7 Ways to Ruin the Relationship With Your Child

Family is all about relationships and keeping a tight bond with the hearts of our children. However, if you aren’t careful, you can ruin the relationship with your child! Sometimes not only what you say, but the things you do are less than affirming to your kids or come across to them as a lack of acceptance. 


If you want to have or keep a good relationship with your children,  there are things that you should try not to do. I have been guilty of doing some of these things, and it made me aware of how it hurt the child that took the brunt of my actions, words, or reactions.

Overcoming anger God's Way

You may read something on this list, and think of a time when you did or said that, and start feeling guilty. That is NOT my intent! The purpose of this post is to remind us to be aware of how we respond to and treat our children to help prevent us from ruining our relationship with them.

None of us are perfect parents, and we all say and do things we wish we could take back. That doesn’t mean your relationship with your child is ruined. The key when you respond wrong is to apologize to your child and make things right.


angry child and mom

1. Embarrass them.

You shouldn’t correct or scold your child publicly, or even in front of their siblings. Take them aside privately and deal with it.

Public humiliation will bring anger, and often rebellion.

2. Avoid apologizing when you’ve been harsh, unkind, or unfair, etc.

I have tried to make it a habit every evening to think back over the day and try to remember if there was a situation where I responded wrong, that I needed to go and make right.

Your kids will love you and respect you for being willing to admit when you have responded wrong, and they will accept your apology and offer forgiveness.

Failure to do this, however, will lead to bitterness, and will gradually cause a separation in your relationship.

3. Always give advice when they share their thoughts or something that has happened.

Often our kids just want to share things with us; however, they don’t want to get a lecture in return. A HUGE part of communication is LISTENING!

4. Never show that you are pleased with them.

This is something I have to work on! Often the kids have done something good, but I wanted a little more, or for it to be done a little differently.

Rather than being thankful or encouraging, I responded with “Why didn’t you….?” or “You should have….”

This is a great way to discourage your kids, and eventually, they will quit trying to please you.

5. Be crabby and irritable.

No one wants to be around someone who always puts a damper on things. I have caught myself mumbling and grumbling at times when I come home from shopping. I’m tired, still need to make dinner, and then I find the kitchen wasn’t cleaned up while I was gone.

Can parents ruin a relationship with their kids?

Whoever happens to be around, then gets to listen to me complain, and be grumpy. Then I wonder why no one is around the next time I come home! A better response would be to do some character training.

Later, when you’re not so grumpy(!), explain to the kids how happy it would make you to come home to a clean kitchen after you’ve been out buying groceries.

Chances are, they were busy playing and never thought about that! Also, don’t have expectations if you haven’t given instructions before leaving.

6. Act like it’s a big bother when they ask you for help or need something.

Sometimes, well rather, most of the time, I’m just plain tired! Little needs or requests for help can seem like such a BIG thing to me.

The thing that has helped me see the importance of responding to requests for help in a cheerful way, is thinking of how I feel when my kids don’t want to cheerfully help me. (Hmm…wonder where they got that from!)  it kind of hurts when those who love you grumble when you ask them to help you with something.

7. Scold harshly when something is done in innocence that annoys you, or causes you some inconvenience.

This makes me think of the child visiting our home who spilled milk at breakfast. I calmly got a cloth and wiped it up. The child was apologetic and embarrassed, and I reassured him that it was just an accident, and those things happen.

His response: “My mom gets really MAD when I spill my  milk at home!”

There were times when my kids spilled things, and I was tired and irritated with the mess I had to clean up. I may not have “yelled” at them, but at the same time, I let it be known that I wasn’t happy about it. (More of that grumbling!)

This can make a child think we view them as an inconvenience – something I NEVER want my kids to think or feel!

Let’s make it our goal to avoid these mistakes, and work to make strong heart ties with our kids Show affection often. Tell them you love them, and affirm them often. 

Those are great ways to keep the relationship strong!

To help you make those heart ties, grab our free printable: 

20 Ways To Win Your Child’s Heart[magicactionbox]

ruin relationship with child


Top Posts

18 Responses

  1. After looking over a few of the articles on your web site,
    I truly like your technique of blogging. I saved it to my
    bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my
    web site too and let me know your opinion.

  2. Tremendous things here. I am very satisfied to look your post.

    Thanks a lot and I am looking forward to touch you.

    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail? adreamoftrains best web hosting sites

  3. thank you for those encouraging words, Sarah!

  4. I love that you may have written this long ago, but it is still so relevant today! Thank you for your perseverance.

  5. YES, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I agree with Holly. You have also given me confirmation of the things I am doing wrong, in which I had already been convicted by Holy Spirit. I did not have Godly parents and I went through a lot of negative and hurtful things as a child. I really didn’t have a childhood. Then, my dad died when I was 10 and my mom was left as a single parent and she was very strict and probably stressed and irritated that she now had to raise 4 children alone, without any family. Many times, I find my self raising my son just the same way I was raised. The sad part is that it started when he was just a toddler and has continued until now!
    I have gone through a lot in my life and I can see the effects that it has had on me and my child.
    Although I know its not the right way at times but its all I know. I find myself yelling, scolding & criticizing and I know its NOT RIGHT in the Way of the LORD. I can see the impact it is having on him. It feels like he is losing love and respect for me. He rarely listens or considers anything I say to him, he ignores me, yells at me and won’t open up to talk to me. He listens to others before he does me and I feel very disappointed like I’m lost with my child at 10yrs. old! That is why I subscribed to your site, I felt GOD speaking to me one day I was just browsing the internet, can’t even remember what I was searching for. But I read some words about Parenting that were Positive and According to the Word Of GOD!!! And I didn’t want to stop reading because here I was getting Encouragement from a Mother training her children in the “Way of the Lord” and that is just what I want to do and am trying my best to do But I feel like I’m Failing and I Need Help!!

  6. I needed this. It’s things that I know of course but sometimes you don’t realize how much what you do affects your children. I have to work on not lecturing. I didn’t really think I was, but that’s exactly what I do. I agree with all this completely. We have to help our children be the best they can be and that shows in what we do and say. Rachel from Explore Kid Talk

  7. Thank you for your article, it’s helped me to see where I’m going wrong and how to make it better and be better.

  8. You’re welcome Vicki! Glad you found it helpful!

  9. This is awesome information. Thank you.

  10. I love that you are thinking ahead and planning for being a mo, and also that you aren’t letting a bad experience with your dad make you bitter, but rather better!

  11. I agree with this 100%. You need to be your kids best friend, their number one supporter, and the person who they can 100% trust. Kids learn from watching YOU. They pick up on everything. The way you treat them is the way they will treat other people when they go out into the world. Kindness, patience, and compassion build strong characters. I didn’t have a great dad, and i’ve been having to re-teach myself these things. I’m 19, and I don’t plan on having kids for another 10 years, but I think about how I am going to raise them every day. Your list points out everything I have planned to do when I have future children. I don’t want them to be like me, I want them to be everything I wish I was. I hope future me will have the patience to put my kids needs before my own. I’ll remember this article in the times where I will feel defeated. Being a parent is a hard job, but it’s the future job I want, and I’m preparing myself everyday. I hope lots of other people read this article and make a change for their children. Healthy mind = healthy life.

  12. This was what I needed to read today. Number 7 hit home with me. I know that I just need to apologize to my child, but I wish I could rewind the small moment. This was a great post!

  13. Wise words, Kathie! Thanks again for sharing at NextGen Homeschool’s Homeschool Mother’s Journal blog link-up today. We look forward to hearing more from you!

Leave a Reply

  • My Obedience Chart

    Add to cart
  • Building Godly character in your children

    30 Days Of Building Godly Character In Your Kids

    Add to cart
  • How to Respond to your Anger

    Add to cart
  • Image shows a book called Little Lads and LAdies of Virtue By Kathie Morrisey

    Little Lads & Ladies of Virtue Character Curriculum

    Select options
  • Spiral Cover Names of Jesus Advent Countdown The Character Corner

    The Names of Jesus Advent Countdown Printables Pack

    Add to cart
  • Spiral 30 Days of Biblical Motherhood Cover

    31 Days of Biblical Motherhood

    Add to cart
  • 60 Homeschooling Tips From 60 Years

    Add to cart
  • 30 days of Homeschool Encouragement Cover eBook


    Add to cart
  • Spiral Tween Parenting Encouragement Like Minded Musings Ebook

    3o Days of Tween Parenting Encouragement

    Add to cart
  • Stress Free Homeschooling

    Select options
  • Image shows a book titled "Lads and Ladies of Wisdom" by Kathie Morrissey

    Lads & Ladies of Wisdom Character Curriculum

    Select options
  • Sale! Training and correcting the heart

    Training & Correcting the Heart with Scripture

    Select options
  • Valentines Day Coupon book

    Valentine’s Day Coupon Book

    Add to cart

    Select options
  • Biblical blessing Scripture cards for children

    Biblical Blessing Scripture Cards For Children

    Add to cart