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Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Parents

Treating Human BeingsOne day last week, Jen and I worked for 15 hours and were feeling a bit giddy by the end of it. During one stream of consciousness conversation we transformed the highly acclaimed Seven Habits of Highly Effective People into something relevant to us. We came up with a list of less than stellar parenting moments, that we’re all guilty of from time to time and thought – what the heck – let’s share a post that is both lighthearted and enlightening. Please, if you find yourself engaging too often in these ineffective parenting acts, know that we don’t mean any offense by this list. We know from experience that if we all can take a moment and laugh at ourselves, that sometimes through humor, we are inspired to shift our thinking.

    1. Claiming your 7 seconds of fame – by shaming and humiliating your child and capturing it on video for a desperate news reporter to pick up.

    2. Parenting for the moment instead of the future – you say you want independent kids, but then you nag, remind, lecture, bribe and do for your kids to get out of the house in the morning.

    3. Making parenting decisions based on fear or personal prestige – you know that giving in to your child’s temper tantrum in the grocery store will only precipitate more temper tantrums, but you say “what the heck” because that woman from yoga class is watching you and you are certain she is going to tweet about what a crappy parent you are.

    4. Finishing every statement to your child by asking, Okay? – “It’s time for bed – OKAY.” It’s time to put the toy down – OKAY?” “You have to finish your lunch before you can have the treat – OKAY?” Stop asking rhetorical questions. What’s up your sleeve, when your child answers, No?

    5. Filling out your child’s job application – this habit started when you made your first call to the mother of your child’s preschool friend who did not invite him to the birthday party. Hey don’t laugh, both of those scenarios are happening right now!

    6. Pushing your child to follow in the footsteps of Honey Boo Boo – even if he’s told you 100 times he prefers soccer.

    7. Ordering for your child and cutting his meat when you go out to dinner and then asking him to drive you home from the restaurant because you had too much wine.

Okay, like I said, we were punch drunk by the time we compiled this list. But looking at it later, we realized that there is a fine line between the absurd and the acceptable. So check yourself real quick and see if you are guilty of any of these parenting faux pas.


  • Nate 6 months ago Reply

    How about prompting your child to say please and thank you? I have seen people do this to their kids in their 20’s. They should have the concept down by 5 and will forget the way we all do sometimes. If they get lazy they will see that it isn’t as easy to get what they want.

  • maryruetten 6 months ago Reply


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