It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Frederick Douglass, Author

Bad Parenting: Causes, Effects & Solutions

causes, effects and solutions regarding bad parenting

Bad parenting can be defined as insufficient support from parents for their children in an emotional, psychological, intellectual or physical manner.

Bad child-rearing can cause severe adverse effects, including mental as well as physical damage for the respective children.

In this article, the causes, effects and solutions for bad parenting are examined.

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Causes for Bad Parenting

  1. Drug use
  2. Unwanted child
  3. Egoism
  4. Mental problems
  5. Physical health issues
  6. Poverty
  7. Unemployment
  8. Overtaxing
  9. Career ambitions
  10. Divorce
  11. Frustration
  12. Lack of education

Drug use

Bad parenting can be due to substance use.

If your parents are addicted to legal drugs like alcohol or illegal drugs, they may no longer be able to take care of you in a sufficient manner since drug addicts often care more about how they can ensure their substance supply than about taking care of their children.

Therefore, if you grow up in a household where your parents consume drugs, you may suffer from severe neglect.

Unwanted child

Some parents are quite happy to get children. However, some parents are not prepared for it and their children are rather a kind of accident.

These so-called unwanted children will often not be treated that well since parents haven’t planned to get them and might not be willing to take care of these children.

Moreover, these parents may also not be able to raise their children in a proper manner since they simply haven’t prepared themselves and do not know what’s important.


Some parents are also quite egotistic and care much more about themselves and their progress in life than about the mental and physical health of their children.

If you grow up in such a family, chances are that you may suffer from severe neglect and other mental issues since you might not feel valuable at all.

This problem becomes even worse if egoism turns into severe levels of narcissistic behavior of parents.

Mental problems

Parents with mental health issues may also not be able to take care of their children in a proper manner.

For instance, if your parents suffer from mental problems like hallucinations or schizophrenia, chances are that they will hardly be able to manage their own life and you as a child will have to take care of yourself from a quite early age on.

Mental problems of parents may also turn into physical health issues for children if these mental problems cause parents to abuse their children.

Physical health issues

Parents may also not be able to support their children in a sufficient manner due to physical disabilities.

For instance, if your parents rely on a wheelchair to move around, they will not be able to go shopping or to cook for you as a child.

They may also not be able to bring you to school and their disability may prevent them to accomplish several other tasks in their daily life.

Therefore, your parents may not be able to take care of you in a proper manner.

You as a child may even have to support them instead.


Another reason for bad parenting may be poverty.

If you grow up in a family where poverty is a big issue, chances are that your parents may not be able to ensure you with proper education and other things that could improve your chances for your future life.

Poverty may also lead to serious levels of hopelessness and frustration for your parents, which may increase the chances of child abuse or other adverse consequences for their children.


Unemployment may be another factor when it comes to bad parenting.

If your parents are unemployed, your family may suffer from significant levels of poverty, which may prevent you from getting proper education, especially if you live in a poor developing country.

Moreover, unemployment may also lead to mental health issues for your parents, which may further increase the risk of poor child-rearing.

Additionally, also your chances of becoming unemployed once you grow up increases, since children adopt many characteristics of their parents and may behave in a similar manner once they turn into grownups.


Parents may also be quite overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work children usually demand.

Therefore, some parents may not be able to deal with all these issues and may also not be willing to put in all this work.

This may lead to neglect and several other issues for the respective children.

Career ambitions

In many companies, even though companies claim to support the private life of employees, it is still quite hard to combine a family with an ambitious career.

Therefore, in families where both parents have a demanding job, children may suffer due to that since their parents will work quite long hours and may not be able to take care of their children in a sufficient manner.


A divorce is a rather unpleasant thing that can translate into several issues, including disputes regarding material goods but also regarding who will be responsible to take care of the children.

If this dispute gets out of control, children may often have to grow up with only one parent and may suffer from this in an emotional manner.


Depending on several conditions, life can be quite tough for some people.

People may often feel to be treated unfairly by faith and may become quite desperate and frustrated due to blows of fate or other severe adverse events.

This desperation may turn into frustration, which may translate into child abuse since some parents are not able to deal with the situation in an emotionally stable manner.

Lack of education

The style of parenting also significantly determines the level of education of children.

If parents are quite eager to provide their children with education materials and also help them with their homework, chances are that these children will be able to get better grades and to attend better schools and colleges compared to children from families where their parents do not care too much about the education of their children.

Effects of Poor Parenting

  1. Neglect
  2. Mental problems
  3. Problems at school
  4. Low levels of education
  5. Financial problems
  6. Unreliability
  7. Drug use
  8. Unemployment
  9. Homelessness
  10. Negative attitude towards life


Bad parenting can lead to serious neglect for the affected children.

If people do not care too much about their children and do not want to spend sufficient time with them, chances are that these children will feel not valuable at all.

Moreover, if they are not supported by their parents regarding important tasks like homework and other things that children have to take care of, chances are that due to neglect, these children may suffer from serious additional problems.

Mental problems

Due to bad parenting, children may also suffer from serious mental issues.

Since children haven’t developed a stable character yet, they are quite vulnerable when it comes to neglect or other consequences of bad parenting.

In turn, these children may develop mental health issues like depressions since they may feel quite lost in life due to a lack of support from their parents, especially if they also have additional problems in school or other parts of their daily life.

Problems at school

Poor upbringing may also cause serious issues at school.

For instance, if children have problems at school due to bullying, they may not get the necessary support and advice from their parents to defend themselves and may suffer for a quite long time.

Moreover, problems at school can also include bad grades.

If children suffer from poor parenting, they are more likely to get bad grades and may not be able to attend a college, which may translate into bad job opportunities.

Low levels of education

Poor parenting may also lead to low levels of education in general, not only regarding grades but also in several other parts of life.

This could mean that children may not learn how to fix things at home or how to proceed and solve certain daily life problems.

Not learning those things may lead to serious issues once these children turn into grownups, since they may often feel lost and not prepared to solve their problems on their own.

Financial problems

Bad parenting can also lead to financial problems, not only for parents themselves but also for their children.

For instance, if you grow up in a household where your parents have financial problems on a regular basis, chances are that you adopt their behavior into adulthood and behave in a similar manner.

Studies have shown that children are heavily influenced by their parents.

This is also true for financial topics.

Making things worse, parents with financial problems will also not be able to teach their children how to act financially responsible and their children may also not learn it otherwise.


If children never learn from their parents to be reliable, they may have significant difficulties with behaving in a reliable manner once they turn into grownups.

However, this unreliability may lead to several issues in their daily life, including worse job opportunities and several other issues since reliability is a vital characteristic for succeeding in several parts of life.

Drug use

Another issue with bad parenting is that it increases the risk for the use of certain substances for their children.

If children feel neglected and not valuable, they may hang out with friends instead of their parents for a big fraction of their entire childhood.

If these friends take drugs, chances are that due to peer pressure, other children may follow the same path.

In turn, this may lead to drug dependence from a relatively early age, which will make it quite hard for those children to become clean.


Due to bad parenting and the resulting lack of education, children may also suffer from increased chances for bad job opportunities and unemployment.

Unemployment may in turn lead to several other issues, including frustration and drug abuse.


In extreme cases, bad parenting may also lead to homelessness for their children in later stages of their life.

If people become unemployed, they may no longer be able to pay their rent and end up homeless in the streets.

This is especially true in countries where there is no or only insufficient social security.

Once people become unemployed in those countries, they may slip into homelessness and the resulting adverse consequences quite easily.

Negative attitude towards life

In general, children who have been neglected or abused by their parents may develop a quite negative attitude towards life due to their bad childhood memories.

However, a negative attitude towards life leads to several other issues, including mental health problems.

Therefore, bad parenting may lead to serious issues, not only in childhood but also for later stages in the life of these children.

Solutions for Bad Parenting

  1. Better support from schools
  2. Company programs for families
  3. Foster homes
  4. Psychological support
  5. Financial subsidies
  6. Programs against drug use
  7. Self-reflection
  8. Self-development
  9. Improvements in education
  10. Support children in your neighborhood

Better support from schools

Children should always have the opportunity to get support from schools if they suffer from bad parenting and the resulting consequences.

This could mean that schools provide after school care where children can do their homework with the help of a tutor or teacher.

Moreover, it could also mean psychological support.

Children should have an instance in school where they can turn to in case they get abused or experience other issues related to bad parenting.

By giving children these opportunities, they may get proper assistance and the problems related to bad parenting could be mitigated to a certain extent.

Company programs for families

In case both parents have demanding jobs with long working hours, decision-makers in companies should rethink the company values in a direction where family and work are more compatible.

This could mean providing childcare facilities within the company so that parents could take care of their children in their lunch break or between meetings.

By improving the compatibility of family and work, the overall parenting quality will likely be improved.

At the same time, these companies will become more attractive for highly-qualified employees, which may give them an advantage in the war for talent.

Foster homes

In especially severe cases where parents are not able to take care of their children at all due to drug abuse or other issues, it may be reasonable to protect these children by taking them away from their parents and raising them in foster homes.

However, it has to be assured that the quality of these foster homes is high and children have sufficient levels of care so that they can develop in a healthy manner.

Psychological support

In case parents suffer from mental issues, it could also be helpful to provide them with psychological support.

Not only will this improve the overall quality of life of parents, but it may also improve the parenting quality for children since if mentally sick parents get help and proper treatment, they may be able to take better care of their children.

Financial subsidies

Parents who suffer from extreme levels of poverty should also get financial support for their children in order to provide them with educational materials and other things necessary to give these children a fair chance for a good future.

This could also come in the form of education vouchers so that parents cannot spend the money on alcohol or drugs instead and it can be assured that the money is spent on things that actually benefit children from difficult family conditions.

Programs against drug use

For parents who are addicted to drugs, there should be enough detoxification centers around so that parents who are willing to quit drug abuse find support in order to achieve this difficult mission.

This is not only true for parents, but also for children which are already addicted to substances.

Moreover, there should also be programs that aim to prevent the initial first use of drugs, since this may also prevent potential future addictions.


A genuine self-reflection is crucial to succeed in all parts of life.

Everyone of us has flaws and shortcomings, however, it is vital to know them.

Only if you know your flaws, you can start to fight them in a proper manner.

This is also true for bad parenting.

Only if you scrutinize yourself on a regular basis and ask yourself what you can do better, you will be able to improve the overall quality of parenting over time.


Closely related to self-reflection is the topic of self-development.

Once you have identified your shortcomings, working to improve these shortcomings is crucial to improve your overall parenting quality.

This should also include talking to other parents and how they solve specific problems so you get a broader view on the respective topic and can also include useful advice into your parenting strategy.

Improvements in education

In order to fight the bad parenting issue, it is crucial to improve the overall education levels.

By improving overall education, people may be better able to identify their own shortcomings and to work on it in order to self-improve themselves and their parenting style.

Support children in your neighborhood

You should not only try the best for your children, but also support other children in your neighborhood which seem to have serious problems at home.

If you identify these children, try to help them.

This could mean to inform their school about their problems or also to talk to their parents since many parents may not even be aware of many problems their children might actually have to deal with.


Bad parenting is a significant problem in our nowadays society.

Many parents are simply overwhelmed by their own problems and fail to treat and support their children in a proper manner.

Therefore, it is crucial that institutions like schools or other facilities take measures to support children from difficult family conditions.

Only then will it be possible to improve the overall parenting quality in the long run for many children worldwide.


About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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