The modern era has seen so many behavioral changes. One of the most dominant shifts over time has been noticed in parenting through neglectful parenting.
Today life’s become so busy that humans find it hard to empathize with anyone else. It has not created strain in the human relationships where things appear superficial now and people often ignore emotions and opinions and it has created a rift between the personal relationships which were once bounded together with the strings of love and concern. This is why today we notice that many psychologists talk a lot about neglectful parenting and its everlasting results.
- Neglectful parenting stands for the act of ignoring or neglecting your children due to different social or psychological causes.
- Parents who neglect their children are often narcissists in terms of their behavior.
- Once the children are consistently ignored by the caregivers, they start getting mental health issues including panic attacks, anxiety, violence, and suicidal thoughts.
- Education of parents and therapy for those who neglect their children due to psychological issues can work well.
Background of Neglectful Parenting
Though it seems new to the earlier mentioned three categories of parenting which never discussed neglect because, at that time, ignorance from parents wasn’t expected behavior. All three of the earlier described parenting styles revolve merely around authority.
Neglectful Parenting and Capitalism
However, in 1998, when corporate slavery and capitalism started strengthening their roots in the modern world. At that moment, the concept originally began taking the real shape. You would be shocked to find out that even in the beginning, many renowned psychiatrists and experts refused the presence of such behavior until some of the real cases made their entry in clinical psychology and a proper study was then conducted on their influence.
Definition of Neglectful Parenting
Today, neglectful or ignorant parenting is accepted as a style of parenting and a lot has been discussed on its causes and the impacts it leaves on children throughout their lives.
One simple definition of this parenting style involves, “the depiction of ignorant or neglectful behavior from the parent’s side as they show very little to almost no interest in the lives of their children. They are least concerned about finding out their children’s academic or inter-group progress and never actually participate or show no effort at all in becoming a part of their child’s life.”
This seems heartbreaking but this is an accepted fact today by most of the experts and they give various reasons for such negligence. Though no one justifies and approves of this parenting style as all agree that it leaves devastating impacts on the mental health of a child.
Causes of Neglectful Parenting
Many researchers of the social sciences and experts are still unaware of the actual causes which create this kind of behavior among parents who are negligent. However, there are some unanimous assumptions about the possible reasons for the development of this attitude.
- Childhood Traumas
- Unhappy Marriages
- Busy Working Life
- Poor Economic Conditions
- Drugs & Certain Other Addictions
Childhood traumas deeply affect the mentality of a child. As he/she is in the developing stage, it can act as a potential hindrance. A child is like a piece of raw clay. You mold it into your own required shape.
Experiences and attitudes of parents which are depicted towards him/her play a larger part in deciding his/her destination in the future life. Pamela San Cristobal conducted an academic study on traumatic experiences of childhood and their influence on the future life along with some other psychologists in 2017.
The results were very surprising. Those adults whose parents had neglected them in some part of their lives during childhood were the ones who find satisfaction in directing this behavior on to their own children. This seems surprising, yet it is an accepted psychological belief that individuals often direct their anger on weaker individuals.
The expression of negligence reported from the parents’ side can be an outcome of their own experience. If their parents had adopted neglectful parenting and used to ignore them for no particular reason, the anger from that negligence automatically starts flowing out when they find themselves in power.
At this point, these parents obtain a sort of satisfaction by neglecting their own children completely. It helps them deal with their own traumatic childhood which has left nonhealing wounds even after so many years.
Many of the couples in The U.S today and even on an international scale end up divorcing each other. This has become a norm in modern society. However, this personal decision shatters the personality of a child completely because he/she is in the middle of chaos.
Studies conclude that those children whose parents end up divorcing each other spend an incomplete life marked by the ignorance of one or both parents alternatively.
This is because right after divorce, the custody becomes divided and soon when the parents find new partners, things get more difficult for the child. The step-parents are unwelcoming or unaccepting in most of the cases creating further strain in the parental relationship.
That is why many of the researchers and experts in the field warn parents about the adverse impacts of divorce and suggest they think a lot before making this decision.
Busy Working Routines
There are instances where everything is apparently fine. Both parents are happily married and still, the children are neglected. Experts consider that it is because of the long working hours which don’t allow the parents to concentrate on the lives of their children.
They are just too busy computing and concentrating over the screens from 9 to 5 that the time for emotions and care seems like a joke. These parents have not only adopted the “neglectful parenting” attitude but are also super conscious and strict about their own lives.
For them, most of the time, career exceeds family. Family life is not for them. I have seen many working parents during my life’s experience who have regretted that their choice to start a family at the beginning of their careers was a foolish one. This is that decision that makes them ignore their children afterward and focus solely on their careers.
Poor Economic Conditions
Yes, poor economic conditions are also another reason for the negligence. It happens in the lower tier of the society where the conditions are miserable enough that parents unintentionally focus on making situations better for their family. Here, the major focus is on improving the lifestyle rather than dealing with the affairs and issues of children.
This happens mostly with the children of sanitation workers, factory workers, and other members of the working class where competition is intense and opportunities are few. Therefore things become difficult for them to tackle and hence “neglectful parenting” is their very first response.
The most surprising thing about this is that in these houses, we will often find children working from a very young age to make ends meet. This creates an everlasting disastrous impact on them too because they have to bid farewell to their childhood earlier than expected and at the same time they have to work as an adult. Experts often justify parents belonging to this group by accepting the seriousness of their economic condition.
Drugs & Addiction
Parents who are into drugs are often unable to empathize with their children or even look at their affairs carefully.
This is because their dependency on drugs never leaves them useful for anything else and therefore, the result is negligence. These parents are also the ones who often leave their children at the mercy of others and this remains absent from the core duties of parenting themselves.
A number of psychological experts recommend therapy for such parents. However, the downside is that this doesn’t often work well as there are a lot of restrictions imposed on the way to the rehabilitation process as well as it takes a lot of time too.
Impacts of Neglectful Parent on a Child’s Life
Neglectful parenting is mostly the sin of parents but it can create a lot of problems for the child as well. Here are some of the disastrous impacts which one finds in neglected children
- Low Self Esteem: Quite often these children lose their entire self-confidence because of getting a feeling of being unwanted continuously by their own biological parents. This squeezes all the confidence out of them and they are unable to respond to any situation confidently which influences every part of their life.
- Vulnerability: Because of being neglected repeatedly, children become vulnerable from a very young age and this continues throughout. They share each and everything with even strangers just right when the other person is kind to them.
- Dependence: Compared to the other children, they have a higher rate of depending on others because of staying neglected. This is why these children totally depend on their peers or well-wishers for even the simplest things.
- Panic Attacks: Scientific studies have confirmed that these children have a high tendency of getting panic attacks because of the fear of negligence by their trusted ones right after they reach teenagers. Even suicidal thoughts are common in such children because of feeling unwanted by everyone.
- Hypersensitivity: These children are hypersensitive and react to even the most harmless things. Violence and aggression in later stages in their lives also erupt from this hypersensitivity.
Neglectful Parenting either intentional or unintentional leaves permanent wounds on a child’s soul. Though the accepted fact is that its causes cannot be certainly deduced, the inefficacy of handling family matters by parents leaves children empty from inside.
They look for spaces of love in others’ lives and when they don’t receive what they have wished for, certain psychological issues result.
So, it is needed that the parents should be educated about good parenting and the measures to overcome workload and balance both personal and professional life at the same time so that everything remains in order and peace prevails.