Every boy and girl needs parents to grow well. Maybe she’s raised in a family with one mother and one father, or they have two fathers or two mothers. It may also happen that you only have one parent to take care of you. The important thing is the love and care that your benchmark adults give them.
Now, regardless of the type of family, the fact that a parent leaves the family or does not care for their own children is something that will have a very negative impact on children’s mental health.
Then we will see the consequences of paternal abandonment, understood by both the father and the mother, And what that can mean when the child reaches adulthood.
Main consequences of paternal abandonment
All children need the protection of their parents to develop fully. While it is traditional to have a father and a mother, science has been able to show that being the son of a gay couple or being the son of a single mother or father does not harm mental health. children. The myth that a male model, represented in the father, and a female model, represented in the mother, as protective factors against psychopathology is increasingly being overcome.
However, what affects the mental health of the child is being born into a family with two parents, of any gender, and one of them, in the midst of growing up. the child leaves the family nucleus. It can also happen that the father or the mother does not pay attention to their children, and that, although they are still in the family, their presence is rather virtual. It may happen that the father or mother is too tired or tired from work, has no interest in devoting themselves to their children and leaves the work to the other parent.
This lack of interest in the child, either because he is no longer part of the family, or because he is too absorbed in other tasks, is a paternal abandonment. We should not think that by the word paternal we mean only “of the father”, but of any parent. As figures of protection and affection, if the parents do not take into account the child whom they trust to be able to be taken care of by them, they cause very serious psychological damage, Which can condition your growth and your adult life.
The family environment and its stability play a key role in the emotional development of the child and facilitate his mental maturation. In the first years of life, the child needs routine in terms of parenthood. If he was born into a family with two parents, it will be very disturbing for the child to see how one of them moves away, sharply or slowly. The effects of the first contacts with the father or the mother are very strong in the mind of the child, so the disappearance of one of these figures can be really harmful.
Understanding all this, we can understand what are the main consequences of parental abandonment in childhood.
1. Not to feel loved
It is very common in children who have experienced parental abandonment to not feel loved. If the abandonment is because the father or mother is hardly ever at home, the child may interpret it as no because he is not interested in spending time with his child. It makes them feel that they are not enough for their own parents and that they are not worth it.
Another situation that can occur is that the parent has left the family as a result of a divorce process. If the child does not understand the situation well or has not been informed of what happened, adapted to his level, he can interpret it as if his father or his mother had left because he did not want to no longer see it.
It may happen that in the event of separation or divorce, the parent remaining in custody has a new partner. Also depending on the relationship that this new person has with the child, it can serve as a protective factor, since this new parent can very advantageously replace the figure of the deceased father. Likewise, leaving a parent is a very difficult gap to fill.
2. Excessive dependence
In families with two parents, when one of them leaves the family nucleus, it is the parent who remains solely responsible for the care of the child. The child, to see that he only has this mother or father left, he is excessively tied to him or her, developing a relationship of overdependence.
It is normal to expect that during the first weeks after the separation of the parents, the child will take refuge in the figure of the father left behind. The problem is when, after a while, she does not detach herself from him, and dares not discover the world beyond the protection that her father or mother gives her.
It will affect your social development, as you will not be interacting as much with your classmates or neighbors. She will be afraid that if she separates for a moment from her father or mother, she will do the same as the other parent. Therefore, the child will miss such enriching experiences during childhood how to play with other children, go camping, hike, have extracurriculars …
3. Fear of developing a deep tilt
It may happen that after abandonment, the child is afraid to establish a deep relationship, especially with the new partner of the father who is now in charge of him. This is due to the fact that he fears that the same will happen to him only what happened to the father who abandoned them: If you adjust a steep slope with it and it also goes away, the child will be badly damaged.
4. School instability
While this does not always have to happen, it has been found that children who have experienced their parents’ abandonment, whether the father left the family or simply did not respect them, have worse academic performance.
It often happens that the parent who spends time with them is too overwhelmed to help him with his homework or any school problem he may have., While the other is just not aware of what is happening to him at school.
5. Aggressive behavior
Parental abandonment can cause the boy or the girl to behave in a very hostile way. Maybe it’s because he’s angry with what he’s had to live with, frustrated with his dad leaving, or because he’s on the defensive thinking his other dad is going to do the same to him sooner rather than later. or later. too much you can pay for it with your parents new partner, seeing him as a substitute and thinking that is the reason why you are not coming back.
But the most common cause of this aggressive behavior is that he thinks the blame is his. He feels very angry with himself because he thinks he has done something wrong, which precipitated his father’s abandonment. Since he doesn’t have the linguistic ability to explain or ask his other father what really happened, the situation overwhelms him and he ends up paying with anyone or in the form of blame.
Consequences in adulthood
Although in the first years after the parent leaves the consequences are many, in adulthood the consequences can be worse if you did not receive psychological therapy or if you did not understand why your father or your mother gave up.
1. Emotional intelligence issues
They have trouble identifying their own emotions and those of others. They are easily stressed and do not know how to explain what they are feeling. They have a hard time understanding how other people are feeling, and their emotional self-regulation is scarce or completely non-existent.
2. Little psychological flexibility
They bring bad changes, like changing jobs, housing, cities … They are behaviorally inflexible, seeing changes in their routine as something truly unattainable. It causes them a lot of suffering and anxiety.
3. Increased risk of drug addiction
Although this does not always have to be the case, we have seen that people who have experienced strong parental abandonment take refuge in addictive behaviors. Whether through the ingestion of drugs such as alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs, or through obsessive behaviors such as sex addiction, pornography or video games, all of these types of psychological problems are common in people who experience this type of abandonment.
4. Passivity in relationships
Lest their friends, family or significant others abandon them as well, people who experience parental abandonment in their childhood can become too complacent, to the point of being pathological. They can even really allow toxic behaviorThey have hurt them, but for fear of reliving the departure of someone they love, they even tolerate abuse and disrespect.
5. Higher psychopathological risk
Parental abandonment in childhood, for not having intervened correctly, it can be a risk factor for a child’s mental health once they become an adult. Mood disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders or even personality disorders are psychopathological conditions that can occur in this type of population.
It is for this reason that it is so important on the part of the father who has custody of the child or spends a lot of time with him, to ensure that he receives the appropriate psychological care. Thus, thanks to the therapy, the child will learn strategies to know how to manage everything he experiences and to avoid having consequences even more serious than those he could suffer in the short term.
It is clear that parental abandonment in childhood has serious consequences for the health of the child if he does not know how to handle the situation well. Although every family is different and may have effective strategies in place to prevent the child from suffering the consequences of divorce, divorce or lack of interest from the father, it is very important to undergo psychological therapy to ensure that the consequences are not explained throughout this article.
Likewise, it must be understood that for a father or mother to be absent, not all of the problems that we have explained do not necessarily have to occur. Science has shown that two parents should not be able to develop fully, even if what one disappears when the child grows up can hurt him. It is also important to understand that abandonment can occur without the father or mother leaving the family unit, so it is essential that, if we are still on time, we spend more time with our children.
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