50 Bad Parenting Quotes For When You Feel Guilty

It’s universal that all parents set out to be good ones, but as these bad parenting quotes show, some fall shorter of the bar than others. 

Parents typically have high hopes for their ability to raise children in a kind, compassionate, loving environment where the kid feels accepted and wanted.

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Although, all parents inevitably have bad days. 

Sometimes, parents are simply too tired, frustrated, or stressed to be amazing caregivers every moment of the day.

Tell us your favorite bad parenting quote in the comments section. 

The benefits of reading bad parenting quotes

Being a good parent is hard. 

You must constantly take care of and worry about someone else’s needs while also trying to be a good example of a human being every moment of the day. 

It’s exhausting. 

And perhaps the exhaustion makes it easy to fall into patterns of bad parenting.  

After all, as anyone with children knows, being a parent is one of the toughest jobs out there.

Here’s what some parents say is the hardest thing about raising children:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Constantly cleaning up poop
  • Having no time for yourself
  • Being a slave to someone else’s needs 
  • Having your children say or do mean things
  • Constantly worrying about their safety and well-being
  • Dealing with “tantrums” and kids that are too little to express their emotions

So it’s understandable, even acceptable, that all parents will fall short at parenting occasionally.

Reading quotes about bad parenting will help encourage you to be a better one during tough parenting times. 

It will remind you of the parent you want to be and help you bring awareness to your parenting tactics when raising kids is getting the better of you.  

So, read these inspirational and thought-provoking parenting quotes to help guide you through your parenting journey. 

A journey filled with good times, bad times, ugly times, and everything in between!   

Bad parenting quotes about mental and emotional abuse

These bad parenting quotes about mental and emotional abuse will help you stop yourself next time you go down this road with your own children. 

1. “Toxic parents care more about how you make them look than how you actually feel.” — Anonymous

2. “If mental abuse was a punishable crime, a lot of parents would be in jail serving a long term.” ― Maddy Malhotra

3. “In troubled families, abuse and neglect are permitted. It’s talking about them that is forbidden.” — Marcia Sirota

4. “Parents who rely on their children for happiness make both their children and themselves miserable.” ― Dennis Prager

5. “It’s not words that hurt the most, but the absence of love and support. Not being there for your kid when they need it hurts the most.” — Lauren Levine

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6. “No child should ever have to bear the burden of parenting their own parents. To toxic parents, you exist to serve them all the time.” — Kim Saeed

7. “When you were abused, those around you acted as if it weren’t happening. Since no one else acknowledged the abuse, you sometimes felt that it wasn’t real.” ― Beverly Engel

8. “For many children, any expression of feelings, even a single tear, is cause for more severe abuse. Again, the only recourse is to shut down. Feelings go underground.” ― Laura Davis

9. “Most children would rather preserve the fantasy of a loving connection with their fathers and mothers, at all costs, even if it costs them their self-esteem. When you’re three or seven years old, it’s less frightening to think of yourself as an unlovable, disappointing screwup than to recognize the fact that you’re living with a monster.” — Keith Ablow

10. “When we’re just months old, or a year or two, and a parent looks at us with impatience, or disgust, or disdain, or just leaves us there to cry and doesn’t answer us even though we’re longing to be embraced and nurtured, we assume that something must be wrong with us. Unfortunately, at that age it’s impossible to think there might be something wrong with them.” Jean Liedloff

Advice to avoid bad parenting quotes

Enjoy these helpful quotes about advice to avoid bad parenting! 

11. “Great parenting happens when you start controlling yourself and stop controlling your child.” — Unknown

12. “It is not a bad thing that children should occasionally, and politely, put parents in their place.” — Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

13. “I hate the phrase ‘kids will be kids’. I think it should be replaced with ‘Bad parenting results in assholes’.” — Unknown

14. “What’s so sad is when we’re younger, if you have a bad parent, that is normal to you, and that’s what you think of as healthy.” ― Jennifer Lawrence

15. “Too bad for any parent who has become accustomed to ruling by force, because at some point the kids just get too big to slap around.” — Barbara Ehrenreich

16. “It is the selfish parents who are to blame. Pay attention, be involved in your children’s lives. They are your legacy, your only hope.” — Aaron B. Powell

17. “The government cannot overcome bad parenting. What our leaders can do is publicly condemn irresponsible parental behavior in vivid terms.” — Bill O’Reilly

18. “My dad had limitations. That’s what my good-hearted mom always told us. He had limitations, but he meant no harm. It was kind of her to say, but he did do harm.” ― Gillian Flynn

19. “Whatever parent gives his children good instruction and sets them at the same time a bad example, may be considered as bringing them food in one hand and poison in the other.” — John Balguy

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20. “Today’s troubled homes are made by parents who want to have children but don’t want their children to have parents.” — Agona Apell

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Bad parenting quotes about breaking the cycle

All parents aim to be better at their job of raising children.

These bad parenting quotes about breaking the cycle will help!

21. “I am many things, but I will not be the mother you were to me.” — Morrigan to Flemeth

22. “Don’t try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.” — Russell Baker

23. “A child’s shoulders were not built to bear the weight of their parent’s choices.” — Toby Mac

24. “Family is where you’re meant to be most free, don’t let blood chain you down.” — Michelle Meleen

25. “Wounded parents often unintentionally inflict pain and suffering on their children.” — David W. Earle

26. “A lot of mothers would do anything for their children except from letting them be themselves.” — Unknown

27. “Parents wonder why the streams are bitter when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.” John Locke

28. “You don’t have to leave your whole family in the past, just those who don’t deserve a place in your future.” — Unknown

29. “Instead of treating your child like how you were treated. Treat them with the same love and attention you wanted from your parents while growing up.” ― Jonathan Anthony Burkett

30. “I think it’s time that we all be there for the children, to learn from the ones who came before us, and to teach our sons and daughters to have respect for themselves. Break the cycle.” — Ja Rule

Quotes about the effects of bad parenting

These quotes about the effects of bad parenting will help you understand the outcome for children raised with bad parents. 

31. “Overprotective parents raise the best liars.” — Unknown

32. “Good parenting gives headaches, but bad parenting gives heartaches.” — Shiv Khera

33. “There’s a reason why people who’ve had bad relationships with their parents listen to angry stuff.” — Chris Martin

34. “Many children of toxic parents find it exceptionally difficult to identify who they are once they grow up.” — JR Thorpe

35. “This is the tragedy of modernity: as with neurotically overprotective parents, those trying to help are often hurting us the most.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

36. “Sociologists well understand that chaos at home causes violent behavior, educational failure and social alienation among children.” — Bill O’Reilly

37. “To feel that you aren’t important to your mother leaves a hole. Most often it is felt as a hole in the heart. It’s the hole where Mother was supposed to be.” — Jasmin Lee Cori

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38. “Bad kids come from bad parents. Stop blaming music, television, movies bullying, peer pressure, teachers, school system, government and society for your shitty parenting.” — Unknown

39. “After puberty the personality develops impetuously and all extraneous intervention becomes odious…. Now it so happens that parents feel the responsibility towards their children precisely during this second period, when it is too late.” — Antonio Gramsci

40. “I saw this anti-drug commercial that showed a kid smoking pot in his dad`s room with his friend. This kid finds a gun, the gun accidentally goes off and kills his friend. Only in America is the villain in this commercial not guns or bad parenting, but pot.” — Bill Maher

Short bad parenting quotes

These short bad parenting quotes will give you something to think about. 

41. “Bad parenting is gravely harming this nation.” — Bill O’Reilly

42. “It is much easier to become a father than to be one.” — Kent Nerburn

43. “Having kids doesn’t making you a parent. Raising them does.” — Unknown

44. “An unpredictable parent is a fearsome god in the eyes of a child.” — Dr. Susan Forward

45. “In the minds of my parents, they are the victims; I am the abuser.” — Christina Enevoldsen

46. “Being a bad parent is a sign of not having learned from experience.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

47. “The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents.” Carl Jung

48. “It has been my observation that parents kill more dreams than anybody.” — Spike Lee

49. “If a man cannot be a father to his own child, there is nothing worse than that.” — Unknown

50. “To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.” — Unknown

Be an inspired parent

Hopefully, reading these bad parenting quotes has made you think about some ways that you could be a better parent day to day. 

Make no mistake; no one is expecting you to be perfect. 

You are allowed bad parenting moments and bad parenting days. 

You’re not just a parent; you’re human and deserve grace just like your children do. 

But what you can do is be inspired to be a better parent. 

Inspiration is the seed of action. 

When you wake up every day inspired to be a better parent than the day before, you unknowingly bring forth small actions that make your OK parenting moments good and your good ones great. 

Tell us your favorite bad parenting quote in the comment section below. 

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