Using authoritarian parenting and shaming children into submission might be the easiest way to parent, but it’s also the most damaging. Ignoring or neglecting a child’s needs can create many symptoms and ultimately mental health problems, which then can affect the rest of his or her life.
How, for example, can a child grow up knowing how to provide empathy and nurturing if they were never taught? If children are loved and treated well, they don’t grow up wanting to hurt others; they grow up wanting to help and respect others and with the ability to provide empathy.
If you are an adult who was neglected, please know that you can find your true sense of self and worthiness. You don’t have to take counsel from the wounded parents who treated you badly. You can define yourself, and live and model a different kind of life and parenting style with your own children.
Is your disturbed childhood affecting your adult life? Read 5 Ways Childhood Emotional Neglect Causes Depression in Adulthood
This starts with working on your personal trauma and getting it processed. Don’t go it alone; get help when needed and don’t minimize the pain. You may think it is too selfish or self-absorbed to discuss your feelings, but they will catch up to you in the long run.
As Alice Miller said: “I have never known a patient to portray his parents more negatively than he actually experienced them in childhood but always more positively — because idealization of his parents was essential for his survival.”
She added, “Wherever I look, I see signs of the commandment to honor one’s parents and nowhere of a commandment that calls for the respect of a child.”
Take a moment to think about how it feels when someone truly believes in you and validates your needs and feelings. Empathy is the greatest gift to give and receive.
Parental negligence and childhood emotional neglect can sometimes have far-reaching consequences on a child’s mind. The best way to make sure that this does not happen to your child is by giving them abundant attention and showing a lot of empathy. How you treat them now, can heavily influence their future.
If you want to know more about the effects of childhood emotional neglect, then check out this video below:
Written By Karyl McBride, PhD, LMFT
Author of: Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
and Will I Ever Be Free of You? How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist and Heal Your Family
Printed with Permission