No one said being a parent was going to be easy. In fact the cold, harsh truth about parenting is that it is by the far the most rewarding and excruciatingly difficult thing one can undertake in life. There is no perfect way or exact right and wrong way but there are some definitive ways that lead to a healthy, stable person and relationship. It's difficult to not lead with emotion but when you're a parent it's often the most productive. There are definitely signs to out for that draw the stark contrast of a good parent and a bad one. It's all about helping the children in the end.

Redditor u/1994spaceodyssey wanted to discuss the light and dark sides of parenting by basking.... What are signs that someone is a good parent vs. bad parent?

You can't avoid....


Good parent - addresses issues

Bad parent - pretends they don't exist SpiritofGarfield

Or in my dads case


Explain your actions. 

A good parent helps the child to understand what is expected and punishes appropriately. A bad parent only punishes when the child does something wrong without giving the child an understanding of what good behavior is. Morally_Inept

Yep. As a teacher, the difference between those parents with high expectations of their kids (and whose kids correspondingly behave really ethically and considerately of others) and the parents who hold no expectations of their kids out of a misplaced form of love is quite drastic.

Good parents often look quite frazzled at parent-teacher interviews and always sound surprised to hear that their kid is behaving really well and treats other people well; I suspect that their expectations for conduct at home are quite high. Whereas for kids who behave incredibly poorly (bullying, disrespect to people/property), their parents often leap in to defense and sing the praises of their kid's "beautiful nature." I suspect for some of them they lead quite indulgent lives and consequently never really have enough stimulus to arc up at their parents. noestofus

No such thing as perfect.

Having the self awareness to admit that they and their children have flaws. creedbrattonsdad

This continues through adulthood, too. Man, nothing worse than an enabler parent. chocolatespoonz


The amount of respect between child and parent. A parent showing no respect to their child is such a bad sign, same if the kid shows no respect. GamBub

This is SO important. You can demand all the respect you want from your child... but if you don't respect them either, you will have a very poor relationship with your child. BRZORA



Good parents pay attention to their child and actually listen to what the child has to say, and engage with their child. They treat them with respect and how they themselves would like to be treated.

Bad parents treat the child like they are an intrusion into their life, and are rude and entitled towards others (especially to service staff). Stop_the_propaganda

Sorry. Not Sorry. 

Bad parents never admit they are wrong and apologies usually are followed by excuses. nesquikthicc

Also the whole "I'm the adult, you are the child" talk. My parents have made countless mistakes and blamed it on my siblings and me but I've never heard them ever say "sorry" to us. I remember at one point my dad was whipping my brother for some reason I don't recall and he accidentally struck my ear. I still haven't heard any apology although it was years ago. Apologies really do make a big difference because it's how we remember you as parents. rbxVexified

Stay Calm. 

I've seen two examples within a few minutes of each other. Two different kids tripped over the same electrical cord that was temporarily on the ground at a store I was shopping at.

Good parent: Child trips, falls, gets hurt. The parent tends to child. Gives love, cuddles, etc. Since the child is clearly still upset, they pick the child up and hug carry them away to finish their shopping. A few moments later I see the child get down and continue walking, hand in hand with the parent, smiling. All is well with the child. Parent took calm control of the situation and used appropriate responses to help their child get through it all.

Bad parent: Child trips, falls, gets hurt. Child gets up, starts crying, parent immediately slaps the crap out of them across the face, berates them for "Tripping over that visible cord!" and "Crying like a damn baby!," then forbids them to cry in public with angry threats of an even bigger ass whooping at home if "One more single tear leaves your eye." To top it all off, they angrily took a toy out of the cart that was intended for the child, and announced it loudly as "A punishment for tripping." Parent then takes their cart, and commands the child to follow silently behind them as they head to check out. Child follows, head down. All is not well with the child. Parent failed at responding in an appropriate manner to the situation and made it worse for their child in the end. FrankenCake

Give them some freedom. 

The difference between a good parent and a bad parent is know when to let your kids spread their wings. Helicopter parenting your 19 year old in university isn't going to allow them to be self-sufficient.

There a lots of other very bad parenting issues, but this one is a bit deeper and is more related to a parents unwillingness to let go of their children in a selfish way, rather than using drugs or being in general a crap individual let alone a parent. O_P_S

Rage is Inappropriate. 

I have always found it distasteful when a parent screams at or embarrasses their child in public. I recall seeing a kid a few Halloweens ago, probably about 10ish and he was with his mom at the grocery store. It's late afternoon so thinking the kid is a trick or treater, the cashier gives him candy. Mom proceeds to slap the candy out of the kid's hand and screams "HE'S GROUNDED YOU A**HOLE!" Kid looked so humiliated and the mom just stood there glaring at the cashier. Since then, that has been my image of a bad parent. GhostOfHamlet

Speak Freely.


Good parents talk to their kids on a level they can understand. kat_fud

I need to have an important conversation with my child tonight. Going to steal this! newsreadhjw

Take Action. 

If their child is running around screaming. Their reaction would be :

Good : *send the kid to play elsewhere*

Bad : *do nothing and say he's hyperactive anyway* onions_cutting_ninja

Red Flags....

Do their wants come before their child's needs? That's a big red flag. llcucf80

I still remember my mother buying herself new custom leather cowboy boots to go dancing in with the entire child support check my dad gave her and we had no food. She called him and said she paid bills with it, needed more and we were to call him if we were hungry.

I told him what she spent it on and every bit of that beating was worth it. She said the money was to support her having to tolerate me. LOL. slightlydramatic

Children First! 

When they put themselves in front of their kids. catcortez

Agreed. This is why I don't want any children. I love my life being about me and I'd have to give that up to have a child. Rachie__Lion

My Apologies....


I would imagine a sign of a bad parent is your grown child asking for you to apologize for the things that you did that you never once apologized for (or even acknowledged) and then telling your child this seems more like your problem, I'm not losing any sleep over it, just to have your child get out of your car, walk into their house, block your phone number, and aim to never speak to you again last year

Not that I'd know anything about that, it just seems like something that would probably happen to a bad parent. SoullessCreatures


Mediocre parents never provide an environment where you can learn about yourself and it takes until your 19 and live on your own to realize your favorite food. sassyandsweer789

Shut up! 

I've always hated the "don't talk back to me" line. No matter how calmly or quietly I would talk, it was considered disrespectful.

It meant that I could never defend or explain a misunderstanding. And instead I had to shut up and let her yell at me. GoonsAndGhouls

Why so Loud?

If I see you yelling at your kid for making a mistake without telling them what they did wrong and how to do it right. You're a d**k. Dangloyne

When I was 14, my dad asked me to screw in a lightbulb. I wasn't trusted to do ANYTHING growing up, so I had zero confidence in myself and I was sure I would mess it up. I was taught that trying and failing was miles worse than never trying at all, so I cried and said that I didn't know how to screw in a lightbulb. Instead of taking the 2 seconds it would've taken to show me how to do it, he screamed at me for not knowing. He screamed for 5 hours. When he was done screaming about one thing, he'd find something else to scream about. I feel like this is why I'm so scared to try new things. Screwing in a lightbulb is the simplest shit ever. I was too scared to even attempt it. M0u53trap

Precious is Real. 

I know a woman who was on WIC but bought a brand new Lexus. I saw the same woman slap her 3 year old son across the face because he wasn't eating his lunch. That's a bad parent. Citizenerased1989

Here's some coin....


Bad parents make up for whatever upset feelings their child has through monetary value. Forgot a birthday? Just buy them gifts, as long as they arrive it shouldn't be a problem. Had a fight? Offer to take your kid shopping, they'll get over it after that. leflyingbison

Don't be a Bully!

If your kid is genuinely afraid of you, you are a bad parent. Controlling your kid with fear isn't parenting. There are much better ways to discipline your child, it just might take a little longer. theonionenthusiast

100%. That's bullying, not parenting. rock8879


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