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120 Bad Parents Quotes To Inspire You To Be The Best One

120 Bad Parents Quotes To Inspire You To Be The Best One

No person brings a child into this world with the intention of being a bad parent, but somehow many end up being bad ones.

This ultimate collection of bad parents quotes will help you to understand better what makes a bad parent so you don’t become one.

I’ve collected the best motivational quotes for parents to give them clarity and help them see if they themselves have any of the toxic traits.

Being a parent is the most challenging job in the world, and such a job needs constant education and work. The most important thing that sets a firm and healthy ground for a healthy parent-kid relationship is healing.

We need to do the inner work and heal our own trauma, so we don’t pass it on to the next generation. Unfortunately, many parents are unaware that this is what they’re doing – passing the unresolved traumas onto their children.

I hope these inspirational bad parents quotes will help you and inspire you to be the best parent to your kid.

Let’s take a look!

Top 10 Bad Parents Quotes

I’ll start off with the top 10 bad parents quotes I’ve found online. These inspirational quotes are to remember and live by.

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

Good parenting gives headaches

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

3. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” — Frederick Douglass

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

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

A child’s shoulders were not built to bear the weight of their parent’s choices

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

7. “Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being.” — Kittie Frantz

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

9. “The hateful and stinging words of a narcissistic parent can linger in the mind of an adult child long after the adult has left home.” — Shannon Thomas

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

It has been my observation that parents kill more dreams than anybody

Disappointment Quotes About Bad Parents

We are raised believing that disappointing our parents is the worst thing that can happen. But what happens when parents disappoint their kids?

Here are some thought-provoking bad parents quotes to make you think.

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

There’s a reason why people who’ve had bad relationships with their parents listen to angry stuff

2. “I didn’t have parents, so I lived in people’s homes… And because I grew up with no parental role models, I learned to become my own friend, eventually my own father and my own mother.” — John Lone

3. “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

4. “You are not part of a dysfunctional family if you walk away.” — unknown

5. “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

bringing them food in one hand and poison in the other

6. “If you get offended by words – by noises we make with our mouths – it means you were raised by bad parents.” — Doug Stanhope

7. “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

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

9. “No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.” — Plato

10. “Leave your pride, ego, and narcissism somewhere else. Reactions from those parts of you will reinforce your children’s most primitive fears.” — Henry Cloud

Leave your pride, ego, and narcissism somewhere else

11. “Boys want to grow up to be like their male role models. And boys who grow up in homes with absent fathers search the hardest to figure out what it means to be male.” — Geoffrey Canada

12. “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

13. “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

14. “Parents. Honestly. Sometimes they really do think the world revolves around them.” ― Randa Abdel-Fattah

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

Family is where you’re meant to be most free

16. “Parents usually educate their children merely in such a manner that however bad the world may be, they may adapt themselves to its present conditions. But they ought to give them an education so much better than this, that a better condition of things may thereby be brought about by the future.” — Immanuel Kant

17. “Selfish people lost so much in life because even when they realize they are wrong, they don’t know how to ask for forgiveness or show regrets.” — unknown

18. “Parents are the center of a person’s solar system, even as an adult. My dad had a stronger gravitational pull than most, so his absence was bound to leave a deep and lasting void.” — Justin Trudeau

19. “Children don’t heed the life experiences of their parents, and nations ignore history. Bad lessons always have to be learned anew.” — Albert Einstein

20. “They are not sorry for harming you. So, don’t feel guilty for cutting them off.” — John Mark Green

They are not sorry for harming you

See also: Top 90+ Cutting People Off Quotes To Save Your Sanity

Bad Parenting Quotes

Below you’ll find more amazing bad parents quotes to make sure you’re the best one.

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

 a lot of parents would be in jail serving a long term

2. “My interests still are my interests. That doesn’t make me a bad mother. I think that makes me a really good mother because when I go and creatively satisfy myself and those interests, I come home satisfied.” — Charlize Theron

3. “Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.” – P. J. O’Rourke

4. “They will make you second guess yourself by stripping away your self-worth and self-esteem.” — unknown

5. “Your children vividly remember every unkind thing you ever did to them, plus a few you really didn’t.” — Mignon McLaughlin

Your children vividly remember every unkind thing you ever did to them

6. “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

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

8. “Dysfunctional parents let their children know how burdened they have been by their children and how many sacrifices they had to make in order to raise them.” — Dr. Marita Sirota 

9. “In the narcissistic parent’s eyes, they do no wrong nor do they feel they should be held accountable for the bad and wrong things that they have done.” — unknown

10. “Great teachers will never be able to make up for bad parents, nor should they be expected to.” — Taylor Mali

Great teachers will never be able to make up for bad parents

11. “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

12. “When loneliness is a constant state of being, it harkens back to a childhood wherein neglect and abandonment were the landscape of life.” — Alexandra Katehakis

13. “Once you understand what love is, you may come to the realization that your parents couldn’t or didn’t know how to be loving. This is one of the saddest truths you will ever have to accept.” — Dr. Susan Forward

14. “Dysfunctional parents do not apologize. It is one feature that the children of narcissists would instantly agree on. They will lie and justify themselves, but never accept they did anything wrong.” — Diana Macey

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

The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents

16. “Some scars don’t hurt. Some scars are numb. Some scars rid you of the capacity to feel anything ever again.” — Joyce Rachelle

17. “Too much love never spoils children. Children become spoiled when we substitute presents for presence.” — Anthony Withman

18. “The greater a child’s terror, and the earlier it is experienced, the harder it becomes to develop a strong and healthy sense of self.” — Nathaniel Branden

19. “You can’t teach children to behave better by making them feel worse.  When children feel better, they behave better.” — Pam Lee

20. “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

Not being there for your kid when they need it hurts the most

See also: 100 Most Emotional Missing Out On Your Child’s Life Quotes

Toxic Parents Quotes

Growing up in a toxic household is a deeply traumatic experience that shapes a person. Healing from such an experience takes time and a lot of work.

Next up is a collection of bad parents quotes that talks about toxic parents and the impact they have on a child’s life.

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

I am the abuser

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

3. “They should love you, just as you are. Parents should love their kids, right? You’d think so.” — N.R. Walker

4. “It’s not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.” — Jonathan Schiller

5. “Narcissist parents don’t care about their children’s feelings at all. Only their feelings matter.” — Kim Saeed

Narcissist parents don’t care about their children’s feelings

6. “In order for parents to be present to and suffer with their children, their children need three simple things from them: time, love, and attention. Toxic parents provide none of these things, certainly not in any healthy ways.” — Sherrie Campbell

7. “Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it’s the place we find the deepest heartache.” — Lyanla Vansant

8. “Families are homes built on a foundation of trust and love. A toxic family can never be a home because the foundation doesn’t exist.” — unknown

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

10. “The toxic parent sees the child as a threat to their ego, and having the child overshadow the parent is not an option in their mind.” — Shannon Thomas

 having the child overshadow the parent is not an option in their mind

11. “… the majority of parents, without knowing it and without intending it, give very bad examples to their children.” — Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot

12. “Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons.” — Travis Bradberry

13. “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

14. “Narcissistic parents don’t really recognize their children as people separate from them. Instead, they see their children as little extensions of themselves. The needs of the child are defined by the needs of the parent, and the child who tries to express his needs is often accused of being selfish or inconsiderate.” — Jonice Webb

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

Parents who rely on their children for happiness make both their children and themselves miserable

16. “Misbehavior and punishment are not opposites that cancel each other – on the contrary, they breed and reinforce each other.” — Haim G. Ginott

17. “To all you parents out there, don’t make your little girls, or little boys, so thirsty for love that they will want to drink water that will poison them.” — Lisa Bedrick

18. “No one, however powerful and successful, can function as an adult if his parents are not satisfied with him.” — Frank Pittman

19. “Children might or might not be a blessing, but to create them and then fail them was surely damnation.” — Lois McMaster Bujold

20. “You can’t change the toxic behavior of your toxic parents, but you can decide how you respond.” — unknown

You can’t change the toxic behavior of your toxic parents

21. “A good family will see your boundaries and move around them, a toxic family won’t even realize they’re there.” — unknown

22. “As a parent, you have to figure out how to shape your kid’s character. You want to have human beings who learn about good character. You have to be able to see your child with clarity, see the good side and the bad side of them, and work on the bad side and make them better, so they fulfill their potential.” — Joan Cusack

23. “When you have a child, your “wants” come lost. It’s about their needs & wants first. If you can’t do that, you don’t deserve to be a parent.” — unknown

24. “Unfortunately, because emotional abuse is often tolerated or because the abusive parents are very secretive in their abuse, emotionally abused children will assume that how they were treated at home was natural.” ― Veronica Jarski

25. “All that fake and jealous family members can give you are lies, drama, and jealousy.” — Samuel Zulu

All that fake and jealous family members can give you are lies

See also: 140 Greatest Fake Family Quotes To Get Over It

Selfish Parents Quotes

1. “Being a parent does not give you an excuse for bad manners.” — Rosalind Wiseman

Being a parent does not give you an excuse for bad manners

2. “Selfish people don’t consider how their decisions affect others. Their own convenience is all that matters.” — Unknown

3. “Anyone can have a child and call themselves a parent. Real parents are those who put that child above their own selfish needs and wants.” — Unknown

4. “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

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

troubled homes are made by parents who want to have children

6. “As a parent, loving your children for who they are, while they figure out who they want to be, is one of the most powerful gifts we could ever give them.” — unknown

7. “The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.” — Jim Morrison 

8. “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” — unknown

9. “To be a good parent, you need to take care of yourself so that you can have the physical and emotional energy to take care of your family.” — Michelle Obama

10. “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

It is the selfish parents who are to blame

11. “A narcissist parent is easily frustrated by a healthy independent child that they can’t control through parental emotional manipulation.” — Shannon Thomas

12. “It starts in the home environment. If the parents eat bad? Those kids are going to eat bad. If they see their parents stopping at McDonald’s or Pizza Hut, then that’s what they’re going to eat as well.” — Donald Driver

13. “Unhappiness in a child accumulates because he sees no end to the dark tunnel. The thirteen weeks of a term might just as well be thirteen years.” — Graeme Greene

14. “This toxic pattern within the broken family system will continue from one generation to the next until one brave survivor finally ends the cycle of abuse. The dysfunction, bullying, and abuse didn’t start with you, but it most certainly can end with you.” ― Dana Arcuri

15. “Narcissist parents do not know their children; they aren’t interested in what they have to say unless it affects them.” — Tina Fuller

Narcissist parents do not know their children

16. “What lingers from the parent’s individual past, unresolved or incomplete, often becomes part of her or his irrational parenting.” — Virginia Satir 

17. “It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” — Joyce Maynard

18. “Emotional abuse is the sustained, repetitive, inappropriate, emotional responses to the child’s felt emotions and their accompanying expressive behavior.” ― Kieran O’Hagan

19. “Parental Alienation is an emotional act of violence that is aimed at an adult, but critically wounds a child.” — Steve Maraboli

20. “Being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t make you a great mom, and being a working mom doesn’t make you a bad one.” — Lauren Levine

Being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t make you a great mom

See also: 80 Best Working Mom Quotes To Inspire And Strengthen You

Overprotective Parents Quotes

Every parent wants to protect their kid, but overprotecting does more harm than good.

A healthy relationship between parents and kids is one where kids are encouraged to interact with the world, knowing their parents got their back.

Here are some inspiring bad parents quotes about overprotective parents. Check them out!

1. “At every step, the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.” – Ellen Key

the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life

2. “A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.” — Daniel Webster

3. “Now that I have kids, I’m probably more overprotective than I’ve ever been. My wife’s nickname for me is ‘red alert.’ I sometimes check just to see if the kids are breathing. But I try not to be a helicopter parent.” — Matt Damon

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

5. “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of the parents.” — Jane D. Hull

key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of the paren

6. If parents wish to preserve childhood for their own children, they must conceive of parenting as an act of rebellion against culture.” — Neil Postman 

7. “Most things are good, and they are the strongest things, but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil.” — Walt Disney

8. “Instead of promoting healthy development, they unconsciously undermine it, often with the belief that they are acting in their child’s best interest.” — Dr. Susan Forward

9. “Don’t try to hide your imperfections from your children. Let them know it is okay to mess up and apologize. Let them know it is okay to cry. Show them how to cope when they are struggling. Because when they think their parents are perfect, they believe they need to be perfect too. And perfection is an impossible expectation to try to live up to.” — unknown

10. “As parents, we have a tendency to overprotect; it’s okay to try and show them all positives, but we cannot forget that the real world has teeth.” ― Johnnie Dent Jr.

As parents, we have a tendency to overprotect

Selfish Toxic Mother Quotes

For all moms out there, here’s a selection of amazing quotes about toxic mothers to make sure you’re not the one. Have a look!

1. “A child should never feel as if they need to earn a mother’s love.” — Sherrie Campbell

A child should never feel as if they need to earn a mother’s love

2. “Social expectations about what constitutes a good or a bad mother haunt every decision, and the rise of the parental advice industry ensures that moms and dads feel inadequate at every turn.” — Jessica Valenti

3. “Toxic mothers frequently abandon their own children and invent senseless justifications for why they are unable to be present for their children.” — unknown

4. “I work too much to be an appropriate parent. I feel like a bad mom to my dog some days because I’m just not here enough. I just feel like I would do a bad job if I took the time to literally give birth to a kid right now and try and juggle everything I’m doing.” — Rachael Ray

5. “If we, as mothers, are not careful, we can begin to find our identity in our children and their behavior.” — Sue Detweiler

we can begin to find our identity in our children and their behavior

6. “In reality, the world is as full of bad mothers as it is of bad fathers, and it is not the motherless children who become delinquent but the fatherless ones.” — Louis de Bernieres

7. “An unloving mother robs the child of a sense of belonging. The need to belong can become a lifelong quest for him or her.” — Peg Streep

8. “Many toxic parents compare one sibling unfavorably with another to make the target child feel that he’s not doing enough to gain parental affection.” — Dr. Susan Forward

9. “Poisonous mothers sow shame, low self-esteem, and low self-worth in their daughters, which reveals itself when those girls enter their own relationships, making them excessively needy or even toxic, just like their mothers.” — unknown

10. “When you grieve toxic, abusive parents, you don’t just grieve the abuse, you grieve everything you didn’t have.” — Lily Hope Lucario

 you grieve everything you didn’t have

11. “Poisonous mothers sow shame, low self-esteem, and low self-worth in their daughters, which reveals itself when those girls enter their own relationships, making them excessively needy or even toxic, just like their mothers.” — unknown

12. “A father may turn his back on his child, but a mother’s love endures through all.” — Washington Irving

13. “If all toxic moms understood the difference between healthy motherly love and toxic, destructive love, they wouldn’t be toxic in the first place.” ― Samuel Zulu

14. “The toxic parent sees the child as a threat to their own ego, and having the child overshadow the parent is not an option in their mind.” ― Shannon Thomas

15. “I’m not a good mom; I’m not a bad mom. I’m the mom I am, and I try very hard, and when I fail, that’s okay.” — Kristen Bell

I’m not a good mom

See also: 60 Best Bad Mom Quotes To Make Sure You’re A Good One!

To Wrap Up

Becoming a parent doesn’t come with a guide, yet society expects us to execute the role in the best way possible.

I hope this collection of bad parents quotes has helped you on your way to becoming the parent every child would be happy to have.

Until next time!

Read next: 61 Best Parenting Quotes For Hard Times To Inspire You

120 Bad Parents Quotes To Inspire You To Be The Best One