OK, today we are continuing our discussion of parenting styles. Today we will discuss the uninvolved parenting style. This style is unfortunately becoming more prevalent as a result of our changing world, e.g., over-scheduled, overworked parents, the impact of technology, etc. In the extreme, this parenting style can border on neglect.
So what are the characteristics of the uninvolved parenting style? Here are just a few:
- The parent feels that he has no right to limit a child's behavior
- They are low in their responsiveness or demandingness (remember, these are the two primary traits that determine one's parenting style).
- They show little commitment to providing care for their child.
- They can sometimes be rejecting.
- Parents who resort to this style are often emotionally detached, depressed and/or overwhelmed sometimes because of their own problems or life stressors.
- They provide the bare essentials.
It is no surprise, but children and adolescents whose parents are uninvolved perform most poorly in all domains. Here are just a few likely outcomes:
- Deficits in attachment
- Deficits in cognition
- Deficits in social and emotional skills
- Probable aggressive and/or acting out behavior.
- Increased incidence of involvement in use of drugs.
I'm afraid most of us know someone who fits the criteria for this parenting style. In my many years of social work, I have met far too many to count. This is not to say that parents who revert to this interaction pattern are horrible parents. My experience has been two-fold: 1) either they don't see that they are uninvolved (e.g., working two jobs to pay the bills, etc.); or 2) they have other issues that are interfering with their ability to provide for their child emotionally (e.g., depression, substance abuse, etc.). Providing support and encouragement without judgment is the most likely approach to encourage change. If you or someone you know is struggling with this and want support or more information, please feel free to drop me a line.
OK, time to wrap this one up. Tomorrow, we will conclude the discussion on parenting style by discussing the authoritative style. Until then, have a great day!