No one wants to admit that they don’t love their child- but sadly, some parents don’t. Regardless of whether they mean to be cold and heartless to their child, the damage is all the same.
You can simply look at a child and tell whether they are loved or not, in most cases. The scars of cold parenting are often written in their eyes. And while no reason should ever excuse a lack of love for a child, there are reasons behind this disturbing lack of affection.
In some cases, people have children unexpectedly, and in others, they have them with people they don’t love. They might not be ready for the task of parenting, or they might have emotional traumas of their own that never worked through. When a parent has no room in their heart or soul for a child they bring into the world- they will likely not be up for the task of embracing and caring for them the way they should. They may push their child away, or stay busy constantly and avoid being a parent.
Children don’t understand why, no matter what the reason. They see other children showered in love, and wonder, “Why me?” In many cases, the child may wonder what is wrong with them for their parent to simply brush them to the side. The world is a scary place, especially for children who need comfort and security. Children need reassurance, and unloving parents just don’t provide that.
Even worse, is when the parent won’t face the fact that they don’t treat their child with love. They may try to excuse the neglect or deny it altogether.
In some cases, they might even say it’s better to not ‘spoil’ their child with love. Their lack of love isn’t to harm the child, they might say. It’s to make them tough. But neglectful parenting doesn’t create strong children. Instead, it can leave them unable to handle their own emotions and all other relationships moving forward. They might even end up becoming aggressive because they are angry that they never received love as a child.
This can be a vicious cycle in some cases because hurt people often hurt people. Other unloving parents may blame the child. “They are just too much.” or they might say they are “out of control, I don’t know what to do with them!”
But the fact of the matter is- the child is likely trying to get attention. And children who want affection, attention, and love will seek it through whatever means possible. Their little minds just can’t compute why their parent doesn’t love them.
Children will likely display the following scars when they feel unloved:
1. A lack of trust.
They may have a hard time trusting people because their foundation of trust (their parents) failed them. In turn, they are hesitant to let others in.
2. Fears and phobias.
Children who have never been properly loved or made to feel secure will likely feel insecure or afraid of many things. They might develop a fear of the dark, of animals, and certain situations. Because they have never been taught to control their emotions and cope with them- anything and everything is scary to them.
3. Anger and resentment.
Unloved children may become angry and resentful. They might act out in rage, or resent other children for being loved.
Unloved children become anxious because they want to please others. They crave love more than anything and they may become perfectionists in an attempt to make other people happy, in hopes they will love them. And because they have never been shown love, they will expect the worst, making them even more anxious.
Children who come from unloving parents may be impulsive and have a hard time controlling their emotions. In turn, they will often act without thinking things through, because they weren’t taught how.
6. They have a hard time concentrating.
A child who comes from an unloving parent may have difficulty in school and find it hard to concentrate.
7. They socially isolate.
Without proper affection and love, children don’t develop good social skills. In turn, they may try to remain isolated, or hide away from people.
8. They are unstable.
A child who comes from an unloving home may move from one interest to the next, constantly trying to seek something to fulfill them. They will likely have a hard time in many areas of their life because of this.
Human beings, especially developing human beings, NEED love and affection. We crave to be held, to be embraced, and to be loved. Without this love, our entire psyche shifts to a dark place. The effects of this will last throughout the lives of those who have not been loved.
Without love being present in the life of a child, it is likely they will never know how to truly love anyone else.
Love is not a bonus- it’s an essential part of our growth and development, much like food or water. While no parent is expected to be perfect, they should at the very least love their child!