In last week’s post, we discussed the Authoritarian style of parenting and learned that the long-term effects of this parenting style can be detrimental to a child’s development—in childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
This week, we’ll take a look at another style of detrimental parenting: Neglectful / Uninvolved.
Neglectful / Uninvolved Parenting
This style of parenting is one in which the parent is very uninvolved, almost disinterested in the child’s life. The parent shows more interest in romantic relationships, friendships, leisure activities and perhaps drugs or alcohol than in the child. The child likely has few rules for behavior, and any rules that do exist may exist solely for the purpose of allowing the adult to enjoy those activities in peace.
Because parents are a child’s first teachers, children who are the recipients of the Neglectful / Uninvolved Parenting style tend to be delayed cognitively, socioemotionally and possibly even physically. Socioemotional development may be the domain of development most affected by the Neglectful / Uninvolved Parenting style. Children from these families often strive for attention, and when they don’t receive the attention they want, they may use behaviors to gain that attention.
These problems follow these children into adolescence and adulthood. Teenagers from Neglectful / Uninvolved homes are more likely to be delinquent or truant. They are also at higher risk for early sexual relationships due to the need for love, affection and acceptance.
Adulthood may be the most difficult period for children raised in a Neglectful / Uninvolved home. A significant portion of what an adult learns in life comes from the parents. An adult who was raised by a Neglectful / Uninvolved parent doesn’t have the slightest idea about how many aspects of life work. These adults are at increased risk to have poor skills in maintaining a relationship, managing a budget, holding a job and other adult responsibilities that seem normal and appropriate for the majority of the population.
In summary, a child who is raised by a Neglectful / Uninvolved Parenting style may continue to spend the rest of his life searching for love and affection to replace what he missed out on as a child. He is likely to have little knowledge of some simple aspects of life that most adults take for granted, simply because he didn’t have a caring adult to teach him about it in the first place. It goes without saying that Neglectful parenting is not recommended by parenting experts, because of the long-term negative effects that this style of parenting has on the child, adolescent and adult in later life.
Once again, much of the research shared in this article comes from this book by John Santrock.
Up next: Indulgent Parenting