What Is A Neglectful Parenting Style, And How Can I Avoid It?

uninvolved parenting

Uninvolved parenting style, also known as neglectful parenting style, is characterized by a lack of attention to the needs of a child. Uninvolved parents make little or no demands on their children and are often indifferent, dismissive, or even totally neglectful of them. For example, an uninvolved parent can feel disengaged or distant from their infant, while some parents take every opportunity to nurture and give affection.

Neglectful parents may have no desire to catch, drink, or play with the infant. A neglectful parenting style is not an example of good parenting and harms the child as well. Let’s take a deeper dive into the subject and related it to parenting studies.

What Does Neglectful Parenting Style Look Like?

neglectful parenting style

Parents following such a style are not emotionally invested in their children. Although they fulfill the basic needs of the child, such as food and shelter, they are largely absent from their children’s lives. The exact level of involvement varies from one set of parents to other.

While most such parents pay a bare minimum amount of attention to the child, there are parents that can still have some simple rules in place, such as curfews and a strict schooling schedule. Then there are parents that can be utterly oblivious to their children’s needs or even oppose them outright. Children may be provided with the bare necessities for survival, such as housing, food, and clothes—however, they receive little to no emotional support from parents. All this leads to a poor parent child relationship.

How to Know If You Are an Uninvolved Parent?

Many parents can relate to being overworked, depressed, and exhausted. You know what we are talking about: when things get out of hand, you could brush your child aside for a few minutes of peace. Parental control is crucial for your child’s exemplary life, and the parental authority must be approving.

However, the above signs are not typical of uninvolved parenting, no matter how bad you feel afterward. Uninvolved parenting is more than just a moment of self-indulgence. It is a pattern of emotional separation between parent and child that persists.

Signs of Neglectful Parenting Style include:

  • Parents concentrate on their issues and wishes.

Uninvolved parents are preoccupied with their affairs – whether it’s work, a social life away from the kids, or other desires or cases; to the point that they’re unresponsive to their children’s needs and make no time for them.

In some cases, parents will neglect or reject their children outright. Again, it is not a case of deciding between a night at the club and a night with the family. This is about consistently choosing your happiness (the night at the club) over the parent child relationship.

  • Parents lack emotional connection with the child

For many people, an emotional bond between parent and child comes naturally. This relationship is not instinctual or automatic in the case of uninvolved parenting. The parent is dissatisfied, and their ability to show love and nurture to their child is severely limited.

  • Parents lack enthusiasm for the child’s hobbies.

Uninvolved parents are uninterested in their children’s schoolwork, sports, or events due to a lack of affection. They may miss sporting events or fail to attend PTA meetings. Moreover, they are never apologetic about forgetting to attend such events.

  • Parents do not define rules or standards for conduct.

Discipline is usually lacking in neglectful parenting style. As a result, unless a child’s behavior hurts them, these parents are unlikely to intervene. They give the child the freedom to behave as they please, which gives rise to challenges of parenting later. And when their child performs poorly in school or other sports, these parents are unconcerned.

What Are the Causes of Uninvolved Parenting Style?

Uninvolved parenting

Parenting studies find that parents who have a neglectful parenting style were frequently raised by parents who were uninvolved and dismissive. They find themselves repeating the behavior and pattern as adults that they faced as children. And in some cases, parents who exhibit this behavior are too preoccupied with their personal lives and fail to give time and attention to their child.

In some instances, parents may be so preoccupied with other issues (e.g., being overworked, dealing with depression, or battling drug abuse) that they fail to recognize how uninvolved they are with their children or are just incompetent to give the emotional care that their children need. This results in the children receiving no emotional support from parents.

How Does This Affect Children?

Neglectful parenting style has the following effects on the children:

  1. Owing to a lack of family support, children can get anxious or/and depressed.
  2. Children grow emotionally distant from their parents and have a hard time developing other relations.
  3. Children develop a fear of being dependent on others.
  4. Children who have neglectful parents are at a higher risk of abusing substances.
  5. Such children learn to take a stand for themselves in every situation, without realizing that they may end up hurting others emotionally, mentally, or even physically.
  6. During puberty, such children are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior.

To grow, children need affection, attention, encouragement, and a certain amount of parental control. As a result, it is no surprise that uninvolved parenting harms a child.

It is true that children raised by uninvolved parents learn self-reliance and how to meet their basic needs at a young age. Nonetheless, the disadvantages of this parenting style outweigh the benefits.

Uninvolved parenting has the downside of preventing children from developing an intimate bond with their parents and siblings. Low self-esteem or emotional neediness in other relationships may result from a lack of love and attention as a child.

How Can You Avoid Neglectful Parenting?

parent child relationship

If you are a new parent, then it will be easier for you to avoid mistakes that lead to a neglectful parenting style.

However, if you have recently realized that you are following an uninvolved parenting style, then you will be glad to know that it is possible to change a parenting style.

  1. The first step is to realize that you are an uninvolved parent, regardless of the underlying reasons.
  2. Next, seek therapy to address any mental health concerns, past violence, or other issues that prevent you from forming an emotional connection with your child. Be patient because this is not going to happen overnight.
  3. If you wish to strengthen your relationship with your child, having the desire to do it is a significant motivator. Discuss what you can do to bring positive nurturing to your family dynamic with your healthcare provider.
  4. You need to affirm yourself that you are on your way to being the parent that your child needs. Parents must try to avoid neglectful parenting style and adopt good parenting.

How Can I Avoid Uninvolved Parenting from Today?

By adopting the following methods, neglectful parenting can be avoided:

  • Donate your time to your kid. Become involved with other parents in your neighborhood.
  • Mindfully discipline your children. When you are mad, do not punish your kids.
  • Examine your behavior time and again.
  • Educate yourself and your partner on different parenting studies and the four Baumrind parenting styles.
  • Teach kids about their freedom and responsibilities.
  • Support efforts aimed at preventing crime.
  • Understand what it means to assault a child.
  • Recognize the warning signs in your behavior, your partner’s behavior, and the behavior/habits of your children that are signs of neglectful parenting style.

If your children have faced negligence from you in the past, they will need some time to understand and adjust to the changing dynamics of parental control. You will have to make sacrifices to improve the quality of parenting and the parent child relationship. However, in the long run, when your children grow old and turn into helpful and kind human beings, you will see that the sacrifices were all worth it.

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