150+ Selfish Parents Quotes And Sayings

Parents often tend to get selfish and self-absorbed, becoming completely unmindful of their child’s choices and freedom. Selfish parents quotes give an insight into bad parenting and how it affects a child in the long run. Parenting has a key role in a kid’s personality development. When egoistic parents impose their dreams and goals on their children, they are pressured to sacrifice their likes and live a life they did not choose. Bad parenting often affects the bond between a child and their parents, especially in the later stages of life. Check out these quotes and sayings on inconsiderate parents that can be relatable to many.

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150+ Selfish Parents Quotes And Sayings

Check out this collection of heartfelt quotes about selfish and egotistical parents that point to the mistakes parents commit while raising a child.

  1.  “It is the selfish parents who are to blame. Pay attention, be involved in your children’s lives. They are your legacy, your only hope.” – Aaron B. Powell

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  1.  “They should love you, just as you are. Parents should love their kids, right?” “You’d think so.” – N.R. Walker
  1.  “Being a parent does not give you an excuse for bad manners.” – Rosalind Wiseman
  1.  “Fear-based parenting is the surest way to create intimidated children.” – Tim Kimmel
  1.  “Good parenting give headaches, but bad parenting gives heartaches.” – Shiv Khera
  1.  “There are no illegitimate children – only illegitimate parents.” – Leon R. Yankwich
  1.  “If mental abuse was a punishable crime, a lot of parents would be in jail serving a long term.” – Maddy Malhotra
  1.  “Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being.” – Kittie Frantz
  1.  “If you teach hatred to your children, one day your child will have that hatred reflected back onto them and onto YOU.” – Suzy Kassem
  1.   “Today’s troubled homes are made by parents who want to have children but don’t want their children to have parents.” – Agona Apell
  1.   “Wounded parents often unintentionally inflict pain and suffering on their children …” – David W. Earle
  1.   “I’m worried about parents who aren’t parenting.” – Barbara Bush
  1.   “We raise predators by treating children as prey.” – Stefan Molyneux
  1.   “Kids are fat because of lack of parenting.” – Ben Shapiro
  1.   “You shouldn’t do that. Not to your child. You should carry your own burdens.” – Cassandra Clare
  1.   “No child is born a delinquent. They only became that way if nobody loved them when they were kids.” – Jeannette Walls
  1.   “Here’s a shock: An adult who still hangs out in skate parks is a bad parent.” – Daniel Tosh
  1.   “No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.” – Plato
  1.   “If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up. – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  1.   “If your parents ignored you, or if they are just not emotionally available, or if they yell a lot, that is a type of trauma.” – Tucker Max

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  1.   “Did you have parents or just some people who thought they should own somebody?” – Catherine Lacey
  1.   “Narcissist parents don’t care about their children’s feelings at all. Only their feelings matter.” -Kim Saeed
  1.   “Don’t try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.” – Russell Baker
  1.   “Parents. Honestly. Sometimes they really do think the world revolves around them.” – Randa Abdel-Fattah
  1.   “A person can’t pick up their children and just squeeze them to which-a-way they want them to be.” – Carson McCullers
  1.   “Leave your pride, ego, and narcissism somewhere else. Reactions from those parts of you will reinforce your children’s most primitive fears.” – Henry Cloud
  1.   “People tend to raise the child inside of them rather than the child in front of them.” – Joe Newman
  1.   “Narcissist parents want total control. Take back your control. If possible, don’t accept any money, favor, items or anything from them.” – Tina Fuller
  1.   “Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.” – Bill Ayers
  1.   “The hateful and stinging words of a narcissistic parent can linger in the mind of an adult child long after the adult has left home.” – Shannon Thomas
  1.   “Narcissist parents do not know their children; they aren’t interested in what they have to say unless it affects them.” – Tina Fuller
  1.   “A narcissistic parent will provoke an independent child to anger in order to feel superior and prove the child’s flaws.” – Shannon Thomas
  1.   “A narcissist parent is easily frustrated by a healthy independent child that they can’t control through parental emotional manipulation.” – Shannon Thomas
  1.   “If we, as mothers, are not careful, we can begin to find our identity in our children and their behavior.” – Sue Detweiler
  1.   “In the narcissistic parent’s eyes, they do no wrong nor do they feel they should be held accountable for the bad and wrong things that they have done.” – Katherine Childress
  1.   “Do your kids see your kindness, or are you always telling them NO?” – Brenda M. McGraw
  1.   “It has been my observation that parents kill more dreams than anybody.” – Spike Lee
  1.   “In the minds of my parents, they are the victims; I am the abuser.” – Christina Enevoldsen
  1.   “Parents wonder why the streams are bitter when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.”- John Locke
  1.   “To all you parents out there, don’t make your little girls, or little boys, so thirsty for love that they will want to drink water that will poison them.” – Lisa Bedrick

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  1.   “You must let go of the responsibility for the painful events of your childhood and put it where it belongs.” – Susan Forward
  1.   “In troubled families, abuse and neglect are permitted. It’s talking about them that is forbidden.” – Marcia Sirota
  1.   “When you grieve toxic, abusive parents, you don’t just grieve the abuse, you grieve everything you didn’t have.” – Lily Hope Lucario
  1.   “My parents loved us, but I wasn’t always sure they liked us.” – Tahereh Maf
  1.   “Your children vividly remember every unkind thing you ever did to them, plus a few you really didn’t.” – Mignon McLaughlin
  1.   “I built up so much hatred for my parents, like so much anger for the life they had given me.” – Tana Mongeau
  1.   “The toxic parent sees the child as a threat to their own ego and having the child overshadow the parent is not an option in their mind.” – Shannon Thomas
  1.   “Many children of toxic parents find it exceptionally difficult to identify who they are once they grow up.” – JR Thorpe
  1.   Dysfunctional parents let their children know how burdened they have been by their children and how many sacrifices they had to make in order to raise them.” – Dr Marita Sirota
      1.   “The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.” – Jim Morrison
      2. “Parents forgive their children least readily for the faults they themselves instilled in them.” – Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
      3. “You don’t have to leave your whole family in the past, just those who don’t deserve a place in your future.” – Christina Enevoldsen
      4. “You don’t get to choose your family, but you do get to choose how they’re allowed to treat you.” – Unknown
      5. “All of us develop our expectations about how people will treat us based on our relationships with our parents.” – Susan Forward
      6. “Some scars don’t hurt. Some scars are numb. Some scars rid you of the capacity to feel anything ever again.” – Joyce Rachelle
      7. “Families are homes built on a foundation of trust and love. A toxic family can never be a home, because the foundation doesn’t exist.” – Unknown
      8. “It is a violation of trust to use your kids as caulking for the cracks in you.” – Anne Lamott
      9. “Being a parent shouldn’t be when it is convenient for you. It is a 24 24-hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year commitment.” – Unknown
      10. “Fighting became a way of life and seemed perfectly normal for your family.” – Steven Farmer
      11. “Family is where you’re meant to be most free. Don’t let blood chain you down.” – Unknown
      12. “No, we don’t control who our parents are. We don’t control what color we are. We don’t control what home we are born into. But we control our attitude. We control our work ethic. We control our drive and our commitment.” – Dabo Swinney
      13. “You may feel guilty for leaving your family behind, but you’ll never regret moving yourself forward.” – Unknown
      14. “Just remember when you are ignoring them, you are teaching them to live without you.” – Unknown
      15. “You can always choose to leave a toxic family environment for your own good.” – Unknown
      16. “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” – Unknown
      17. “You have the right to put up a fence between you and your family, and the choice whether to include a gate.” – Unknown
      18. “Parent-child relationships aren’t created at birth, they’re created in life.” – Unknown
      19. “Parents are the least likely to forgive their children for the flaws they ingrained in them.” – Unknown
      20. “A dysfunctional family is not a family at all, it’s a toxic relationship parading as a requirement.” – Unknown
      21. “Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it is the place where we find the deepest heartache.” – Iyanla Vanzant
      22. “There’s nothing worse than a man who can be everything to everybody else. Except a father to their own child.” – Unknown
      23. “When you say “No” to a toxic family, you say “Yes” to loving yourself.”
      24. “Parents are the ones who are least inclined to pardon their kids for the shortcomings they instilled in them.” – Unknown
      25. “They ought to accept you for who you are. Parents ought to adore their children, right? You’d assume so.” – N. R. Walker
      26. “A true parent prioritizes their children’s needs and wants over their own.” – Unknown
      27. “That man who lives only for himself is the cruelest mortal on the face of the earth.” – Unknown
      28. “A lot of people who have experienced trauma at the hands of people they’ve trusted take responsibility, and that is what’s toxic.” – Hannah Gadsby
      29. “The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse.” – Benjamin Franklin
      30. “Because of the absence of connection and bonding between mother and kid, being surrounded by toxic mothers can be one of the most lonely times in a child’s life.” – Unknown
      31. “Selfish parents tend to be treating children like a burden rather than a joy. That’s on them and not about you and your worth as a human so don’t let that drag your self esteem down.” – Unknown
      32. “Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons.” – Travis Bradberry
      33. “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D. Hull
      34. “Dysfunctional parents do not apologize. It is one feature that the children of narcissists would instantly agree on. They will lie and justify themselves, but never accept they did anything wrong.” – Diana Macey
      35. “As a parent, you should be more concerned with your child’s happiness than your petty insecurities and jealousies. Just a thought!” – Unknown
      36. “Follow your own passion – not your parents’, not your teachers’ – yours.” – Robert Ballard
      37. “Your mother’s happiness is not your responsibility. It has never been.” – Unknown
      38. “Selfish people are unable to love others, but they are also unable to love themselves.” – Unknown
      39. “Sometimes, the people closest to you betray you, and your home isn’t a place you can be happy anymore. It’s hard but it’s true.” – P.C. Cast
      40. If a mother cannot sacrifice for her kids, she doesn’t deserve them!” – Unknown
      41. “Toxic mothers are image-oriented rather than love-oriented.” – Sherrie Campbell
      42. “You don’t let go of a bad relationship because you stop caring about them. You let go because you start caring about yourself.” – Charles Orlando
      43. “Children shouldn’t have to sacrifice so that you can have the life you want. You make sacrifices so your children can have the life that they deserve.” – Unknown
      44. “Being a selfish parent is a sign of not having learned from experience.” – Unknown
      45. “Narcissistic parents don’t really recognize their children as people separate from them. Instead, they see their children as little extensions of themselves. The needs of the child are defined by the needs of the parent, and the child who tries to express his needs is often accused of being selfish or inconsiderate.” — Jonice Webb
      46. “Any mother that could be cruel to a child is not going to apologize to that child when they have grown up.” – Rayne Wolf
      47. “An unloving mother robs the child of a sense of belonging. The need to belong can become a lifelong quest for him or her.” – Peg Streep
      48. “There’s really no point in having children if you’re not going to be home enough to father them.” – Anthony Edwards
      49. “Prioritize your child’s happiness over yours. Let them choose their path instead of forcing your dreams on them.” – Unknown
      50.   “When a child does bad things, the parents are always going to love their child even if they do something bad.” – Selena
      51.   “Don’t you just love children? If they’re not disappointing you, they’re dead.” – Shawn Wickersheim
      52.   “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” – Jackie Kennedy
      53.   “Instead of treating your child like how you were treated. Treat them with the same love and attention you wanted from your parents while growing up.” – Jonathan Anthony Burkett
      54.   “My dad had limitations. That’s what my good-hearted mom always told us. He had limitations, but he meant no harm. It was kind of her to say, but he did do harm.” – Gillian Flynn
      55. “When you have children, there is no room for lies, no room for anything but the truth. Anything other than that is a bad example, I believe.” – Johnny Depp
      56. “Your children vividly remember every unkind thing you ever did to them, plus a few you really didn’t.” – Mignon McLaughlin
      57. “They are not sorry for harming you. So, don’t feel guilty for cutting them off.” – John Mark Green
      58.   “No one, however powerful and successful, can function as an adult if his parents are not satisfied with him.” – Frank Pittman
      59. “An unpredictable parent is a fearsome god in the eyes of a child.” – Susan Forward
      60.   “What’s so sad is when we’re younger, if you have a bad parent, that is normal to you, and that’s what you think of as healthy.” – Jennifer Lawrence“
      61. I never had a speech from my father ‘this is what you must do or shouldn’t do’ but I just learned to be led by example. My father wasn’t perfect.” – Adam Sandler
      62.    “My dad taught me everything I know. Unfortunately, he didn’t teach me everything he knows.” – Al Unser

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    1. Being a parent is easy but being a good parent is tough as it requires a lot of dedication and goodwill.”- Anonymous
    2. If you want to live in your child’s memory, you must have to live in their lives today.”- Anonymous
    3. Being a selfish parent i.s the biggest crime you can do to your child.”- Anonymous
    4. “Most children would rather preserve the fantasy of a loving connection with their fathers and mothers, at all costs, even if it costs them their self-esteem.” – Keith Ablow
    5. “When you’re three or seven years old, it’s less frightening to think of yourself as an unlovable, disappointing screwup than to recognize the fact that you’re living with a monster.” – Keith Ablow
    6. “If parents wish to preserve childhood for their own children, they must conceive of parenting as an act of rebellion against culture.” – Neil Postman
    7. “Anyone could father a child. But a good parent puts his child’s needs before his own. A parent should be selfless, not selfish.” — Penelope Ward
    8. It’s not the children who sacrifice for your betterment; it’s you to sacrifice for their betterment.” – Anonymous
    9. Don’t make your selfishness ruin your child’s life.”- Anonymous
    10. Never substitute ‘presence’ with ‘presents’. Presents can spoil your child, but your presence will make them a true human being.”- Anonymous
    11. “A good parent never uses their child for their happiness.”- Anonymous
    12.   “Put your child’s likes before your selfishness.”- Anonymous
    13. “After all, who isn’t a survivor from the wreck of childhood?” – Nicole Krauss
    14. “Childhood trauma doesn’t come in one single package.” – Dr. Asa Don Brown
    15. “Students with childhood trauma don’t have faulty brains. They have minds designed in threatening environments to help them survive.” – Inspired by Peggy Leigh
    16.  “Adulthood is an attempt to become the antithesis of the wounded child within us.” – Stewart Stafford
    17. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” — Frederick Douglass
    18. “A child’s shoulders were not built to bear the weight of their parent’s choices.” — Toby Mac
    19. “It’s not words that hurt the most, but the absence of love and support. Not being there for your kid when they need it hurts the most.” — Lauren Levine
    20. “Children might or might not be a blessing, but to create them and then fail them was surely damnation.” — Lois McMaster Bujold
    21. “Getting angry when something about their behavior is challenged in the nicest way, is a typical reaction of a narcissistic parent.” ― Diana Macey
    22. “Narcissist parents don’t care about their children’s feelings at all. Only their feelings matter.” — Kim Saeed
    23. “People tend to raise the child inside of them rather than the child in front of them.” –Joe Newman
    24.  “When a father, absent during the day, returns home at six, his children receive only his temperament, not his teaching.” — Robert Bly
    25. “Anyone can have a child and call themselves a parent. Good parents are those who put their child above their own selfish needs.” — Unknown
    26. “Parenting is not for sissies. You have to sacrifice and grow up.” — Jillian Michaels
    27.  “A lot of parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves.” — Banksy
    28. “Children are not born for the benefit of their parents, neither are they the property of their family. Children belong to the future.” ― Anthon St. Maarten
    29. “Instead of promoting healthy development, they unconsciously undermine it, often with the belief that they are acting in their child’s best interest.” ― Susan Forward
    30. “Too bad for any parent who has become accustomed to ruling by force, because at some point the kids just get too big to slap around.” — Barbara Ehrenreich
    31. “Parental Alienation is an emotional act of violence that is aimed at an adult, but critically wounds a child.” — Steve Maraboli
    32. “Do your kids see your kindness or are you always telling them NO?” — Brenda M. McGraw
    33. “My parents loved us but I wasn’t always sure they liked us.”  — Tahereh Maf
    34. “Your children need your presence more than your presents.”— Jesse Jackson
    35. “If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.”— Abigail Van Buren
    36. “Parents are the centre of a person’s solar system, even as an adult. My dad had a stronger gravitational pull than most, so his absence was bound to leave a deep and lasting void.”—  Justin Trudeau.
    37. “Relationships are built on small, consistent deposits of time…If you want to connect with your kids, you’ve got to be available consistently, not randomly.” — Andy Stanley
    38. “I didn’t have parents, so I lived in people’s homes… And because I grew up with no parental role models, I learned to become my own friend, eventually my own father and my own mother.”  — John Lone
    39. “Where parents do too much for their children, the children will not do much for themselves.”  — Elbert Hubbard
    40. “In some sense every parent does love their children. But some parents are too broken to love them well.”  — Paul Young

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can selfish parents change their behavior, and if so, how?

Selfish parents can change their behavior and become unselfish if they wish to. They may start with a commitment to change, acknowledge their problem, take steps to empathize, be less self-indulgent, and spend quality time with their children. Additionally, they may discuss with their children whether or not their efforts are effective.

2. What are the long-term effects of having selfish parents on children?

Having selfish and self-seeking parents may lead to low self-esteem, anxiety and isolation, and even suicidal ideation in children. They may have lifetime behavioral issues and problems with their future relationships (1).

3. How can we distinguish between healthy self-care and selfishness in parents?

Selfish people are self-regarding and put themselves first in most situations and are their own priority. However, when someone practices healthy self-care, they continue to consider others and their needs while addressing their needs too. People practicing self-care are often more energetic at work, more patient with loved ones, and appear more relaxed. However, the actions of selfish people benefit only them, while others are often left without care (2).

A parent displaying self-centeredness can make life hard for their children. Parents must not be self-serving and instead put the well-being of their children first and make them responsible individuals by showering them with unconditional love and affection. But sometimes, they may not realize that their rules, demands, and words are against the betterment of their children. These selfish parents quotes can be an eye opener for such parents. So if you think your self-regarding parenting approach needs amends, read the quotes and strive to be a better parent everyone would wish to have.

Infographic: Quotes And Sayings About Selfish Parents

While there are parents who live for their children, there are also some for whom their children are a project or a burden. So, if you see any such parents around you or you want to convey your emotions to your parents, use the selfish parents’ quotes in the infographic below to express your thoughts subtly.

quotes to express the hurtful impact of selfish parenting (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

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Download Infographic in PDF version

Some children suffer at the hands of parents who do not care about them. Are you struggling with selfish parents? Check out this video for the top 12 eye-opening quotes about selfish parents to help you gain perspective.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Fakhra Jabeen et al.; (2021); Healing the next generation: an adaptive agent model for the effects of parental narcissism.
  2. Self-care Vs Selfishness.
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