Emotional Neglect in Children

In our families, especially in Latino families, there is an almost imperceptible factor, since it is not a widely spoken concept, and it is emotional neglect during childhood, this is nothing more than the wrong way to proceed with emotional patterns from parents to children, where the young ones may begin to experience psychological and emotional damage in their present and that may leave consequences for their future.

Unlike violence and abuse, which are directed in a greater proportion to the physical part, emotional neglect attacks the emotional and psychological side of the kid, this refers to that lack of connection between the father/mother towards the needs of the child, it is oriented in many cases towards omission and for this reason, sometimes it becomes imperceptible even for the same victim already in adulthood to identify if they suffered it.

A very clear example of this concept is the differentiation of roles between the genders of the girl and the boy, and it can happen when they say to the male brother «you are the man of the house, and you have to take care of …», the child can perceive this from a young age as his responsibility, and he tends to feel the obligation to exercise greater authority, sometimes even more than the mother herself. The same happens for girls when parents guide them to the path of submission where others are always to be put first and after tending to others, she can tend to herself.

It is important to clarify that parents or adults involved in raising children do not necessarily have to have bad intentions or be classified as bad for stuff like this to happen, children do not come with a manual for parents, otherwise, there wouldn’t be schools for parents. So parents, especially if they are first-time parents, do what they can and in most cases these behaviors and teaching or parenting methods are intergenerational inheritances, breaking these patterns is not so fast or easy.

These forms of parenting bring with them many problems for the adult stage in these children, that is why we find people with problems expressing their feelings due to repression, which leads to problems in romantic relationships, they also lack maternal love, they have childish attitudes, low self-esteem, and many fears.

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome it, that is why today Dr. Carmen brings you this valuable conversation with Karen Conlon, LCSW. To serve as a guide for you to explore your childhood, if it were your case, and you know what can be done about it to face it. Join us!

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