I have been struggling with the correct way to express "to do somebody a disservice" in German. In English, this phrase is often used when your intentions are to do something good for somebody, but the actual effect is negative. For example, "Being lenient with the students is doing them a disservice", means that you want to be nice to the students, but actually being too nice means that they don't learn the things they should.
I see a few translations in German, and can't figure out which one expresses the above idea, or how commonly they are used:
Jemandem einen Bärendienst erweisen: "Die Studenten nachsichtig zu behandeln erweist ihnen einen Bärendienst."?
Jemandem einen schlechten Dienst erweisen: "Die Studenten nachsichtig zu behandeln erweist ihnen einen schlechten Diesnt."?
Option 1 seems like the most probable, but a German speaker told me that they have never heard of "Bärendienst" used in this context. Is it possibly an old expression?