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Toxic parenting mistakes that can harm your child’s health


A child is like a soft clay pot, it takes the shape as you mould it. 

As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your child. You want them to be happy, healthy, and successful in life. However, sometimes even the most well-intentioned parents can unknowingly make mistakes that can harm their child’s mental health. Toxic parenting behaviours can have a lasting impact on a child’s emotional well-being and can affect their ability to form healthy relationships later in life. 

Parents play a critical role in shaping their child’s mental health. They are responsible for providing a safe and nurturing environment that fosters positive emotional and cognitive development. This involves providing love, support, and encouragement while also setting appropriate boundaries and expectations. When parents exhibit toxic behaviours such as neglect, abuse, or over-control, it can have a lasting impact on a child’s mental health, leading to issues like anxiety, depression, and poor self-esteem.

Parenting can go wrong when parents exhibit behaviours that are harmful or detrimental to their child’s emotional and cognitive development. This can include neglect, abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual), over-control, and unrealistic expectations. Parents who are absent or fail to provide a nurturing environment can leave their children feeling unloved, insecure, and lacking in self-worth. Ultimately, parenting can go wrong when parents fail to prioritise their child’s well-being and fail to provide the love, support, and guidance that they need to thrive.

Let’s know how and when parenting can turn toxic and can start damaging a child’s mental health. 

Toxic parenting mistakes

Toxic parenting refers to parenting practices that can be harmful or damaging to a child’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Here are some common toxic parenting mistakes that can have negative impacts on a child:

Emotional neglect

Emotional neglect occurs when parents fail to provide adequate emotional support, attention, and validation to their children. Children need to feel loved and valued to develop healthy self-esteem and emotional regulation. Emotional neglect can lead to feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, and depression. Nowadays, personal parenting is replaced with technology which is a slow poison that kills the bond between parents and child. 


While it’s essential to keep children safe and healthy, overprotective parents can hinder a child’s emotional and social development. Overprotection can lead to anxiety, low self-esteem, and a lack of independence in children.


Micromanaging parents can be controlling, critical, and demanding. This parenting style can make children feel powerless, insecure, and constantly judged. Micromanaging can also hinder a child’s decision-making skills and autonomy.

Verbal abuse 

Verbal abuse includes yelling, belittling, and humiliating a child. This type of abuse can lead to low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety, and can affect a child’s ability to form healthy relationships in the future.

Physical abuse 

Physical abuse includes hitting, kicking, and any other form of physical harm. Abuse can cause physical injury, and emotional trauma, and can negatively affect a child’s development.

Emotional manipulation 

Emotional manipulation occurs when parents use guilt, shame, or other emotional tactics to control their children. This behaviour can lead to a lack of trust in relationships, poor self-esteem, and difficulty setting boundaries.


Favoritism occurs when parents show preference for one child over another. This behaviour can lead to feelings of rejection, jealousy, and low self-esteem in the child who is not favoured.

Enmeshment (over-involvement) 

Enmeshment occurs when parents have overly close or boundary-less relationships with their children. This behaviour can hinder a child’s development of independence, personal identity, and social skills. For example parents invade the privacy of their children, which eventually leads to lack of trust and honesty.

Inconsistent parenting

This type of parenting refers to parenting practices that lack stability, boundaries, and structure. It can cause confusion, anxiety, and a lack of emotional regulation in children. For example a parent who asks their child to avoid mobile phones and then at some point they themselve ask them to use pone or watch tv so that the parents can get some personal time.  

It’s essential to recognise toxic parenting mistakes and work towards correcting them. Seeking therapy, reading parenting books, and practising empathy and emotional regulation are some ways parents can work towards creating a healthy and positive environment for their children.

Final thoughts

Parenting is a tough job, and no one is perfect. However, being aware of common parenting mistakes can help you avoid making them and promote healthy development in your child. In today’s world, where technology and social media are omnipresent, it’s essential to be mindful of the impact they can have on your child’s mind. One of the biggest mistakes parents make is not being present and engaged with their children. Spending quality time with your child, listening to them, and showing interest in their activities and feelings can have a positive impact on their emotional and mental well-being.

Finally, not setting boundaries and limits can also be detrimental to your child’s development. Children need structure and consistency to feel secure and understand their boundaries. It’s important to set clear rules and consequences and be consistent in enforcing them.

In conclusion, parenting is a journey full of challenges and learning opportunities. By being mindful of common mistakes and working to avoid them, parents can create a nurturing and healthy environment that promotes their child’s well-being and development.

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