Home » Archive » The Impact of Neglectful Parenting Style on a Child’s Mental Health and Wellbeing

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Neglectful parenting style is a term used to describe a parenting style where the caregivers show little or no interest in their children’s needs, emotions, or overall well-being. This style of parenting is often associated with the absence of warmth, support, and responsiveness, leaving the child feeling unloved, neglected, and disconnected from their caregivers. The negative impact of neglectful parenting on a child’s mental health and development can be significant and long-lasting. In this blog post, we will explore the characteristics of neglectful parenting, the impact of neglectful parenting on child development, and strategies for addressing and preventing neglectful parenting. 


Examples of Neglectful Parenting Style

There are many parenting styles that are considered to be neglectful. However, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), only a small percentage of families are considered to be in need of child-parent counseling. This is likely due to the fact that many parents in this population are well-intentioned and want to do the best for their children. However, when the environment in which they raise their children is problematic, it can have a negative impact on children’s mental health. 

Here are some examples of neglectful parenting: 

  • The main caregiver is not emotionally available to their child. 
  • The main caregiver has high expectations for their child but is unable to address these expectations. 
  • The parent does not respond to their child’s needs. 
  • The parent does not provide the affectionate behaviors that their child may require. 
  • The parent does not provide a secure base for their child. 
  • The parent does not provide sufficient time for activities that are important to their child’s development. 
  • The parent does not monitor and/or limit access to liquor and drugs. 
  • The parent underestimates a child’s abilities because they are not confident enough to ask for help. 


Other types of parenting include authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting, and permissive parenting. Learn more about them on Safes blog: 


Characteristics of Neglectful Parenting 

Neglectful parenting (also known as uninvolved parenting) is characterized by several distinct parenting behaviors. The main reason why these behaviors occur is because the parent has an unclear understanding of their child’s needs. As a result, the parent is not adequately meeting the child’s emotional and developmental needs. 


Poor Attachment 

The main cause of neglectful parenting is poor or absent attachment between the parent and their child. This may occur due to a variety of reasons, such as a parents’ lack of parenting knowledge, the child not understanding how important their needs are, or the child’s own issues with social interaction. Poor or absent attachment can lead to a child having a difficult time understanding and expressing their own needs and wants. As a result, the child may not seek out support when they need it the most. This can have a large impact on the child’s development. 


Poorly Supported Emotions 

Feelings are an important part of human development and communication. However, when a child does not feel their parents’ affection, they are likely to experience deprivation in those areas. This can make a child feel disconnected from others and have low self-esteem. 


Poorly Supported Needs 

When a parent does not meet a child’s wants and desires, it can have a significant impact on their mental and emotional health. 




Causes of Neglectful Parenting 

Neglectful parenting style can result from a range of factors, including parental stress, mental illness, and substance abuse. Parents who are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, or depression may struggle to provide the necessary care and attention for their children’s needs. Substance abuse can also interfere with effective parenting, as individuals may be too preoccupied with their addiction to focus on their children’s needs. 

Cultural and societal factors can also contribute to neglectful parenting. For instance, in cultures where individualism is prioritized, parents may be less likely to prioritize their children’s needs. Similarly, societal factors such as poverty, lack of access to healthcare, and inadequate housing can make it difficult for parents to provide adequate care for their children. In some cases, neglectful parenting may also be a result of institutional factors, such as a lack of support for families in the child welfare system. Ultimately, it is important to understand the complex interplay of factors that can contribute to neglectful parenting and to provide support and resources for families who may be struggling. 


Neglectful Parenting and Its Impact on Child Development 

Neglectful parenting can have significant effects on child development in various domains. Physically, neglected children may experience malnutrition, poor hygiene, and delayed physical growth. Cognitively, neglect can result in delays in language development, poor academic performance, and lower IQ scores. Emotionally, neglected children may struggle to form healthy relationships and have difficulty regulating their emotions. 

Neglect can also lead to the development of attachment styles that are insecure or disorganized. Children who experience neglect may avoid attachment figures altogether or may develop ambivalent or anxious attachment styles. These effects can persist into adulthood, making it crucial for parents to provide their children with the love, attention, and care they need to thrive. 


The Long-Term Effects of Neglectful Parenting 

Let’s now turn our attention to the long-term impact of this parenting style on the child. Neglectful or uninvolved parenting can have significant long-term effects on a child’s development. Children who grow up with neglectful parents may struggle with forming healthy relationships and may have difficulty regulating their emotions. Neglectful parenting can also contribute to the development of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. In addition, children who experienced neglectful parenting may be at increased risk for substance abuse and addiction in adulthood. These effects can persist into adulthood, making it important for parents to provide their children with the love, attention, and care they need to thrive. 


Sad girl neglected by her parents in the background


Safes: An Empowering Solution for Neglectful Parenting 

As we have seen, the negative impact of neglectful parenting on a child is substantial. What is promising is that neglectful parenting can be overcome through the influence of one person – the parent. By challenging problematic parenting behaviors, you can force yourself to be closer to your child and show them how much they are loved. A tool that can come to your aid in this matter is the Safes parental control app. 

The Safes parental control app is an effective solution for neglectful parenting as it allows parents to monitor and manage their child’s online activities, ensuring their safety and well-being. With Safes, parents can set limits on screen time, block inappropriate content, track their children’s location, and receive alerts if their kids try to access forbidden sites or apps. 

By using the app, parents can have a better understanding of their children’s online behavior and intervene if necessary, reducing the risk of online harm and promoting a healthy parent-child relationship.  

Overall, the Safes parental control app is an effective tool for parents to prevent neglectful parenting and promote positive child development. 

Safes is available for both Android and iOS devices. To learn more about how to use it, use the resources below: 



Neglectful parenting is a parenting style that leaves a child without love, affection, or support. This can have a significant impact on a child’s mental health and development. As we have seen, the impact of neglectful parenting on a child’s mental health and well-being can be significant and long-lasting. In this blog post, we explored the characteristics and causes of neglectful parenting and offered strategies for addressing and preventing it.

Sina G.

Sina G.

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