Lack of Parenting Skills

Lack of parenting skills can have long-term effects on children and on society. Poor parenting can happen for different reasons and will manifest in a variety of ways. Learning good parenting skills will help children be happier and have a greater chance of success in life. There are many support options for parents, including classes, support groups and community outreach programs.

Causes of Poor Parenting Skills

According to PubMed, one of the most common reasons for lack of parenting skills is low socioeconomic status. Parents living at or below the poverty line often have less access to parenting resources. There is a larger chance of having inadequate healthcare if you’re struggling financially. Teen parents might have a hard time developing parenting skills, as they may not have the emotional or financial support to effectively parent. Young parents can be more immature and less capable of making the sacrifices sometimes required of parents. Parents that have substance abuse issues might be more likely to make bad parenting choices.


A lack of parenting skills can be manifested in different ways for different people. Physical abuse shows a lack of coping skills on the parent’s part. Exposing children to violent, illegal or sexual behavior shows lack of insight into appropriate parenting. Excessive criticism or demeaning children are signs of having poor parenting skills.


Crimes committed by juveniles have been linked to illegal adult activity, reports the University of Pennsylvania Law Review 2. Violent crimes committed by kids account for 15 percent of all violent crimes. Children raised by those who have a lack of parenting skills are more likely to make poor decisions with their own children later on, since they did not have good role models.


Solutions for America recommends parents seek out support and parenting classes, particularly at times of transition within the family--for example, when a new child is born, during a divorce or re-marriage, and during the teen years. Programs to help at-risk children, such as the Head Start preschool program, can assist parents and children.

Fixing the Problem

Parents with drug or alcohol addictions can benefit from treatment for these issues. Support groups and parenting classes can help parents improve parenting skills. If financially possible, therapy can help parents work through the issues that cause lack of parenting skills.