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What is Uninvolved Parenting?

By Emma Davies


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Uninvolved parenting definition – You might not be very familiar with the term ‘uninvolved parenting’ as it is more often called ‘neglectful parenting’ but this does help us understand the term better. Uninvolved parenting, simply put, is where a child’s needs are not met. Depending on how serious the case is, this could mean essentials such as food and clothing are not provided and in other cases, only these bare essentials are provided.

What is Uninvolved Parenting?

Becoming a parent is one of the hardest jobs a person has and everyone gets those days where things are a bit too much but this doesn’t mean your children should suffer. Becoming a neglectful parent is something that can be easily avoided and will help both you and your children in the future.

Examples of Uninvolved Parents

There are many things that are considered uninvolved parenting that you might not even consider but culture also plays a big role in this. Parenting is looked at very differently in different cultures but there are certain things that are always looked down on no matter

  • Spending no quality time with your child – We all know that life can be busy and sometimes you don’t have time to sit down and play a game or watch a movie with your little one. Now this is certainly not negligent parenting but when you are just laying in bed doing something on your phone every spare minute you get instead of making an effort to do something small with your child, then this can lead to an uninvolved style of parenting.
  • Ignoring your child’s effort to interact with you – People tend to forget how much children love playing with the people they love and therefore will make a lot of effort to do this. So imagine how heartbreaking it is for them when their parents have no interest in their favorite games or books. This is why ignoring any effort they make to interact with you can be a form of uninvolved parenting.
  • Having no interest in your child’s education – Another example of being a neglectful parent is not helping your child with their education. Education systems are obviously different across the world but the parents almost always play a role in their child’s education. This means helping them with homework, reading books where you can, and playing educational games. If a lack of interest progresses then this could lead to neglectful parenting style.
  • No consequences for actions – This might take you by surprise but if your children have no consequences then this could be a form of indifferent parenting. Children need structure in order to grow which means they need your help to know that their actions don’t go unnoticed and will have consequences that affect them and others.

These are some of the main uninvolved parenting examples that can really impact your child’s life but there are also many other things that are considered uninvolved parenting. These things can seem quite small on their own or if they happen very rarely but when children are undoing this treatment regularly then it can have a serious effect on them later in life.

Uninvolved Parenting Styles

Parenting is one thing that everyone does differently and is one of the reasons we come across so many different types of people in life. This does not mean that people with a different parenting style to you are uninvolved parents so let’s take a closer look at what parenting styles could be an indication of uninvolved parenting.

  • Ignoring your child
  • Prioritizing your own needs
  • Bad work and life balance
  • Being emotionally distant
  • Limited supervision
  • Limited affection
  • Does not attend school events
  • No interest or respect for your child’s interests

Effects of Uninvolved Parenting

Being a parent can be super overwhelming and you might be overthinking every little thing after reading this list of what makes a parent uninvolved. But, that isn’t always the case. There are going to be some tricky spots during parenting when you feel like you’ve really messed up so try not to let these moments take away from how good you’re doing.

This however does not apply to everyone and some parents are truly uninvolved in their children’s lives. If you’re reading this and think you might be falling into a neglectful or uninvolved parenting style then it sometimes helps to simply know how this can affect your child. Let’s take a look.

  • Replacement role models – Uninvolved parenting has a heavy emphasis on parents not giving their children the attention they need. This will lead to your child believing they are not worth your time and seeking other role models to replace you. This can be bad for many reasons. No one wants to watch someone else raise their child but your child could also be confiding in the wrong person. The adults your child is now choosing to confide in might not want what’s best for them which is putting them in further danger.
  • Poor academic performance – We touched on the fact that uninvolved parents tend to have little to no interest in their child’s education but this parenting style can affect their education more than that. Your child probably isn’t receiving any help from home but they also aren’t being given any goals to reach or encouragement to reach them. They’re also dealing with having to basically raise themselves which takes a massive toll on their mental health and their ability to perform well.
  • Substance use – Your child might not be able to control what you do or the little interest you have in their life but they can control how they chose to deal with the stress. This unfortunately for many children means turning to substance use and abuse at a very young age. This can have long lasting mental and physical health problems for your child.
  • Low self esteem – Children take every little interaction to heart and will hold on to these things far longer than you will remember them. This is why uninvolved parenting can lead to lower self esteem in children as they believe they aren’t good enough for their parents. This will make forming any type of relationship extremely difficult for them.

These are things you might never link together but the way you parent will have lifelong effects on your child. These wounds will take time and effort to heal so why not try and save your child all that work now?

How to be a Better Parent

Some of these things might have taken you by surprise but you now know the extreme effects parenting can have on children. You might now be asking yourself ‘how do I make this better?’ Well that’s exactly what we’re here to answer.

You don’t have to be the reason your child suffers so let’s fix this before it takes over. It can be so simple to avoid uninvolved parenting so let’s take a look at some of the things you can do now.

  • Set clear rules and boundaries
  • Take interest in your child’s interests
  • Help with schooling where you can
  • Make time to spend with your children
  • Ensure all their needs are being met
  • Prioritize your child
  • Show consistent affection, this shouldn’t be conditional
  • Listen to what your child is telling you

Am I an Uninvolved Parent?

If you were asking yourself ‘is my parental behavior considered uninvolved?’ before you started reading this, then we hope you’ve found your answer. Now there’s definitely no rule book or magic formula to parenting and we’re all going to mess up at some point but it is our responsibility from the moment we choose to bring a little one into the world to own up to these mistakes.

Your child does not determine the way you parent and they should not have to deal with the effects of you getting it wrong.

If you’re here and willing to learn and change then there is so much you can do to make yours and your children’s lives better. If you don’t have time to sit down with your child every day then this does not make you an uninvolved parent but don’t let this become your child’s expectation of you.

About Emma Davies

Emma Davies is a freelance writer that specializes parenting and animal topics. With over 20 years experience as a parent there are very few topics that faze her.

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