Parenting and the styles of parenting have been a long-researched topic. Psychologist, through a series of research, described three styles of parenting. Authoritative, disciplinarian and permissive/indulgent. The fourth type, uninvolved parenting was added to the list more recently by other researchers.
We are discussing neglectful parenting here. Uninvolved parenting is also called as neglectful parenting colloquially. Some uninvolved parents may be relatively hands-off with their kids, but may still have some basic limits such as curfews. Others may be downright neglectful or even reject their children outrightly. The exact degree of involvement may vary considerably.
What Is Neglectful Parenting?
Neglectful parenting skills are seen when parents show little or no responsiveness to children’s needs. Uninvolved parents make few or no demands from their children. These parents are often indifferent, dismissive or even completely neglectful.
These parents have little emotional involvement with their kids. They do provide for basic needs like food and shelter. But for the most part, they are uninvolved in their children’s lives. Neglectful parenting is a controversial topic. But practising parents argue this helps kids become independent.
Characteristics Of Neglectful Parents:
Uninvolved parents could be engaging in the following patterns of behaviour:
- They have no expectations or demands for behaviour from their children. They also have no idea of what’s going on the children’s life.
- Parents offer little or no supervision. They might be either too lenient or might be very strict with them.
- Parents are emotionally distant from their children. They express no love by hugging, kissing or by any other means.
- Parents don’t attend school events. They may not be concerned about the kid’s achievements. They don’t react to the child’s development in various spheres.
- They’re often too overwhelmed by their own problems. They are either busy in work or in self-grooming. Parents facing financial, emotional or social problems might be occupied in solving the crises.
- They’re addicted to substances leading to failure in fulfilling their responsibility. Parents with substance abuse affect a child’s growth. They refuse to be there for children.
How Does Neglectful Parenting Affect The Child?
What sort of impact does being raised by uninvolved parents have on kids? Children raised by uninvolved parents tend to experience a number of different effects. This might enhance a child’s thinking skills in some cases. It will undoubtedly disorient their emotional and psychological state. Imagine the stress a child will feel knowing they have no one to depend on. They don’t strictly experience child maltreatment. But it does hinder their ability to create emotionally healthy bonds in future.
This approach to parenting can have several negative consequences on the child. For example, a young toddler is playing with his friends and he beats the other child. The parent sees this and does not interfere. As a young child, he is not able to understand the difference between good and bad behaviour. But this is when he needs to be taught what is acceptable. His behaviour might hurt others around him. Some of the consequences of neglectful parenting could be:
- The feeling of being unloved
- Fear of dependence
- Hesitation in social interaction
- Bullying others
- Chances of picking up substance abuse
- Children become directionless
- Cannot follow rules or instructions
- Hampering of brain functioning
- Lack of personality development
- They are low on emotional quotient
Positives Of Neglectful Parenting
Neglectful parenting is said to promote the overall development of a child’s comprehension skills. Since the child is left “alone” at an early age, he is forced to learn and provide for himself. Parents who have little time to spare, practice this to let kids grow on their own. This could also lessen the probability of developing a post-traumatic stress disorder.
The absence of governance tends to make children happy and joyous under this parenting style.
Children grow up as responsible adults because they grow up making their own rules.
They become self-sufficient and are smart at assessing risks and safety factors.
Why Do Parents Usually Adopt Neglectful Parenting Styles
Parents hardly ever neglect their children by choice. Situations and personal circumstances could be reasons for such behaviour. It could also include financial hardships or even interpersonal relationship between spouses. However, it can have gravely negative consequences on the child.
How Do I Know If I Am An Uninvolved Parent?
If you recognize some of these signs in yourself or a friend with children, there might be chances that the child is getting neglected.
- Being unaware of what is going on in the child’s life – both personal and academics.
- Not being able to provide a feeling of safety for the child at home. Since they can’t express and share their feelings with anyone they become highly vulnerable.
- Not spending time with the child, leaving them at home alone for long periods of time.
- Not being aware of the child’s friends, teachers, and people they spend most of their time with.
- Making excuses with relatives and school administration for not being there for the child.
How To Come Out Of Uninvolved Parenting Style
A victim of this parenting style can undo the effects. You may not be able to undo what’s done, but you can certainly make amendments. Following are some tips that may help:
- Express love to your kids. Let them know they are loved and valued.
- Encourage your kids to make decisions. Offer them solutions if you feel they may falter.
- If you find your child not active, sad, gloomy or feeling low, talk to your kid. Try and find out the reason for the same.
- No matter how busy you may be with your life, always find time for the kid. Spend some quality time together.
- Open the channels of communication with your kid and do not be unapproachable. Be available to your kid when he needs you.
- If you think you may not be able to get out of this parenting style, you may seek the help of a professional.
Here are 4 Ways to Teach Your Child Independence Without Neglecting Them
- Be lenient with the rules and allow your child to grow independently to a certain degree.
- Enable them to walk on their own two feet while holding their hand.
- Allow them to speak for themselves while guiding their thoughts.
- Enable them to be emotionally open without risking their emotional independence.
A Word From The Wise
Before chiding yourself for being an uninvolved or neglectful parent, know some characteristics are generic. You could have a few neglectful parents signs or signs that are common. While parenting can be a task, it’s also an opportunity to create a masterpiece. It’s true that each parenting style, like most things, has its pros and cons. No one style is right or perfect, and no parent is perfect either. But the uninvolved parenting style seems to be the least effective and healthy for children.
Counselling can help uninvolved parents learn how to adapt to meet kids needs better. If uninvolved parents have negatively impacted your life, counselling can help you. Take back personal control, heal past wounds that come from your parents. Start by changing your life for the better.
Clearly, the consequences of this type of child-rearing parenting style are far from ideal. Children need guidance from adults that they trust. Adults who are emotionally healthy and resilient. Hence, coming out of this style of parenting is imperative. Provide for a cordial family atmosphere for your child to grow.