Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Parents

Alright – let’s get REAL for a few minutes between running the kids to soccer, drama, jujitsu and LARP practice (yes I guess that’s a thing now… Live Action Role Play. I think that was what my parents called, “go play outside” but now it’s something that needs “practice”. Definitely sounds cooler as ‘LARP’ though).

It’s time to call out the bloopers – the “oh shit” did you just see me doing THAT as a parent?

Hopefully most of us can laugh at ourselves, ‘cause at least we know when we’ve fu*&ed up. And of course, it gets much worse than this list. But these might get a few of you squirming in your seats.

    1. Finishing every statement to your child by asking, Okay? – “It’s time for bed – OKAY?” It’s time to put the toy down – OKAY?” “You have to finish your lunch before you can have the treat – OKAY?” Stop asking rhetorical questions. What’s up your sleeve, when your child answers, “No”?

    2. The 7 seconds of fame from shame– either by joking about or embarrassing your child and capturing it on video hoping for it to go viral… Or by showing the world you have a perfectly behaved, perfectly polite, perfectly perfect kiddo (just look at that perfect family photo that took 2 hours to capture)!

    3. Filling out your child’s job application (or college application, biology essay, or kindergarten homework) – this habit started when you made your first call to the mother of your child’s preschool friend who did not invite him to the birthday party. Hey don’t laugh, these scenarios are happening right now!

    4. Parenting for the moment instead of the future – you say you want independent kids, but then you nag, remind, lecture, bribe and do for your kids to get out of the house in the morning. Is it opposite day? How does that makes sense?

    5. Making parenting decisions based on fear or personal prestige – you know that giving in to your child’s temper tantrum in the grocery store will only precipitate more temper tantrums, but you say “what the heck” because that woman from yoga class is watching you and you are certain she is going to post a photo on insta about what a crappy parent you are.

    6. Screaming at your future MVP outfielder from the sidelines like you actually get a salary from the little league. There’s no way you’re going to let your kid get embarrassed on the field by missing the play so waving your arms and jumping and screaming at him will certainly make him feel like an ace.

    7. Ordering for your child and cutting his meat when you go out to dinner and then asking him to drive you home from the restaurant because you had too much wine.

Ouch! Some of this is hard to take. And honestly, I shake my head when I witness it because I know most of this takes a ton of work and effort. No wonder parents are so damn exhausted. All that worry about who’s watching us from the peanut gallery really drains the reserves… and you thought it was the kids!

Feel free to confess some of your cheapest parenting moments below. No shame in being honest!

If you’d like more parenting bloopers, check out my books for more humor (and heart) from real life parenting in the trenches.

2 thoughts on “Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Parents

  1. How about prompting your child to say please and thank you? I have seen people do this to their kids in their 20’s. They should have the concept down by 5 and will forget the way we all do sometimes. If they get lazy they will see that it isn’t as easy to get what they want.

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