The absence of parents has effects on the socio-psycho-emotional development of children. This is why the bond of attachment is so important.
Perhaps many people remember their childhood with a mixture of nostalgia and affection. Bike rides with mom back from school, movie nights with dad, napping with both parents. In this note we are going to explore those situations of parental absence, their effects and how to deal with this fact.
These are cases in which childhood is the desire for those memories that did not exist. This implies an anguish of what was wanted , but was not there.
On the absence of parents
To think about the absence of parents, it is important to start from the other side: presence, proximity and attention. All these characteristics form the attachment bond. This refers to the conduct of seeking security and closeness in a caring figure .
Attachment theory , whose main exponents are J. Bowlby and M. Ainsworth, highlights its importance in the first years of life. However, it is not an experience that is limited only to this stage.
The attachment bond functions as a mental organizer that allows us to regulate our behavior and expectations about what to expect from others. Hence, attachment is also the basis from which we bond throughout life.
It should be noted that when we speak of parental absence, we are not referring to those situations in which the parents spent many hours away from home. What characterizes absence here is remoteness and lack of connection. It is about the quality of the time and the bond, not the quantity.
Attachment forms the bond from childhood and affects future relationships.
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Some consequences of the absence of parents
The absence of parents has effects on the social, psychological and emotional development of children. In general, some of these consequences are related to the following:
- Fear of being abandoned.
- Low self-esteem: the person feels little valued , unimportant.
- Insecurity and fear. In childhood, for example, it is noticeable because it is about boys and girls who have little enthusiasm and curiosity to explore the world. This is because they do not have that security base that motivates them to do so.
- They can behave in a pleasing way with other peopleto be loved and valued.
- Problems to regulate:to be able to self-regulate, someone must have taught us to do it first. In the absence of parents, this learning is lacking.
This is not to say that we should give up everything and that early experiences function as an unshakable destiny. The resilience of people is capable of transforming situations and turning crises into opportunities.
It may interest you: Avoidant attachment and its influence on emotional health
How to deal with the absence of parents
In order to overcome the absence of parents, the first and foremost thing is to be willing to forgive. It is difficult to move forward if we are not able to move forward, to put aside the resentment. Even if you have the possibility, it may be the opportunity to start a new relationship with the parents.
To do this, it is important to acknowledge and be honest with your own emotions , since many times they try to hide and avoid themselves. It is necessary to explore what we feel. There, beliefs and justifications can arise about what we want, deserve, do or stop doing.
Second, it is also necessary to question all those ideas that we form regarding said absence . “They did not love me, it was not important, other subjects interested him more . “
Sometimes trying to understand the history and personal situation of parents, their childhood and their own attachment experiences, allows us to discover what were their real possibilities and resources. In other cases, it is about accepting the absence of parents, moving from the place of self-blame.
Parental behavior is influenced by multiple variables , involving personal and environmental factors. These variables transcend the children and their characteristics.
It is important that we work on our self-esteem. Detachment has an impact on our perception of ourselves, as if we are not deserving of affection and attention.
Lastly, we have to pay attention to our own care . Many times we abandon ourselves. We eat poorly, we don’t get enough rest, we don’t allow ourselves little pleasures, we don’t go to medical check-ups.
When we rethink the absence of parents and the relationship we had with them, some emotional wounds emerge that can be deep. In that case, it is always good to have professional help in the search for well-being to forgive and move on.
Reviewing the relationship we had with our parents is a process that must be faced with tools to heal emotional wounds.
Parenting is not an individual fact, but a social one
When thinking about the enormous responsibility of raising children, most envision one or two adults as role models. This should draw our attention to how we conceive of parenting.
Is one or two people enough? Why are we unable to figure out a vast containment net? Accompanying the development has to be something that can be done collectively. Adults need support too.
The tranquility that those who breed receive has benefits not only for their well-being, but also translates into the ability to accompany and support childhoods. So, although each one has a particular story and wounds to heal, this is also an invitation to get out of the individualistic and linear reading.
We have to understand that parenting alone is very difficult . It is also an invitation to rethink and commit ourselves as a society, especially by reformulating what part we will contribute to parenting.