Strange IndiaStrange India

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Parenting is hard, especially when life gets complicated and overwhelming. It can be all too easy to let things fall through the cracks when you’re dealing with family emergencies, juggling family and a demanding job, or trying to balance the needs of everyone in the family. Sometimes, despite a parent’s best efforts and intentions, this can lead to a child feeling ignored. 

“Feeling seen and heard is crucial for mental health,” says Mary Murphy, a child psychologist at Stanford University, and the author of the book Cultures of Growth. “When kids don’t feel seen or heard, they experience more anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.”

Signs a child feels ignored 

Children can end up feeling ignored by their parents for a number of reasons. Some of the major reasons, according to Murphy, can include a lack of attention from their parents; having a sibling that is either high-needs or high-achieving, to the point that there is a skewed balance of time and attention spent on different children; or if there is a lot of conflict within the family, which can often divert time and energy away from a child.  

If a child is starting to feel like their parents are ignoring them, they will often exhibit a number of early warning signs, such as asking a lot of questions, making a lot of demands to spend time with their parent; or asking to do specific activities together. “These are signals or cues that kids want to engage more with their parents,” Murphy says.  

These are some of the early signs that a child is feeling ignored. If this continues for a while, then children will often progress to showing either anger, resentment or apathy at school or at home. Whether it’s throwing a tantrum or tuning out, these behaviors can be a warning sign that they’ve been feeling ignored for a while.  

Some of the common mistakes parents make 

As Murphy notes, there are a number of ways that a child can end up feeling ignored, whether it’s due to tensions between family members, having a sibling who is being treated differently by their parents, or from a general lack of attention. Generally speaking, some of the major mistakes that Murphy sees are parents ignoring some of the early warning signs, waiting only until their child starts acting out, or failing to recognize the impact that treating their children differently can have. 

“By stereotyping kids and their personalities and abilities—this kid is great at math, that kid is more of an artist—it puts kids in boxes and can make kids feel ignored or unheard,” Murphy says. This can also have the effect of making children hesitant to try new activities or to take risks. 

How to help your children feel seen and heard 

As Murphy notes, there are a number of ways in which parents can help their children feel seen and heard. One important strategy is to make time for regular check-ins with each child and to make it a priority to spend regular quality time with them.  

Another key strategy is to foster an environment where they feel comfortable asking questions, trying out new things, and being given the space to fail, as this will help them feel accepted for who they are. “Make sure they know they can change their minds, and that you’ll check in here and there to ensure they are having a good time while learning and growing,” Murphy says.  

It can also help to encourage their interests, and to make an active effort to keep up to date on what these interests are, as that has the effect of letting them know that their parents understand and accept them. “Seeing them as unique individuals outside the positive or negative perceptions and stereotypes that are often applied to them helps kids feel validated and whole,” Murphy says.

Source link


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *