself, or others. It’s just not worth it.


These are some pretty serious bad habits that you should avoid as a parent and as a person. It is never easy to know exactly how to raise your kids. There are no manuals that tell you exactly what to do. However, if you develop good habits and not bad ones, you will have a much easier time raising your children.

Kids are always looking for consistency and structure. If you are able to give that to them, you will be a great power of influence for good in their lives.

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