Neglect can take many forms, physical, emotional, educational, medical, and nutritional. But emotional neglect can be amongst the most well-hidden and most damaging. When a child is neglected in this way, it can have devastating consequences that can last a lifetime. Emotional neglect is one of the most common and least recognised forms of negligence. It occurs when parents or caregivers fail to provide children with the emotional support they need to thrive. This can include not responding to a child’s cries for help, not providing enough love and affection, or not setting limits and providing discipline.
What leads to emotional neglect in children?
Emotional neglect can refer to a lack of emotional care and support from parents or guardians. This can leave children feeling unsupported and alone, leading to various adverse outcomes. Emotional neglect is often the result of parents struggling with their problems and being unable to give their children the attention they need. It can also be caused by emotionally unavailable parents or being uninterested in their children.
Parents can be physically present but emotionally absent, leaving children feeling unloved and alone. This can lead to a variety of adverse outcomes in adulthood.
What are the consequences of emotional neglect?
Emotional neglect can be just as damaging as physical abuse but can also be often overlooked. For example, emotional neglect can include not giving a child enough attention or not showing them appropriate love or affection. It can also include ignoring a child’s needs or refusing to talk to them. Emotional neglect can have devastating consequences for a child, including social, educational, emotional, and behavioural problems.
The negative consequences of long-term emotional neglect can include:
- Low self-esteem.
- Problems with trust and intimacy.
- Poor social skills.
- Challenges surrounding regulating emotions and the inability to form healthy relationships.
What can be done to help children who have experienced emotional neglect?
When it comes to emotional neglect, many things can be done to help the child. One of the most important things is to create a safe and stable environment for them. This means they need to feel safe and secure in their home, with their family, caregivers or people around them. It is also crucial for the child’s caregivers to be emotionally supportive. This means being there for them when they need you, listening to them, and helping them work through their feelings. It is also essential to provide the child with age-appropriate activities and opportunities to build relationships with other children. Lastly, it is crucial to seek professional help if needed.
What if I am an adult who has experienced emotional neglect as a child?
Emotional neglect can have a significant and long-lasting impact on a person’s life. It is not uncommon for people who have faced neglect of this kind with struggling with a range of emotional and mental health challenges:
- Challenges regulating emotions
- Relationship Challenges
- Low Self Confidence
Suppose you or someone you know has experienced emotional neglect. In that case, organisations such as Hope Therapy & Counselling Services can help.
How can Hope Therapy & Counselling Services help if you have suffered emotional neglect as a child?
Hope Therapy & Counselling Services have a team of experienced and fully qualified counsellors with significant experience working with neglect and childhood trauma. Such negligence can have wide-ranging impacts in later life, which we are experienced in supporting.
If you or a loved one is struggling, get in touch to learn more about what we can do to support you.