Dysfunctions Of The Absent Parent 3

Today the phenomena of working couples is exposing

more and more kids to the reverse empty nest syndrome. While parents try their best to make all necessary arrangements for the child to be comfortable, nothing can beat the warmth, touch and understanding of the biological parents particularly the mother, in the first few years of life when the infant still perceives itself to be an extension of  her.

In some cases, particularly those that are highly sensitive

or creative, the child can end up feeling rudderless and out of control. It may even interpret mommy’s absence for long hours as abandonment.

Every child develops its default operating software

in these early years and they continue to be driven by it even into adulthood. These experiences determine whether the child develops a sense of belonging or not, whether it feels safe to be in this world, whether it expects its needs to be met, whether it will grow up with a scarcity or abundance attitude. These and many other beliefs, attitudes and imprints are derived from the experiences in those early years.

If the child is left in the care of a maid or nanny

who knows little about child psychology, nurturing and stimulating the child’s fast developing neural networks in the brain or even how impressionable children are, the child may not receive sufficient mental and emotional stimulation. Enough cases have been reported where the helper either gives in to all the child’s tantrums, or at the other extreme, neglects him for the sake of her own comfort and rest. It is important to note that infants and young kids learn mostly through imitation and absorb everything they observe in their environment learning both desirable and undesirable traits from the primary caretaker.

While it is definitely safer to leave the child

in the care of a nurturing grandparent, it can sometimes be very difficult for a grandparent to strike the right balance between indulgence and discipline. Nor do they have the active energy to keep up with the child’s learning curve and curiosity. In both cases the caretaker, no matter how good, can at best be an inadequate second to what a mother can offer the child in terms of physical bonding and mental stimulation, so critical for his growth and learning.

It is also observed that sometimes absent parents try

to compensate their guilt of absence by indulging the child with toys and gifts. This only makes matters worse as it  inculcates a sense of negative power and consumerism in the child. He learns to manipulate, fails to embrace responsibility as he grows and easily blames other people for his or her lapses.

Some children may become rebels becoming destructive

in order to find expression and attention through negative ways. They get into trouble regularly at school, rage starts ruling their lives and they fly of the handle easily. They are easily triggered and become emotionally unstable. They carry deep impressions of abandonment and rejection.

Others may develop a distrust in the universe,

believing they alone must fend for themselves. These kids are likely to grow up to be perfectionists rarely asking for support, fear making mistakes and become overly controlling.

You alone can help you child develop a well anchored

and sturdy emotional software. Give him all the love, attention, time, energy and active stimulation, particularly in the first four years of his life.


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