The Impact of Parents Who Lack Self-Control – ETB #166

Some extreme examples have been recorded and posted online of parents behaving badly at kids’ sporting events recently in central Florida. In response, Fox 35 Orlando asked me to speak about parents who lack self-control. I love doing these segments, but there’s never enough time to say everything so I’m expanding on this topic here on the podcast for you! In this episode, we’re going to go deeper into the impact of parents who lack self-control, what your self-control teaches your kids, and how to turn it around if you’ve been a bad example.

The Impact of Parents Who Lack Self-Control - ETB #166

This episode is sponsored by BJU Press Homeschool. Visit for trusted educational resources from a biblical worldview.

Watch my Parents Behaving Badly segment on Fox 35 Orlando.

Why Are Parents Acting Out?

There are a number of reasons why parents are acting out these days. Parents lack self-control because of:

  • Fatigue and stress
  • Sensory overload and overwhelm
  • Societal expectations and pressure
  • Personal triggers and identity found in child’s performance
  • Parenting challenges

Why Do Parents Need Self-Control?

Are you pushing your child to be the best they can be but in the process you are losing the best of you? When you have self-control, your children learn healthy life skills. They learn how to:

  • Regulate their emotions
  • Have patience and tolerance
  • Control impulses
  • Manage stress
  • Develop character qualities

These are all things we want our kids to be able to do and do well!

What Happens When Parents Lack Self-Control?

When you show a lack of self-control these things can happen:

  • Your kids can become emotionally insecure. They become confused by the example set by you as the parent. This comes with anxiety and fear. Instead, ask your child: Did you give it your best?
  • They begin using the negative behavior that you’re modeling. Your kids will start to think that this behavior is acceptable.
  • Your child’s self-esteem will be impacted. They will internalize their feelings, believing that their self-worth is based on performance rather than on effort or skill. They won’t be able to regulate their own emotions.

How to Develop Self-Control

What can you do when you’ve been a bad example? Go apologize to your child! Explain that you were not a good example, you didn’t show a good testimony, and you may have embarrassed them. Say that you’re sorry and you were wrong. Ask for forgiveness. Don’t make excuses for your bad behavior!

Here are some ideas for how you prepare yourself for an event or make changes for you and your kids:

  • Don’t go to an event if you can’t control yourself.
  • Give a spouse or friend permission to confront you if you lack self-control.
  • Pray before entering the arena.
  • Make a decision in advance about how you will behave.
  • Distance yourself from bad influences at the event.
  • Move your kids to a different team/group if needed.

Be A Change Maker!

What is etched in your child’s heart becomes the reservoir from which they draw in the future. Remember that you are responsible to the Lord and to your family. As a parent, you don’t have to lack self-control. Instead of being an excuse maker, be a change maker!

References and Links

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The Impact of Parents Who Lack Self-Control - ETB #166