What comes to mind when you envision neglect? If you are like most people, you probably see the worst-case scenario, in which a parent who malevolent entirely neglects and even abuses their child, however, the most common neglect comes from people who likely do not even realize what they are doing is neglect.
These parents love their children, and they may even strive to be the best parents they can be, but for whatever reason, they end up carrying out their parenting in a way that negatively impacts their kids. You can be well-meaning but neglectful as a parent.
We all make mistakes, that much is true. The thing is, when you make a mistake in parenting, you are not the only one who pays for your mistakes. So, it’s good to understand that you can be wrong or make bad choices sometimes, and to stay aware of yourself, so you can correct yourself and be the best parent you can be.
1. They emotionally invalidate.
Emotional invalidation is emotional neglect. As parents, it is our job to help our children learn to work through their emotions. When a child comes to their parents for emotional support, only to be told to stop, or dismissed, this is neglect.
2. They overuse devices.
Everyone has a device of choice, whether it be their phone, their computer, their tablet, or their television. At the end of the day, these things can be pleasurable to use, so we tend to use them frequently. However, there is a fine line between checking your phone for a minute and staying on it 24.7. If you are on your phone 24/7, there is no way you are attending to all of your child’s needs.
3. They have no work/life balance.
We all have to work or provide a living for our families. For some, work can become the main focal point of our lives, leaving little room for our kids. While work can be time-consuming, you have to make time for your family. Otherwise, you may need a new job.
4. They are hyperfocused on themselves.
In some cases, parents may just be selfish. When it comes to buying things for themselves versus their kids, they choose themselves. Instead of a new outfit for their kids, they go and spend the money on a new outfit for themselves. There is nothing wrong with doing things for yourself, but if your kids go without because of that, that is neglect.
5. They are always distracted.
It’s easy to get distracted in life. Many of us have multiple jobs, we have chores, we have social lives and we have kids. Trying to balance all of these things can be a struggle, but at the end of the day, your kids should come first.
6. They have addiction problems.
Addiction is a disease that affects many people. Some people don’t even realize that their bottle of wine every evening qualifies as an addiction. Or, they may have a technology addiction. Regardless of the addiction, addiction causes us to hyper fixate on one thing and if that one thing isn’t your kids, and your kids are being put on the back burner for your addiction, then it’s a problem.