selfish parents quotes

80 Selfish Parent Quotes & Sayings [You Know It Happens]

Parenting is not the easiest of tasks, but there is no escaping the life-long role if we must raise kids that will be useful to themselves and society.

However, some parents tend to forget that children are individuals with rights to freedom and choices, too. Although some parents are controlling and extremely abusive, many behave selfishly without even realizing it.

Unfortunately, parenting styles can impact children for the rest of their lives, making their adult lives difficult if we raise them badly. For this reason, it is crucial to be mindful of our actions and inactions toward our children.

Here are 80 selfish parents quotes to help you avoid the common mistakes many parents make while raising kids. Hopefully, these quotes will remind you to be the best parent your child deserves.

Selfish Parents Quotes for Putting Your Kids First

mother and daughter watering potted plant in home

  1. “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
  2. “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
  3. “It’s not the children who sacrifice for your betterment; it’s you to sacrifice for their betterment.” – Anonymous
  4. “They should love you, just as you are. Parents should love their kids, right?” “You’d think so.” – N. R. Walker
  5. “When a child does bad things, the parents are always going to love their child even if they do something bad.” – Selena
  6. “Do your kids see your kindness, or are you always telling them no?” – Brenda M. McGraw
  7. “A good parent never uses their child for their happiness.” – Unknown
  8. “You shouldn’t do that. Not to your child. You should carry your own burdens.” – Cassandra Clare
  9. “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
  10. “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
  11. “Being a parent shouldn’t be when it is convenient for you. It is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year commitment.” – Unknown
  12. “Parents. Honestly. Sometimes they really do think the world revolves around them.” – Randa Abdel-Fattah
  13. “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
  14. “Never substitute ‘presence’ with ‘presents.’ Presents can spoil your child, but your presence will make them a true human being.” – Anonymous
  15. “No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.” – Plato
  16. “Today’s troubled homes are made by parents who want to have children but don’t want their children to have parents.” – Agona Apell
  17. “Being a selfish parent is the biggest crime you can do to your child.” – Anonymous
  18. “Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; you are raising a human being.” – Kittie Frantz
  19. “Your child’s happiness should take precedence over your own petty fears and jealousies as a parent.” – Unknown
  20. “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” – Oscar Wilde

Selfish Parents Quotes Showing the Effects of Toxic Parenting

father scolding son in home

Understand that the seemingly insignificant bad treatments and harsh words you say to your kids can live with them forever. Let these quotes remind you of the lasting consequences of your parenting style.

  1. “A child that’s being abused by its parents doesn’t stop loving its parents, it stops loving itself.” – Shahida Arabi
  2. “The family drama may look and sound different from generation to generation, but all toxic patterns are remarkably similar in their outcome: pain and suffering.” – Dr. Susan Forward
  3. “People tend to raise the child inside of them rather than the child in front of them.” – Joe Newman
  4. “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
  5. “Here’s a shock: An adult who still hangs out in skate parks is a bad parent.” – Daniel Tosh
  6. “I’m worried about parents who aren’t parenting.” – Barbara Bush
  7. “Many children of toxic parents find it exceptionally difficult to identify who they are once they grow up.” – JR Thorpe
  8. “It has been my observation that parents kill more dreams than anybody.” – Spike Lee
  9. “No child is born a delinquent. They only became that way if nobody loved them when they were kids.” – Jeannette Walls
  10. “A greedy father has thieves for children.” – Serbian Proverb
  11. “A person can’t pick up their children and just squeeze them to which-a-way they want them to be.” – Carson McCullers
  12. “Being a parent does not give you an excuse for bad manners.” – Rosalind Wiseman
  13. “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
  14. “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” – Jackie Kennedy
  15. “My dad taught me everything I know. Unfortunately, he didn’t teach me everything he knows.” – Al Unser
  16. “Fear-based parenting is the surest way to create intimidated children.” – Tim Kimmel
  17. “If we, as mothers, are not careful, we can begin to find our identity in our children and their behavior.” – Sue Detweiler
  18. “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
  19. “I built up so much hatred for my parents, like so much anger for the life they had given me.” – Tana Mongeau
  20. “Your children vividly remember every unkind thing you ever did to them, plus a few you really didn’t.” – Mignon McLaughlin
  21. “If you teach hatred to your children, one day your child will have that hatred reflected back onto them and onto you.” – Suzy Kassem
  22. “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
  23. “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
  24. “Good parenting gives headaches, but bad parenting gives heartaches.” – Shiv Khera
  25. “If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  26. “If mental abuse was a punishable crime, a lot of parents would be in jail serving a long term.” – Maddy Malhotra
  27. “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
  28. “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
  29. “There’s really no point in having children if you’re not going to be home enough to father them.” – Anthony Edwards
  30. “There are no illegitimate children – only illegitimate parents.” – Leon R. Yankwich
  31. “Parents wonder why the streams are bitter when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.” – John Locke
  32. “Don’t try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.” – Russell Baker
  33. “In troubled families, abuse and neglect are permitted. It’s talking about them that is forbidden.” – Marcia Sirota
  34. “You must let go of the responsibility for the painful events of your childhood and put it where it belongs.” – Susan Forward
  35. “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
  36. “Toxic parenting leaves scars. Every child deserves good parenting. It is a parental responsibility, not a privilege.” – TCMD
  37. “Some scars don’t hurt. Some scars are numb. Some scars rid you of the capacity to feel anything ever again.” – Joyce Rachelle
  38. “Parents forgive their children least readily for the faults they themselves instilled in them.” – Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
  39. “All of us develop our expectations about how people will treat us based on our relationships with our parents.” – Susan Forward
  40. “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D. Hull

Selfish Parents Quotes for the Abusive, Narcissist Parent

father scolding his daughter in home

Were you raised by a narcissist or abusive parents? The following quotes will help you raise your kids without having them go through the same nasty experiences you had.

  1. “A narcissistic parent will provoke an independent child to anger in order to feel superior and prove the child’s flaws.” – Shannon Thomas
  2. “Don’t you just love children? If they’re not disappointing you, they’re dead.” – Shawn Wickersheim
  3. “In the minds of my parents, they are the victims; I am the abuser.” – Christina Enevoldsen
  4. “My parents loved us, but I wasn’t always sure they liked us.” – Tahereh Maf
  5. “Love and respect them but don’t get caught up in their drama.” – Anonymous
  6. “When you grieve toxic, abusive parents, you don’t just grieve the abuse, you grieve everything you didn’t have.” – Lily Hope Lucario
  7. “Did you have parents or just some people who thought they should own somebody?” – Catherine Lacey
  8. “A narcissist parent is easily frustrated by a healthy independent child that they can’t control through parental emotional manipulation.” – Shannon Thomas
  9. “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
  10. “Leave your pride, ego, and narcissism somewhere else. Reactions from those parts of you will reinforce your children’s most primitive fears.” – Henry Cloud
  11. “Narcissist parents do not know their children; they aren’t interested in what they have to say unless it affects them.” – Tina Fuller
  12. “Narcissist parents don’t care about their children’s feelings at all. Only their feelings matter.” – Kim Saeed
  13. “Wounded parents often unintentionally inflict pain and suffering on their children.” – David W. Earle
  14. “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
  15. “Narcissist parents want total control. Take back your control. If possible, don’t accept any money, favor, items or anything from them.” – Tina Fuller
  16. “An unpredictable parent is a fearsome god in the eyes of a child.” – Susan Forward
  17. “We raise predators by treating children as prey.” – Stefan Molyneux
  18. “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
  19. “It is a violation of trust to use your kids as caulking for the cracks in you.” – Anne Lamott
  20. “They are not sorry for harming you. So, don’t feel guilty for cutting them off.” – John Mark Green


Raising sound children is an investment worth every single headache and stress that comes with it. But this can only be achieved by selfless parents willing to prioritize their kids’ future.

While it might seem daunting, raising good kids and being a good parent is doable. In addition to these selfish parent quotes, there are many resources to help make parenting a tad easier. Here is a list of parenting articles you might find quite useful.

Scroll to Top