The kid who hits on the playground, steals toys from others, sticks out his tongue, teases and back talks, we've all seen that kid. Everyone has experienced a ‘bad kid’ at one time or another. No mother wants to have their child labeled the ‘bad kid.’ Often when moms who have kids that are ‘bad,’ they wind up blaming their child.
But if her child is acting out, is getting calls home from school, is notorious for misbehaving, maybe instead of blaming her child, mom should take a look in the mirror. All too often, kids that misbehave are doing so because it’s what they know.
Whether it’s because they aren’t getting attention from their mothers and they act out so they will get noticed by their moms (negative attention is better than no attention,) or it’s because they are mimicking the behavior they see their moms exhibit (kids really are their parents’ mirrors, at least to some degree,) the majority of children who misbehave do so because they aren’t receiving the guidance that they so desperately need from their mothers.
Or, it could be because mom gives her child plenty of attention, but doesn’t set boundaries for her child.
In the real world, actions speak louder than words, and the attitude, views and perspectives of a child are largely a reflection of what he or she learns from mom. While there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ mom, there are certain things that can certainly indicate a mom isn’t really living up to her important role.
Here’s a look at 15 things that can indicate a mom can’t parent….
14 She’s Always On Her Phone
Smartphones are a blessing and a curse all rolled into one little, handheld device.
They’re great for staying in touch with clients, for locating sales, for making shopping lists, for getting directions, for snapping photos of the kids, and even for making play dates with other moms. However, despite how handy they can be, smartphones can also be a major disadvantage for moms and their kids…
When a mom is always on her phone and seems to give it more attention than she gives her kids, that really a sign that she isn’t doing what’s best for her kids. When the kids are constantly shouting, “Mom, look at me!” at the playground, but she’s too busy scrolling through her social media profiles or she’s making duck faces and snapping photos of herself to post, her priorities really aren’t in order.
13 Constantly Screaming
Everyone has their breaking point… Even a mother who is an expert disciplinarian and has patience that seems to be never-ending can get rattled and become unwound by her children. It happens… Moms are people too, and when they are overtired, have too much on their plates and their kids just aren’t behaving, they can snap. No mother is perfect…
However, with that said, if mom seems to be yelling at the children on a constant basis; if, in fact, it seems like her only communication with her children is screaming, she’s on the path of bad mothering.
Kids need patience, compassion and understanding. They need empathy and support. They need love and affection. If a mom is screaming at her kids around the clock, they are going to suffer. They may grow up resenting their mom, they may not have patience with anyone else, and they may very well become yellers and screamers themselves.
12 Physical Discipline
Many people grew up getting swatted on their bottoms by their parents; in fact, there is a meme that has been circulating around social media lately that says, “My parents spanked me as a child. As a result, I now suffer from a psychological condition known as “Respect for Others.”
However, while many people may be under the assumption that a little swat on the behind every now and again will teach children who is in charge and how to respect other people, research has proven that quite the contrary is true: There is absolutely no benefit to physical discipline, and it can have harmful effects on children.
Whether she swats their bottoms, slaps them on the face or hits them on the hand with a wooden spoon, when a mom exercises physical discipline, she is not only harming them physically, but mentally, as well. They learn not to trust her and others, they conceal things because they are afraid they will get hit, they can become reclusive, they can become bullies…
And the list goes on and on. Hitting should never, ever be a form of discipline. That’s the bottom line.
11 Verbal Insults
“You’re a loser,” “You’re too slow,” “You’re fat,” “You’re never going to succeed,” “You’re a quitter”…
If a mother utters these phrases, or any other similar verbal insults toward her child, that’s a surefire sign that she is harming her child.
Children look to their mothers for everything; for compassion, for inspiration, for motivation, for encouragement… When moms are making verbal insults, children are getting the support, love and nurturing that they so desperately need from their moms.
Being subjected to these types of insults can be damaging for kids in a number of ways: They can make them depressed; self-loathing and/or anxious. They can also make children repeat these insults to others, which can, in turn, damage the people that they say them to.
10 Not Responsive
Every mom gets overworked, way too busy and distracted. There’s so much going on in life that a mom’s mind may become cluttered and at times, she may very well not hear her children when they speak to her. However, if a mom never seems to respond when her kids are speaking to her, than it could be a sign that she isn’t doing the best job.
Moms should be responsive to their children; after all, how else can kids have their needs met if their moms aren’t hearing them? We’re not only talking about getting things like something to eat and drink, but things like appreciation and respect.
If a child is constantly calling his mother and she blatantly doesn’t respond, then yes, that’s a good indicator that she isn’t up-to-par in the mom department.
9 Over Protective
Being protective is a natural instinct for mothers. They want to shelter their babies and protect them from harm; but, there is such a thing as being too protective.
Preventing them from touching a hot stove, baby proofing the home and holding their hands as they cross the streets are all totally normal levels of protection, but moms do need to know that there are limits to being protective, especially as children grow. If mom hovers around her grade-schooler on the playground and does not let him climb up the slide for fear that he will fall and get hurt.
Or she doesn’t let her give that tricycle a go because she’s paranoid that her child will crash, than she may be overprotective. Being too protective can not only cause children to miss out on life experiences, but it can also cause them to resent their moms, especially as they grow older.
8 Inappropriate Modeling
Charles Swindoll is credited with the following quote:
“Each day of our lives, we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”
Wow! If that isn’t the truth…
Children are constantly observing their mothers. They hear what she says and how she reacts, not only toward them, but to others, as well. For that reason, it is so important for moms to set good examples for their children and to be good models.
If they hear her speaking ill toward or about other people, if they see that she is disrespectful, if they find that she blows up at the slightest inconvenience (someone walking slowly in front of her at the grocery store, for example,) they are depositing those things into their memory banks, and dollars to donuts, that’s how the children are going to act, too.
7 Mom Is Reckless
We can’t stress it enough: There is no such thing as a perfect mother, and all moms make mistakes; however, that does not give the mother an excuse to exhibit reckless behavior around her kids – or even when her kids aren’t around.
If a mother drinks and drives with her children in the car, for example, not only is it completely and totally against the law, but it could potentially cause injury or even death to her children, and could lead to her incarceration.
If, in the event that she doesn’t get into an accident or pulled over, she’s still harming her children by teaching them that it’s OK to drink and drive. Even if she drinks and drives while the children aren’t with her, she’s still being reckless, and her behavior could have life-changing consequences on the kids.
Other reckless behaviors that bad moms exhibit may include driving too fast, not wearing their seat belts, not properly securing their children in the car… Moms that are reckless do not have their children’s best interest at heart, no matter how much they may think that they do.
6 Not Being Present
Work, caring for the house, taking care of the kids… Moms have a lot on their plates. It’s not easy to juggle it all, and there is no way that a mom can be present all of the time. But, with that being said, a mom should make the time to ensure that she is present for her children. Of course, if she is cooking dinner or on a phone call with a client, she may not be able to be completely present for her child; however, she can certainly make time in her day to put everything else on the backburner and focus solely on her child – be present for him or her.
When moms are present for their children, they let them know that they are a priority and that, that they matter, and that they are seen and heard. When moms constantly put their kids on the backburner and aren’t present, it can lead to feelings of resentment. Plus, mom will miss out on a lot with her child.
5 She’s A Tiger Mom
What the heck is a tiger mom? It’s someone who wants her kids to do the best and to be the best all the time. They put seriously high expectations on their children and push their kids, often way beyond their limits. While it’s certainly OK to have high expectations for kids, and to push them out of their comfort zones, always expecting perfection isn’t.
Kids are people. They aren’t always on. They mistakes. They get stressed out. If their moms are pushing too hard and are disappointed – and make that disappointment obvious – when their kids falter, or just don’t feel like performing, they are missing out on their childhood, can become anxious and depressed, and can grow to resent their mothers.
4 Mom Favors One Child
Many moms are guilty of having a favorite child; the one that they just get along with better, who they really ‘get’, and who they just connect with more; but, even if a mom does have a favorite, that doesn’t mean that she should show it.
Being partial to one child and making that partiality obvious can be damaging to both the child she favors and the one(s) that she doesn’t. The child who is her favorite may end up being too big for his britches and develop a ‘holier than though’ attitude toward his sibling(s), while the child(ren) who are not favored may grow to resent their mother – and the favorite child.
3 Kids Are Unkempt
It’s a fact that kids are messy. Even if they start the day off in a pristine state, they will end up getting dirty, stained and disheveled at some point (and it often only takes a matter of minutes to happen.) But, if a child constantly looks unkempt, her face is always dirty, her hair is a rats nest, her clothing is torn, tattered and too small, or she even smells, it could be a sign that her mother isn’t doing her job.
A mom’s top priority is to care for her children, and while she may not be able to afford designer clothing, and she may not be able to prevent stains and dirt-smeared faces all day, if her children constantly look as if they haven’t been bathed or if they are wearing the same clothing days in a row, their mother may very well not be providing the care that her children need.
2 All Fun, No Rules
There is such a thing at too many rules, and yes, some rules were made to be broken; however, when it comes to kids, rules are very valuable. They teach them valuable lessons, such as consequences and rewards. They also teach children how to be respectful of others.
Of course, moms should have fun with their children – nobody is arguing that point; however, when a mom seems to be all fun and no rules, it’s a sign that might indicate she’s not doing justice for her kids. When kids don’t have rules, they start to become their own masters; for example, they may stay up too late, they may not learn how to exhibit proper behaviors and they may refuse discipline from anyone else (they’re teachers, for example.)
Discipline is vital for children, and if mom doesn’t establish rules and doesn’t discipline, well, her kids can end up paying the price.
1 Doing Too Much
Let’s be honest: Moms do a lot for their children. Changing their diapers, bathing them, dressing them, feeding them, carting them around… The list goes on and on. While doing virtually everything for a child is vital for newborns and infants, as a child grows, the list of things that moms do for their children should start to dwindle, or shift (maybe that’s a better way to say it.)
As children grow older, they should start to learn how to do things for themselves. In fact, pediatric specialists recommend encouraging children to do things that they are capable of. For example, a toddler can start helping with picking up his toys and a grade-schooler should start learning how to make his bed.
Letting kids do these everyday tasks is vital for their development and helps to shape them into self-sufficient individuals. However, if a mom continues doing everything for her growing child – tying his shoes, changing his clothing, etc (remember: we’re talking older children here, not infants), than she may not be doing her child justice.
If a child doesn’t learn how to do these simple tasks, he will learn to expect that someone else will always do them for him, which not only leads to ungratefulness, but it also leads to a child who will grow up not knowing how to take care of him- or herself.
Sources: CNN, Babycenter, Psychology Today