10+ Habits of Toxic Parents and How They Ruin Children Without Realizing It

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When you have a child, your entire life changes. Suddenly, everything is for the baby. Every parent wants to be able to do right by their kids. But there are many things that stand between you and being not a good parent, but the kind of parent your child needs.

That’s the right way to look at it, in my opinion. Good and bad are relative. But all kids need approximately the same thing in order to grow into happy, healthy, successful human beings.

Parents neglect to give their kids what they need for a lot of reasons. I’ve seen parents read so many parenting books that they end up not knowing which way is the right way.

I’ve also seen parents who just don’t care, letting their kids do whatever they feel like, or even worse, neglecting and abusing them.

One thing is for sure, there are a number of truly toxic behaviors that imprint on our kids and deeply, profoundly impact their life growing up.

These are habits and actions that you should be avoiding at all costs. Some are physical, some psychological, and some are social.

If you know someone who’s recently become a parent or is about to be, be sure to share this article with them to help them be the best parents they can be.

1. Not Respecting Boundaries

woman whispering into kid's ear
Sai De Silva / Unsplash
Sai De Silva / Unsplash

It’s important for parents to think about the boundaries they’ve set for their children.

When I was young, my parents established some very important boundaries.

Stay out of the parents bedroom. Stay out of mom’s office. Stay out of dad’s man cave.

There were good reasons for those rules! You’re adults, you own things like porno mags and marital aids. You don’t want kids getting into that!

But kids also have things they don’t want you to get into too. You can’t expect kids to feel like respected individuals if you also don’t honor their personal space and their boundaries too.

When your kids get older into their teen years, you should not be snooping.

They don’t go through your underwear drawer, you shouldn’t go through theirs either.

They’re old enough that simply talking to them about worries you might have are good enough. Use your words. Don’t be intrusive.