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Parents Get Blamed for a Lot

Babies don’t come with manuel. Not only that, not all babies are the same. Whether you call it their soul, their inner self, their identity, those babies arrive on earth with an attitude. Good, bad or indifferent they are all different. How is a parent to know the things this infant comes with? It’s clear they are not a blank slate. 

Recently I have been exposed to many discussions and presentations on Childhood Emotional Neglect. I don’t like blaming parents for not knowing everything about the child that arrived in their home. They arrive the way they were created. Now we seem to think that we have to “fix” people if their parents didn’t notice or respond enough, or in the right way to their emotions growing up. I would have no problem with that theory if every child was the same and needed the same amount and kind of response.

I am not buying the whole Childhood Emotional Neglect theory. Do I believe that some children are emotionally neglected, sure. Often times there people, other than parents, who help fill in those gaps. It feels to me like if we can just blame it on the parents, we don’t have to talk about personal responsibility. 

Here are the 10 Characteristics of victims of Emotional Childhood Neglect

“*Poor compassion for self

*Lack of self knowledge

*Struggles with self discipline

*Feelings of emptiness

*Struggles with self care

*Counter dependence

*Difficulties identifying, naming and understanding the emotions of others

*A sense of being flawed or different

*Tendency towards shame and guilt

*Anger directed at self and self blame”

When I look at this list I don’t see emotional neglect. I see a child that is learning how to grow up, self esteem, struggling to decide who they are and what they want to be. I can’t think of one teenager that could not be described with all these things at one time or another. Those are your growing pains and discovering who you are and who you want to become.

My mom loved me with all her heart and she criticized me often. (Sometimes it felt constant.) I assume she felt that I needed to be taught that way.  My sister, on the other hand was rarely criticized. We were both comfortable with our relationships as they were with our parents, not perfect but comfortable.

When I finally felt that this whole Emotional Childhood Neglect was terribly flawed was when my Mom was dying and dealing with dementia. We were sitting at her kitchen table and quite frankly chatting like she wasn’t really listening. My sister was frustrated. She knew that Mom recognized her as her daughter, but she rarely called her by name. My sister was certain she had forgotten her name and simply remembered mine. As it turned out she was kind of correct. (I am going to change the names to protect the guilty.)

She announced with a loud and clear voice that we hadn’t heard in over a year. “Of course I remember Theresa’s name better. She was in constant trouble. I had to yell at her all the time and Suzanne, you were practically perfect. Suzanne you should feel honored that it takes me a minute or an hour to think.” And then Mom simply faded off into her dementia again. We laughed until we cried. 

I am curious so please answer the poll!

  • Do you have siblings?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you often feel a sense of being flawed or different?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you often feel like you lack of self knowledge?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you often struggles with self care?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you have a tendency to towards shame and guilt

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do have a tendency towards shame and guilt?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you have difficulties identifying, naming and understanding the emotions of others?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you ever or often feel empty?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you give total blame or credit to your parents for being the person you are today?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

17 points
Legend

Written by Ghostwriter

 

 

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6 Comments

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  1. Every household is different and every child develops differently. I came from a household full of love, then my dad died and I was only ten and mom and I struggled along and I was a rather difficult teen but in the end, we came out all right so it really depends on each individual situation

  2. Personally I think every situation is different. There are children who come from a home without bonding with anyone. The result can be emotional neglect. But not always. Many different scenarios, many heartbreaking. But nobody should be put in a box, too many issues with each case.

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