Is bad parenting to blame? ?

Editor’s note:  This week’s blog comes to you by Ziglar Family’s friend, Dayna Abraham.  

Dayna is a mom to three amazing super-kids; she’s also a daughter, a sister, a wife and a National Board Certified teacher with a background in Early Childhood. Dayna spent her first 7 years as a mom thinking she was terrible at parenting, until she learned about sensory processing disorder when a child in her preschool classroom received the diagnosis, and she started to see connections between this child and her own son. She has since dedicated her life to sensory processing, intense emotions and embracing kids that don’t “Fit”.

It’s so easy to look at the kid that doesn’t sit still, the kid that doesn’t pay attention, the kid that fights and argues with everything, the kid that refuses to follow directions, and see a kid that IS BAD or JUST NEEDS FIRMER LIMITS or HAS INATTENTIVE PARENTS.

It’s so easy to look at those behaviors and place the blame on the parents.

My challenge to you is that maybe we don’t have a parenting problem.

Maybe what we have is an empathy problem.

Maybe if we spent the time on looking beyond the behaviors, we wouldn’t let kids get labeled as “that kid”.

Maybe if we spent the time to teach lacking skills, we wouldn’t end up with kids that believe something is wrong with them.

Maybe, just maybe… if we spent more time focusing on helping instead of blaming… our world wouldn’t be in the “trouble” it’s in today.

I’ve noticed a trend lately that seems to keep getting stronger and stronger. With each school shooting, with every bombing, with each and every story of the world in demise… this trend to place the blame on dismissive parenting gets stronger and stronger.

I’ve stayed quiet for quite some time…

You see, I know that people who disagree with my views will either attack me or they will completely dismiss anything I have to say as a possible solution.

Because that’s what “we” do right? We dismiss any new thought, any idea that stretches us beyond the way we were raised and has us rethink our values. And those that do agree with me… our voice is getting more and more drowned out every single day.

Today I want to challenge you to read to the end, process all that I have to say and wait. Especially if you disagree.

Every single day I see a new article about how parents need to be more involved, how we need to bring paddling back in schools, how we need to let parents spank again without calling everything abuse, how children “these days” are spoiled and egocentric and that is ALL THE PARENTS’ FAULT.

Today I want to challenge you to rethink placing all your blame on “bad parenting.”

Let’s Stop Blaming “Bad Parenting,” Can We?

You’re right:

* Parents ARE BUSIER now than they were when we grew up.

* Kids DO PLAY on iPads more now than when we grew up.

* There ARE MORE school shootings than when we grew up.


What if, instead of placing all the blame on parents…

What if collectively, as a society, we took a different route.

What if, as a society, we made it our mission to help all kids feel successful, loved, and connected despite what their parents may or may not be doing at home?

What if we looked past the behavior we see on the outside, and we started finding the good in every child.

What if we used children’s interest in electronics for good, for inventing our future, and for creating a world we want to live in, instead of blaming everything on a device.

What if we joined together to make sure no child feels abandoned, unwanted, unloved, and incapable of being successful? And we put all of the energy that we put into blaming into helping those children.

What would happen then?

The Truth Behind Blaming “Bad Parenting” for The World’s Demise…

In my 17 years as a parent and an educator, I have seen a lot of things.

I’ve seen children that literally couldn’t sit still for more than a second because they were born addicted to drugs.

I’ve seen five-year-olds who were too exhausted to stay awake in kindergarten because they had stayed up the night before taking care of their baby brother because their mom wasn’t home.

I’ve seen three-year-olds who put up a fight anytime someone comes near them because they’re so used to everyone leaving them in their life that it’s easier to fight than let someone get close and lose them again.

I’ve seen seven-year-olds not be able to pay attention all day in school because all they’re thinking about is the lunch they’re going to eat, which is the only food that they’ll have all day.

To say that I’ve seen a lot would be an understatement.

And I know what you’re probably thinking: that’s bad parenting.

And I’m not going to deny that those kids deserved better.

But here is where things go wrong.

I’ve seen kids that can’t sit still because their sensory systems are under-responsive.

I’ve seen kids that can’t stay awake at school because they are exhausted from trying “to be like everyone else.”

I’ve seen kids that fight and argue over everything because they lack emotional skills to handle frustration.

I’ve seen kids that can’t focus because they lack the executive functioning skills to break tasks into small chunks.

I’ve seen those same kids have loving, boundary-setting, attention-giving parents.

The behaviors on the outside look exactly the same as the behaviors of those “who come from a bad home.”

And you know what?

In all my years of teaching and parenting, it’s not the “bad parenting” that seems to do these kids the most disservice and turn them against the world…

No, instead I have seen far more children fall victim to the world giving up on them, which has done more damage than any bad parenting move could ever do.

When we place the blame on bad parenting for the demise of all our problems, we forget the kid.

We lose hope.

It gives us an out, where we don’t have to actually do something about the problems.

And that’s dangerous.

My Challenge to You…

So today, I challenge you.

I challenge you to stop placing the blame for the world’s problems on “bad parenting.”

I challenge you to look past the behaviors.

I challenge you to dig deeper to unravel what’s really going on with a child that “misbehaves.”

I challenge you to be a little more empathetic and a little less quick to blame.

Do you think you can do that?

Because honestly…

There’s a lot at stake.

If you’d like to hear more from Dayna, she’s hosting a FREE online workshop from September 13-28, 2018. 

Whether you are a parent just wanting to have a better connection with your kids without all the arguing or backtalk,

Or you are looking for ways to help your child be more independent and more confident without all of the tears and bad attitudes.

Or maybe you just want to get through ONE SINGLE DAY without an epic meltdown, fight or battle with your child…

This training is for you!  Check it out! 

Note: This blog post was originally published on Dayna’s web site,



  1. Njiku September 15, 2018 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    This is a refreshing perspective to what is clearly a challenge even in my environment! Well done!

  2. Gail Erispe September 19, 2018 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Powerful & insightful!

  3. Lori September 20, 2018 at 7:37 am - Reply

    What are the ages of the children you’re talking about? Does your program for adult children as well?

    • Jen September 20, 2018 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Lori, I know her children are young… I would suggest reaching out to her directly by following the link in the post and then asking her in a comment on her free video series.

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