Do you have a toddler who is constantly tugging at your trouser throughout the day? Does your child display attention-seeking behavior just so that his/her parents give him/her uninterrupted attention? Do you hear the words ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’ every two minutes?
Sounds frustrating right? You wonder, why can’t my child even give me two minutes to myself?
While these thoughts start clouding your mind, take a minute to evaluate your own behavior and attitude towards your child. Why has he/she become so needy? Did you stop giving him/her attention since you were busy preparing for an important meeting? Or were you simply too busy to give your child uninterrupted attention that he/she longs for?
Many of us parents are guilty of ignoring our children at some point in our lives.
Maybe we just kind of get tired from ‘mommy-ing’ and ‘daddy-ing’ throughout the day and need some alone time to unwind. There is nothing wrong with wanting some alone time as long as you are fully attentive to your child throughout the day without ignoring him/her. We might be ignoring our child in the simplest of ways such as engaging him/her in a TV show or a mobile phone while we get on about our tasks.
This might not feel like a big deal in the beginning as the child seems happy and you are also getting things done and relaxing. However, continued behavior of not spending time with your child will affect his/her mental and emotional development.
HOW DOES OUR BEHAVIOUR AFFECT THEM?
Children are too young to process different emotions. They are starting to communicate with you but can’t fully explain what they feel. They are getting a hang of the influx of different emotions churning inside them.
If a child is neglected in his/her childhood, the effects of this trauma will take a very long time to heal. Being emotionally neglected takes an emotional toll on the child and he starts to develop feelings of being unwanted and suffers from loneliness. Parents sometimes knowingly and unknowingly neglect the needs of their children leading to questions about their value and self-worth.
Neglecting a child leads to problems in his/her mental development. The environment that the child is in directly affects the developing brain. Bruce Perry has done extensive research in this field.
According to his research, the brain of a child is extremely sensitive. Any traumatic or painful experience can change the actual framework of a child’s brain.
He also states that childhood neglect and abuse in children leads to post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma in adulthood. Not having any emotional attachment in their childhood, leads to having trouble in maintaining relationships as there is always a lack of trust.
Children are born curious. They have this inbuilt curiosity to explore everything around them. When they have questions about the world, who do they turn to? Of course their parents, but if they are snubbed or shouted at whenever they have a question, it is natural for them to go into a shell. As a result, they would rather be lonely instead of being ridiculed or shunned whenever they have a question. This makes the child very lonely.
Parenting comes with a huge responsibility. You are not just bringing an innocent life into this world; you are also responsible for molding his/her personality. You and only you can ensure that your child grows up to be an emotionally strong and mentally healthy individual.