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The Unconscious Way Parents Neglect Their Children

The Unconscious Way Parents Neglect Their Children

Some hardworking parents will tell you that they clock 60+ hours a week on the job for their children. They reason that by making more money, they can give their children the things that will help them to be successful. A bigger house, preferably in the right zip code, the right schools, extracurricular activities, and such, certainly provide access and the advantages that we’re told will lead to a better life. There is such good intention behind their efforts that who can blame them. I’m certainly not! But what we know from child development is that these parents often unconsciously neglect their kids in the process.

Childhood Emotional Neglect

Childhood emotional neglect is not always overt, or intentionally abusive. It comes in many forms and this post is not meant to cast aspersions on your efforts to give your child a better future. Rather, it’s to point out the need to balance your work time with the needs spending quality time with them.

The extra hours spent at work and the brain-space they devote to their work even when they’re home, leaves precious little left for family and home life. It leaves parents less time for themselves, and less time to spend with their partners and their kids. With less time for themselves and their partners, that relationship becomes strained, and lose connection. And as always happens when we’re stressed, some of the most important things in our lives get neglected. Very well-meaning hard-working parents emotionally neglect their children because they neglect themselves.

The hardworking parent is so preoccupied mentally with what’s going on at work, they miss a lot about what’s going on with their children. They will be unable to pick up on cues that a child is anxious about their studies, about getting into college and disappointing the parent.  unable to pick up on cues that they’re being bullied and when the child asks for help, or act out, it won’t register that seeking attention. Over time, the child begins to learn that their emotional needs are not important leading to a condition known as Child Emotional Neglect, or CEN for short.

CEN leads to many emotional and mental problems in adulthood including low self-esteem, substance abuse, anxiety, hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, and failure to thrive.

In an ironic turn of events, by working so hard to give children every advantage, you deny them that very thing when you don’t make time for them.

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As an advocate of conscious parenting, I want to offer three tips to prevent unintentional emotional neglect. They can fill the hearts and minds of your children with acceptance, understanding, and confidence. Conscious parenting has been shown to produce less testy teenagers and more capable, all-around successful adults.



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