The intention of every parent is to give their child the best they can. Most of us are grateful for our parent’s love because it remains one of a kind. They may have provided you with a good education and a comfortable lifestyle but forgotten one thing; to cultivate a lasting emotional connection. Emotional neglect is overlooked in psychology since it is a silent phenomenon.
Most of us don’t recognize it until we are all old enough to start relating with others. Unlike physical neglect where you can see bruises on a child’s body, the signs of emotional neglect are invisible at a tender age. We will discuss how you can identify symptoms of this condition, parenting styles that cause it, as well as how to cope with childhood emotional neglect.
What are the symptoms of emotional neglect?
As you grow up, you may start realizing that you tend to numb your feelings. People who grow up with a less emotional connection with parents develop low self- esteem. You are likely to get discouraged easily or take rejection negatively. Some people grow up feeling that there is always something missing even if they don’t know what it may be.
What parenting styles can cause such symptoms?
Being an authoritative parent
Parents that raise their children in strict rules without paying attention to their needs cause emotional neglect. In as much as authority is essential in raising a child, not giving them an ear can make such children rebellious.
Permissiveness in raising children
We all work hard so that our children may never lack anything from us. This is different from being too permissive to let your child realize that life is not that easy. When you spoil a child so much, they don’t cultivate a culture of coming up with individual limits and boundaries when they grow up.
Paying too much attention to yourself disregarding emotional needs of your child may affect them in future. Such a child does not feel the right to deserve some needs.
This kinds of parents do not expect anything less than perfect grades in a class. The child grows up feeling that they have to be the best. They may develop anxiety from setting too high expectations that may be challenging to achieve. Any failure can affect the esteem of such a child.
Work sometimes make parents not find time to bond with their children emotionally. If you are the first born in such a home, you may grow up always worried since you spend most of your childhood taking care of the young ones in the absence of your parents.
How do you deal with childhood emotional neglect?
Learn about it
For you to identify emotional neglect, you must learn more about the condition. Identify if the emptiness inside might be because of lacking an emotional bond from childhood. Look for signs such as overeating caused by not understanding your emotions. How do you relate to others? Do you often feel that they don’t understand you? Do you detach yourself from others and prefer substance abuse?
Reflect on how you grew up
Studies show that emotionally neglectful parents may have grown up the same way making it difficult to change when you came along. Think about if your parents became disappointed when you got a B instead of an A in exams. They could have been the kind that expresses their feelings in front of you. Reflecting can help identify the cause of lacking an emotional relationship with others.
Take charge of your personality
A child who does not have emotional support from home can disregard their own emotions. It makes you grow up suppressing your feelings or not knowing how important they may be. Stop ignoring your personality and appreciate your needs as you work hard to fulfill them. Set goals to work on your desires and come up with personal values that you believe in.
Raise your self-esteem
The reason why many people develop insecurities as adults is due to childhood emotional neglect. If your parent made you feel like you were not good enough, don’t let this follow you into adulthood. Appreciate yourself more and treat yourself believing that you deserve the best. Avoid feeling pressured to put other people’s needs first before your own.
Work on your emotions
Most people affected by emotional neglect use drugs to seek comfort when they are not getting it from home. Avoid drowning your anxiety or worry by abusing drugs. Seek help from VA recovery village to fight drug tolerance and find better ways to work on your emotions. You could explore your feelings by writing them down in a journal. Avoid self-judgment or criticism as you write down how you feel.
Talk to friends
If you feel empty due to emotional neglect, a friend can help you cultivate healthy emotions. Through relating to them, you learn how to have a healthy friendship as they help you deal with issues.
Establish healthy boundaries
Coming up with standards will prevent you from feeling guilty if your actions do not suit people’s expectations. For instance, you will not feel the need to please another person at your expense or act needy around them.
Psychotherapy is an effective treatment to cope with childhood emotional neglect. Therapy will help you develop positive thought patterns and teach you how to cope emotionally. Couples therapy can also save you from co-dependence behaviors with a partner. It can teach you how to build a healthy attachment to your husband so that you can have a healthy bond. Insecurities and emotional distance can be overcome through therapy as a couple.
We cannot blame our parents for emotionally neglecting us because sometimes, they may not even be aware that they are doing this. We can, however, choose to be better parents by implementing the coping mechanisms above to fight childhood emotional neglect. Don’t hesitate on taking parenting classes to learn how to connect with your child emotionally. Attention and emotional bonding are better than all the riches in the world.