Signs of bad parenting and how they affect children

Bad parenting is a sequence of actions that affect proper child growth. People become bad parents because of cultural beliefs, unwanted children, careers and frustrations. Parenting is a process that requires you to give protection, care and love to enable children to help develop into vigorous adults. 

These are some of the actions that will make you a bad parent.

Quarrelling and fighting in the presence of your children: Disagreeing and fighting before children is not a healthy way of parenting. Do not let your children learn about your misunderstanding and confrontations.

No negotiations with your child: Give your children a choice rather than commanding them to do things according to your expectations. We often hear parents saying because I said so.

Harsh punishments; Giving children cruel punishments is poor parenting however, not every mistake has to be punished. Sometimes, you have to talk to your child. 

Discouragement:  Simply because you think your child cannot succeed in some activities does not mean she cannot. Let your child spread her wings and be courageous to her. When your child wants to participate in singing at school, don’t say you don’t have talent. So quit as soon as you can.

Yelling to your children:  Use a positive, gentle and calming voice when speaking to children more especially toddlers. 

  Unhealthy lifestyle: Lifestyles like getting drunk before children, smoking weed in the same house with children are very unfavourable for proper child upbringing.

  Not giving your child time: playing with your child is the best gift your child will ever have because you will be together. It is not alright to keep a busy schedule on your child.


Too much pampering: It is not good to give children whatsoever they want at any time. Kids who are pampered grow up into spoilt brats.

 Not setting rules:  A good parent should sets rules at home to help shape children’s behaviour. If you do not set rules in your house, your children will find it hard to cope with other people in the real world.  

 Ignoring children’s achievements: Acknowledge children’s hard work even when they are small because they mean a lot to them.

  Not involving children in some activities.  Involve your children in activities that matter for example tree planting, house chores, and thanksgiving. Do not raise children knowing some tasks are for grow -up’s only, they will grow up into irresponsible adults.

Effects on the child

Poor social behaviour: Bad parenting increases the number of juvenile delinquents, drug abuse, and teenage pregnancy. Research shows that People who lack attention and love in their childhood commit crimes to attract attention and glory from other people in society when they are adults. Bad behaviour in preschoolers children is a result of bad parenting for instance children from violent homes are most likely to be violent to other children.

Depression: Depression in children is due to prolonged unhappiness and feeling unsafe. Proper parenting plays a big role in giving children the happiness, hope and love they deserve. Poor performance at school, isolation from other children, paying less attention and being too fearful are signs of a depressed child. 

Failure to long last relationships and friends: Children develop unacceptable behaviours due to the negligence of parents. These behaviours make it difficult for other people to associate with them hence the loss of friends. A harshly treated child may lose trust in other people making it difficult to trust anyone else.

How to be a good parent

  1. Listen to your child
  2. Set rules.
  3. Avoid domestic violence.
  4. Give your children time and attention.

 In the parenting process, you cannot do good all the time. Kids make parents lose their temper and yell at them. That one-time action does not make you a bad parent, but a series of these actions do.

 If you are that kind of parent who did not experience good parenting and your parents are not role models, the ball is under your hand. It is wise for you to treat your children right and be a role model. Not sure of how you can do it? Join self-help groups, ask questions and share how you feel with people close to you.

How to teach children to say sorry

Sorry is a magic word just like Thank you and Excuse me. These words make us feel better and define our behaviour. Saying sorry is one way of apologizing to others and demonstrating how you value and care about other people’s feelings and emotions. 

Teaching children to say sorry is very important. It helps your child to be responsible and be accountable for his actions and mistakes. It also teaches your child to be a human being and empathic to others. We have compiled some of the ways to teach your child to say sorry and mean it.

Be exemplary to your children: Children imitate what adults do at home. If you are an unapologetic parent to your children and other people, there is no way your children will learn. 

 As a mother, I sometimes break my children’s toys when I am cleaning or just by accident. Then when my children find out, the first thing they do is confronting and accusing each other.

 I do not sit and watch my children accuse each other of something that I did. So, I call them and tell them the truth. I do not only tell the truth, but I go ahead and apologize.

By saying sorry to your child, you are walking the talk.

Role-play game:  Role-play is a technique of training and making people participate in any situation. Some words seem to be so simple but very difficult to say. Demonstrate to your child how to apologize correctly.

  • Eye contact
  • Make sure your child does not only say sorry but also say another cheering word.
  • Let your child also practice voice tone when apologizing.

 Help your child deal with the emotions:  

Children tend to be defensive of their actions when they are wrong. In this case, getting the child to say sorry is not easy. Therefore, you have to help the child deal with his feelings by asking him questions.

 For instance, Why did you slap your friend? How will you feel if someone else hits you? Go ahead and tell him that fighting or beating someone is not the only way of solving problems. Your child will realize his mistake, cope with his emotion and know the purpose of apologizing. 

Show love to your child: After your child has apologized genuinely, hug her. This will help a child not to feel embarrassed about what she did. Tell her how proud you are to encourage her and make her feel better.

How to strengthen your family bond.

Family is the most valuable unit in the community. It plays a big role in reproduction, development, child upbringing and behaviour change. Children who grow up in strong families are well behaved and happy. There are different types of families, for example, nuclear family, extended family and foster family. Whatsoever family you belong to, each family needs to grow strong day by day.  

We have put together ways to strengthen family bonds. 

Support each other

For a family to grow strong, you have to support each other’s dreams and businesses. Support each other both in happiness and sorrow for example, when one family member is having a wedding. Turn up, make a contribution and attend the wedding as well. Lean on each other in times of need and sorrow.

Create family time

Creating time for your family is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children as a mother and father. Families that spend quality time together stick together. Whether you are a 24/7 worker in your company or a very busy CEO, always create time and spend it with your family. You can consider taking your family for a vacation, tour or organizing sporty activities. Bicycle riding is the easiest and cheapest activity for all families to spend quality time together.

Family meeting

The more families stay without talking to each other, the more problems escalate. This is more common with extended families, however, it’s wise for nuclear families to meet too. You can organize family meetings twice or three times a year. Talk about issues you are facing as a family and come up with possible solutions. I have seen some families choose their firstborn sons and daughters to be leaders of family meetings. It is a good idea because it develops children’s and teenagers leadership and organizing skills.

Do chores together

Cleaning the house together is not only romantic for couples, but it also sets a better example for children in the family. When children see both their parents working together, they work together too. Doing family chores helps to develop teamwork and strengthens family relationships.

Eat together

 In African tradition, it was taboo to eat food without the head of the family. Women would wait for their husbands before food was served, but today, things have changed. Few families practice this tradition. According to research, eating frequent family meals is associated with better psychosocial outcomes for children and adolescents. Families that eat together have few cases of eating disorders, alcoholism, good behaviour and suicidal thoughts. More still, sharing family meals will increase your children’s self-esteem, commitment to learning and keep them happier

Family fun day

Fun times bring out each one’s personality as compared to other days spent at home. You get to know each one’s inner character on such events. Volleyball, chess, puzzles, movies are some of the few activities you can do on a family fun day.  To make it more fun, invite other families to join your family. Mixing with another family will teach your children good interpersonal skills, communication skills and grow the family network.

Motherly heart word.

Always put your family first, and do everything

it takes to keep the bond strong.

The power of listening to children!

An unknown philosophy riddle asks if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? Does it? Of course, it does, but it takes an ear to listen to the sound. Therefore, for children to listen, it requires us to listen to.

 A mum told her son to go take a snap in the afternoon as she moved out of the house to talk to a friend. Within few minutes, her son came to her saying, ” Mum I am done”. Being an African mum, she quickly picked up a slipper to beat him for being disobedient and shouted in a loud voice, I told you to go and sleep. She did not listen to him. In fear, he run back to the house saying, I am done pooping Please clean me. Before we blame our children and make quick decisions to discipline them, we should get facts. Ask your child why, how, really and wait for the response.

Children whose parents listen too are more advantaged compared to other children. Listed are some of the benefits of listening emphatically to your children. 

  • Helps in building trust between you and the child. 
  • Helps children talk through their problem.
  • According to the crisis prevention institute, Listening allows your child to vent. Children release their feelings, in a safe place, without having to hear advice or judgment about their behaviour.
  • It is the way to demonstrate to your children that you understand them and their feelings.

How to get your child to listen to you

Here are some of the steps that parents can take to practice listening.

Let the child to do the talking: shut up and listen to what your child has to say. Have you ever experienced the naughty two and their aggressive behaviour? Well, the solution to correct their behaviour is listening to them and giving them answers.

Focus on how the child feels more than facts: Consider making your child feel better by reading their emotions. Is the child angry, powerless or scared? Get the message straight from the child by letting them narrate the story to you. 

Do not judge: when your child admits to the problem, do not judge no matter how big the problem is. Otherwise, you may sound more of a lecturer. I hope you have heard of teenagers who say, you sound like my mum, and they walk away. It is because parents are judgemental, and this creates a distance between them.  

Give your child all the attention: Stop everything that you are doing and give all your eyes and ears to your child. All children right from toddlers to teenagers need undivided attention to trust you with what they know. You can use a facial expression like nodding and eye contact to show your child that all that matters at that moment is your conversation.

You notice that when you are communicating with the children, you need to be an emphatic listener. You will therefore build trust and a rapport between you and your child.

I am glad I never aborted my baby.

When you are young and in love, everything seems to be perfect with your partner. He shows that he loves you and there is a future between the two of you. However, the ball may turn around when there is a sign of a baby cry in the next few months. It sounds like a joke when you tell your lover that you are pregnant with him. Men have spoken to women words like “Get rid of it, that is not my baby, I was not in love with you”. When all these are said to you, that is the time when you witness betrayal, hatred and regret.

Women are often confused on whether to give birth and be a single mother or abort the baby. It is a tough decision to make. Once upon a time I was madly in love however, everything changed after getting pregnant. That was when I learnt that he was not in love with me at all. When you ever find yourself in such a situation, think about your future and yourself, consult, talk to friends of good influence and get as much support as you can. The people around you will guide you to make the right decision.

I did decide to keep my pregnancy, and I gave birth to a baby girl. She was so adorable that my love for her grew every day. The more I looked at her, the more I thought about my future and hers too. My child is not only my lifetime responsibility but also a human being that changed me. Changed the way I think, learnt to deal with my emotions because of her, work on a tight budget and grew finances from micro-businesses. I have always heard people say when you give birth you develop quickly. Yes, you can if you learn financial discipline, work hard and put your child’s future ahead.

Now that my child is growing every day, I have the best entertainer and storyteller. I have someone special in my life who asks me if I am alright, to help me search for a bus fare and pick a coin under my bed. Someone to share a meal with, laugh and watch with, and that is why I thank God I never aborted my baby.

Why children must learn money habits

Children usually spend money depending on what they see it do. If you go to the supermarket to purchase food and other necessities with your children, they learn that money for expenses. That is why when you offer your child money as a gift or out of excitement, the first thing they think about is a snack, a sweet or balloon. 

Some parents think that giving a child money is useless because they will not spend it on anything valuable. Yes, I agree with such parents because children cannot make proper financial decisions without guidance. 

Why children must learn financial management

Children develop a saving culture: one of the principles of money is saving regardless of the age or amount of money you have in your wallet. It is a good habit for children to learn saving because they develop a saving culture at a tender age. I taught my three-year-old daughter how to save money with a home bank. Every time she gets money, she picks a coin, throws it to her home bank and spends the balance. 

Children learn to make financial decisions and priorities. It is so sad to see kids buy snacks only yet the other more important things they need in their lives. When offering money to a child, guide them in decision making. Children learn that money is not spent for fun, but also on important things like storybooks, colors, cameras and many others.

 Children learn to practice acts of kindness: Children should learn that money is not about what they want. Rather than helping people in need and performing acts of kindness. Let children offer a part of their money and donate to other kids on the streets, orphanages and other people in need. 

 Let your children give offertory to holy places like a mosque, church or temple. This act does not only strengthen your child’s faith but also teaches appreciation and giving back.

I strongly recommend that you start teaching your child financial management as soon as they learn the money has value. It is a good habit to give your children money, but it’s wise to teach them the importance of money.

A kind woman

A woman planted a mango seed in front of her house. She then gathered sticks and surrounded it to protect it from animals. Every morning, she would water it with excitement to see it grow out of the soil.

One day the seed grew and she was so happy. However, this was not the end of her job because the tree would dry out for the hot sunshine. She continued to water it in the morning and evening.

Years later, the mango tree bared mangoes. They were very sweet mangoes. This woman was kind enough to share her hard work with friends, children and people in the neighbourhood.

The story of a kind woman defines mothers. A mother falls in love with a child in the womb once she learns that she is pregnant. Kisses and talks to the baby in the womb every morning. Bears back pain, nausea, vomiting with no complaint, but with the endless joy to meet her baby.

Regardless of how the baby comes into the world, she enjoys every step and little thing that they do. The jiggles, smiles, first step of walking, little stories they tell, and first day at school.

A few years later, children become what they were groomed, encouraged and mentored to be. They become professionals say, Doctors, teachers, soldiers, writers and leaders. No matter what mothers go through to raise a child, they give them the freedom and independence to serve the community and the world. Mothers are the most generous people because they share with us their hard work and pride.

A girl commits suicide after her parents blamed her for performing poorly in the primary leaving examination. It is a lesson to parents.

 A teenage girl scored 25 aggregates in her primary leaving examinations in Uganda and was blamed by her parents for performing poorly in school. She reacted by committing suicide. She left a suicidal note saying that she was tired of being a laughing stock. 

It is heartbreaking and painful to the parents, siblings and the entire nation for losing a young soul.

However, this scenario leaves us, parents, with a lot of questions and lessons learned too.

  1. Helping children deal with bad news
  2. How to blame our children?
  3. Confidentiality of our children.

Help children to deal with bad news. Children often panic when they hear that their examination results are out. Some children find it hard to pick their results direct from school or read them via message. They ask a close friend or sibling to check their results and show a sign of whether they are good or bad. When your child gets bad grades, be part of the problem and make them feel better. Discuss the way forward, not blaming the child all the time.

Confidentiality of our children: Protect your children as much as you can. It is not right to tell everyone in the village how your child has performed poorly in school. Keep children information within the family members.

How to express your disappointment: Nothing makes a parent happy as a child performing well at school. Some parents gift their children to motivate them to work harder. It is stressful for parents when children get bad grades. Parents may say negative comments to the children or react by beating them to express their disappointment. It’s okay to talk about it, but do not use humiliating words to your child. Words such as, Go get married instead of wasting my money, You are good for nothing. I wish I gave birth to a boy child. It is common among us Ugandan parents.

Lastly, let us not forget what is most important under the sun. Education is the key to success for children, but their lives are the most important. There is no way your children will achieve their dreams if you do not guide them to the right path. 

 It is not a must for your child to go to University. Parents should support children under all circumstances because, in the real world, both the educated and uneducated, those with poor, and good grades need each other. 

You blink and they are 8, then turn around they are 26. Before you know it they are parents. So take it easy, mama. Let them stand on the balcony or veranda and sing to the top of their voices. Read them their favourite stories, sing them their best songs. Let them run up and down because that is the only time they have to be kids. Hug them whenever they want to. You may be losing your mind now, but believe me, you are raising the best version of yourself.

Why do women gain weight after giving birth?

I weighed around 58 to 60k.g before and during pregnancy despite eating everything. I used to eat bread, chapatti, ice cream, milk tea, and rice. As much as I ate all these foods, I did not exercise a lot apart from rope skipping, volleyball which I did for fun, and taking a walk during pregnancy. At the end of nine months, I weighed 65k.g and knew that I shall quickly get back to my weight, however that did not happen.

My weight increased from 65k.g to 75 k.g in the first month after giving birth. The more I continued breastfeeding and balancing motherhood, work, and life. The more weight gain until I hit 89k.g. That is overweight, huh!

People in our society assume that women gain weight after giving birth or in marriages because;

• They eat a lot and enjoy millet porridge.

• Too comfortable especially the home-staying mums.

• They are lazy. However, this is just a misconception. There are underlying reasons why women gain weight after giving birth and getting married.

Why do women gain weight after giving birth?

Lack of enough sleep.

It’s healthy to sleep for eight hours a day. Lack of sleep causes fat and relaxed muscles. Mothers with newborn babies rarely get enough sleep because of breastfeeding, taking care of the baby, changing diapers which require waking up in the night. The first three months are the hardest since babies cry a lot because of colic. As a mum, I recommend that you get help so you can sleep whenever the baby sleeps or whenever you feel like sleeping.

Change of responsibilities;

Being a mum is a full-time job for women mostly. Before giving birth, there is ample time to do whatever you like, like going to the gym, attending Zumba classes, and hanging out. In most cases, all these activities stop when motherhood kicks in. I gained weight after giving birth because I got lost in motherhood. Changing diapers, doing domestic work, keeping the family strong that you hit that weight un expectably. 

Use of contraceptives: 

 Child spacing is the reason why women use conceptive. However, some of the side effects of conceptive include weight gain. Most women gain weight after taking an implant to control childbirth. It is so hard to shade weight under this circumstance because some implants are hormonal.

Lastly is stress which causes high appetite in women.

The solution is helping! Mums need help from their spouses, friends, and people around. Giving a helping hand to a mum gives her ample time to take care of herself and be a happy parent.