Before we discuss how to mitigate absent parent effect on child, we love to give you a brief definition of what absent parent means. So what is absent parent? By a definition from US Legal Inc, an absent parent refers to a non-custodial parent who is physically absent from the child’s home; the parent may be providing funds to support the child or may not.
Usually the end result of an absent parent is a single parent raising a child.
Raising a child as a single parent is always a daunting and seemingly thankless duty. Separated or divorced parents often get the most anxiety and guilt from being away from their kids or not being able to grant them access to their other parent. The most part of a child’s psychological and social heath and development is based on how much value they believe their parents place on them.
As humans, we automatically dedicate most of our resources, time especially, to what we believe is most important in our lives. Children likewise have an in-depth sense of this psychological scale of preference and can easily gauge where they appear to be on this list.
For an absent parent, either due to a separation or the demands of a job, the parent automatically has categorized such problems as of more importance than their child. This in turn deals a heavy blow to the child’s sense of self-worth and might affect such individuals long into adulthood.
Most times, the responsibility falls on the parent on ground to make up for the shortfalls of the absent parent, a truly frustrating endeavour. Here are a few tips to help mitigate absent parent effect on child, on his or her psychological well being.
How to Mitigate Absent Parent Effect on Child (Absent Parent Syndrome)
- Remind the absent parent how important their presence is to their children. The consequences and repercussions of absent parent effect on child may not be known by the absent parent, especially in the case where the absent partner was also raised that way. To mitigate this effect, it is the duty of the other partner, the ever-present partner, to correct this notion.
- It’s okay to get mad and frustrated, but do not lose it in the presence of the child. Taking out your frustration on your child will create a bigger cycle of mistrust and only aggravate the absent parent syndrome on the child; therefore, try to remain calm in the face of disappointments from the other parent. As much as you can, always remind the child of the fact that the absence of his or her parent is not a reflection of how the parent feels about them, but due to unavoidable circumstances.
- Do not speak ill of the absent parent. Children recognize the fact that they are a product of two different people. In the case whereby one party speaks negatively of the other, the child subconsciously perceives it as a part of him/herself is being condemned as not good enough. This particular analogy might stay within a child’s psyche for a long time and make them feel they are inherently bad. Therefore the other parent should make up for the shortfalls of the absent parent.
- Always have a back-up plan in case the absent parent disappoints once more. This will help in introducing some level of structure, and reducing the pain of disappointment. Having other activities lined up will reduce the time and opportunity to get moody or sulk.
- Do not let being or having an absent parent prevent proper discipline as at when due. A lot of parents who aren’t always around are often in the business of overindulging the child the few times they are around. Perhaps they don’t want the child to see them as someone who only comes around to punish them.In order not to make overindulgence cause absent parent effect on child, the absent parent shouldn’t neglect disciplining the child when he or she does something wrong. Lavishing a child with lots of money when they need your attention more simply tells them their time can be bought. Such a child would grow up believing they can buy people’s time.
While it might be impossible to shield a child from the realities of an absent parent, adopting measures to mitigate absent parent effect (absent parent syndrome) on child would help reduce the psychological effects.