Parental Indifference a Form of Child Abuse
It is astounding on many levels how parental indifference can impact a child’s life and society. My practice sees many children who have been handed the latest technology and ‘allowances of money’ only to find themselves trying to manage fear, insecurity and intense loneliness alone. I meet many parents who have no idea what is going on in their child’s life or where they are when not home.
Time after time I interview children in my hypnotherapy practice whose parents have treated them as apprenticing adults – little people expected to have the experience and knowledge of most adults – while the children became increasingly more unable to cope with the onslaught of stressors such as cyber bullies, junk foods entirely lacking nutrition, violence and sex on TV and intense loneliness and despair.
Increasingly children are expected to make their way in life without the guidance they need to remain safe and secure. Many children get to interact with their parents in a meaningful way for barely a few minutes each day, yet quality time with at least one parent for several hours per day is vitally important to a young mind struggling to understand a world he/she has no experience with.
It seems that the more parents rely on technology including TV and communication devices, such as cell phones, to educate and ‘babysit’ their children, the bond between parent and child is strained and the education about life the child receives is seriously deficient in the aspects that would be in the child’s best interest. TV commercials make children lifelong consumers of junk food and unhealthy habits and the TV ‘sex and violence’ programming is surely the biggest culprit in selling early sex, unhealthy lifestyles and aggressive behavior to children as the way to live.
We now have the highest rate of child and teen suicide in history. Children are not at fault for being unable to manage in a world that is becoming increasingly more frightening and dangerous. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that a child feels safe and secure, loved and lovable as they make their way through life. It is a parents’ obligation to be there physically and emotionally for a child…it is not enough to give them money and tell them to find something to eat.
We need to get back to letting children be children and to acting like nurturers and caring human beings toward our children to ensure they feel confident in themselves, are learning, feeling safe and secure, loved and lovable, protected and cared about. That requires parental involvement in the child’s life…parental time and physical presence, understanding, caring and love on a daily basis.
I have yet to meet a cell phone or IPod which could replace a real live caring caregiver. I have seen the devastation of a child raised by the TV set…fearful, lacking confidence, helpless, soaked in beliefs that violence is standard fair in our world and that junk food is all there is to eat.
I hear children say they feel invisible, worthless, less than nothing, not even as good as the household pet which gets the extra attention they crave. I see children crying because they are scared, lonely and feel helpless to be able to change their circumstances. They cannot articulate what they need; all they know is that they don’t have ‘it’. It seems that intense loneliness from spending so much time alone is the prevailing condition in children today.
I have yet to hear a child say they felt unhappy because they didn’t receive the latest most popular runners, the latest technology or the clothes that are in fad. But I routinely hear them complain that mom and dad never make time for them, that they aren’t important in their house because mom/dad spends more time with the pet. Many have said they wished they were a dog or cat so mom/dad would pat them too. One child said that if he were a dog, his mom would tell him she loved him too because she always told the dog she loved it, but never him.
I personally think the most loving thing any parent can do for their children is give them their time…real quality time. Not time spent watching TV together, but real time walking outdoors or playing together, for example. Get rid of the TV; limit cell phone and technology use to a half hour per day. Monitor all texting and calls to be certain your child is not trying to manage bullies and inappropriate ‘friend’ behavior. Help them with their homework, insist on sit-down meals….walk, talk, love with them!
Remember that children grow up to be adults with a vivid memory of how you made them feel! If they are not your priority and first love now, don’t expect to be theirs later.
ADHD · behavioral problems in children · Children · depression · emotional problems · harmful technology · hypnotherapy office · lonely children · parent obligations · parent responsibilities · parental indifference · parenting · sadness