What is an Uninvolved Parent?
Uninvolved Parenting, also known as neglectful parenting, is neither demanding nor responsive.
Not Demanding: Parents have little to no expectations for their children’s behavior.
Not Responsive: Parents are neglectful of their children’s needs.
Some examples of uninvolved parenting include:
- “You’re on your own” mindset
- Parents expect children to raise themselves
- Bare minimum given for basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing
- Little or no emotional involvement and affection
- Parents ignore or even outright reject children
- Little or no parental supervision
- Parents don’t attend school events or activities
- Parents too overwhelmed by their own problems to deal with their children
Why Uninvolved Parenting Happens
This type of parenting is not always intentional. Those who display an uninvolved parenting style were often raised themselves by detached and indifferent parents. Oftentimes, parents are so overwhelmed with their own problems like being overworked, managing a household, or paying bills, that they have little to no time for their children. In other cases, a parent may struggle with mental health issues, poverty, and/or substance abuse problems.
Effects of Uninvolved Parenting on Children
Children raised by uninvolved parents tend to have a number of outcomes including:
- Difficulty forming attachments later in life
- Poor academic performance
- Frequent behavior problems
- Emotionally withdrawn
- Learn to provide for themselves
- Poor self-esteem
- Increased risk of substance abuse
How to Avoid Being an Uninvolved Parent
We can all agree that an uninvolved parenting style is not ideal, yet it is not always intentional. So how can we avoid neglectful parenting and the negative outcomes associated with it?
- First, acknowledge it if you use this parenting style (many uninvolved parents don’t see an issue with their behavior)
- Seek counseling or substance abuse/addiction support if necessary
- Get involved with your kids: spend time with them (start slow if necessary)
- Read parenting books or look into resources that help teach appropriate discipline and structure
- Develop communication with your children
While we all want what is best for our children, we often may not see the negative effects our parenting style may have. Being involved and providing support, and love in our children’s lives will help them to be confident, healthy and resilient.