Guest Author - Chinedum Ify Obikili
Even as adults, we do not like to be ignored or neglected. This is the same for kids, and even tougher on them. A child who feels neglected by either his parents family members, or people he expects to love and cherish him, would do almost anything to get their attention. Depending on the nature of neglect, he may go to extremes to either prove himself, or spite you for how you have hurt him. Again, whoever he perceives as reason for his neglect would become a victim of his resentment. There is no telling how far a hurting child would go to get back at his parents. At this stage in this child's life, he or she is susceptible to and vulnerable against negative influences. This is also the point they get hooked up with bad friends, begin to do drugs or other harmful activities. The big question is why do kids feel neglected by their parents?
1. They are actually neglected: Though it is good to have a career, take on more jobs or projects to make ends meet, but when your career or work life begin to rob you of your time with your family, you are creating room for trouble. Put in another way, when you get off to work before your kids are up, and get back after they've gone to bed, and you do this so many days in a week and in row, seriously, who is watching the kids? There is only little the maid or baby sitter can do. The responsibility of molding or shaping our children's life rest solely on us as parents. This can only be achieved if we are around most of the time.
2. You donít care for their opinion: While it is good for the kids to know who's boss around the home, it is not a smart idea to be all strict and authoritarian all the time. It is always helpful to give some explanations to your kids especially when you refuse them of something they think is harmless. Your teenage son may demand to know why he can't go to a club with his friends. 'Because I say so!' has proven over time not to be the smartest of answers. And because you have not explained to him what your concerns about the place are, his young mind would defile and rebel and challenge you on that.
3. You always say no: Again, while it is good to be firm and clear in your instructions, there should be room for healthy compromise. If your kids draw the conclusion that it is always a no with you, they'd eventually stop asking, meaning, they'd go ahead to do stuff with or without your consent. But, if you tell them why they can't have something at a particular time, you could suggest a healthy alternative. That way, they'll understand you are watching out for them, and not just being mean.
There are different kinds of neglect, but the end result is usually the same. It may be a good idea to look closely at your child's strange behavior, he/she may be asking for your attention.