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Guiding Teenagers Blogs

The Big UNcubed - Parenting Series: PART II

This series is designed (but not necessary) to be read chronologically; if you need to catch up or skip ahead, the links below will take you to where you need to go!


We began a few days ago with this new mini-series, "What Kind R U? Parenting advice: Raise them without being overbearing, absent, or avoiding conflict" Today, we will continue specifically covering the parental classification of neglectful parenting, also known as uninvolved parenting. blogs | Parenting Series | Dad on Couch Watching TV Neglecting Son

As stated in the previous article, it certainly may sound rough, saying you could be a "neglectful" person- especially regarding your child. In "Part II - UNcubed," we will dive deeper into what that means. Remember, if you find yourself fitting the bill of an uninvolved parent, it DOES NOT mean you don't love and care for them. To briefly review the characteristics as described in Part I:

  • Absent, uninvolved, and freedom-giving

  • Guidance and emotional support are rare

  • Indifferent to the nourishing of their social, behavioral, and emotional life

  • Basic needs are the parent's primary role (food, shelter, clothing)


Jump to a section:


The big UNcubed

There are three significant subcategories within this parenting style, which I call UNCUBED. Families with parents who are (what psychologists and professionals deem) "neglectful towards their children" are typically broken up into three groups: the UNaware (OUT), the UNaware (IN), and the UNcaring.

UNinvolved & UNaware... to OUTsiders

The first is UNaware (OUT): UNaware to OUTsiders. It is better known as parenting by letting your child fall and making them get back up. The parent loves, cherishes, adores, and cares for their children- however, it often does not manifest as something visual to individuals outside the family and friends. In this situation, the child(ren) and parent(s) have a bond as strong as steel, and they know they would give the shirts off their back for one other. blogs | Parenting Series | Mom & Dad on the PC, Kids By Themselves

This category is unique because, within the family, everybody is close and sturdy as a rock, a whole family. To an outsider looking in visually, they would never observe these traits. Conversely, within the family and inner circle, the family structure has a different perspective:

  • Always present: Check-ins, daily or weekly, etc., to ensure there are no critical issues and space is given to the child or teen. It is not that they are uninvolved; instead, the parent is not as visually present in ways other families may be.

  • Open communication: There may not be much verbal talking, but there is a clear understanding that "when you need me, I'll always be there," but I want you to learn independently.

  • Guidance without training wheels: I'll be the parent overseeing you from a distance and let you learn from your own mistakes.

  • Self-learning: The child has age-appropriate responsibilities and has to learn how to manage all of their obligations rather than relying on someone to tell them what to do and when to do it.

UNinvolved & UNaware... to INsiders

The next is where core parenting methods are missing without the parent even realizing it. This type of parenting is "UNaware to INsiders" because not only does it appear as though the parent is absent to individuals outside of the family, but here, family members inside the home feel it too. The parent or parents with this trait love, care, and would die for their own, much like with the "UNaware to OUTsiders," but the main difference is their child(ren) doesn't feel their parents would do that for them.

It sounds rough, but the flip side is that the parents believe in their hearts that they are doing good. Usually, the parents will feel that they are giving their child abundant love. An example of this mindset is when the parent gets home from work. The parent will tell the child to play, thinking that's what a good, fun parent would do. In reality, the parent, even if subconsciously, wants downtime from work and doesn't want to tend to household duties. blogs | Parenting Series | Mom on her Phone While Son Begs for Attention

So in this hypothetical example, the average day for a mother to her young 4th-grade son could be: They wake up in the morning, the mom gets him breakfast and ready for school (food, clothing). After school and work, they make it back home, and Mom tells him to play and have fun until dinner, thinking that he would love to play and not do chores so she could relax for a few before cooking dinner. Then comes dinner (food), followed by getting him ready for bed (clothing) and, of course, keeping the roof over their heads (shelter).

At the end of the day, mom believes she did an excellent job because she loves and adores her child, and she believes her son loves her just as much in return (and he probably does). The problem is she unwittingly only provided the three essential needs for all humans, neglecting what children and teenagers need the most: emotional support, guidance, and structure.

Here are a few examples of the "UNinvolved & UNaware... to INsiders" parental classification:

  • Distant parenting: The parent can primarily only be counted on in times of crisis and needs (not wants).

  • Bare minimum requirements: (food, shelter, clothing) are met exceptionally well, with a sense of pride in doing them.

  • Fun parent: Lack of as many responsibilities, plenty of play time (children), or freedom (teens) as long as it doesn't interfere with food, shelter, or clothing.

  • Unpredictable Children: The child raises themself; thus, their social skills and emotions can become slightly more inconsistent than those raised in structured homes.

UNinvolved & UNcaring

Of all of the categories in this mini-series, this type of parenting screams toxic. Suppose you find yourself falling into this category. In that case, I suggest sitting down and reevaluating everything regarding being a mom or a dad and making an honest attempt to try changing for your child's sake.

This subcategory is just what it sounds like. The parent is uninvolved in all aspects of life and puts other wants, needs, and obligations before their child. Luckily this type of parenting is far between, and when a parent does fall into this category, they will ensure they meet just enough for the child to continue to live (food, clothing, shelter), but not much more. Generally, when this sort of behavior becomes observed, it is because one or more of these are taking precedence over the child or teen:

  • Selfishness: Work, significant others, friends, or hobbies become more important than their children.

  • Mental Health: There is an underlying condition not treated, causing erratic decision-making regarding family.

  • Drug/Alcohol abuse: Addiction to [whatever] has become more significant than the love, compassion, and responsibility for their child.

  • "Accident" or "I don't like kids": Parents who never wanted a baby but do not believe in abortions, or if no moral obligations, did not give it away or abort it; instead, they just "dealt" with it, wanting nothing to do with the child on any level (emotional or physical).


In Conclusion blogs | Parenting Series | Mom & Dad Preoccupied on Phones with Crying Girl

Depending on your outlook, there are issues with all three of these subcategories, especially "UNinvolved & UNcaring" whereas "UNinvoled & UNaware... to outsiders" appears pretty structured but hidden from view. The one thing to remember about all three of these, and what makes it why there is never a right way or wrong way to raise a child: Children were all brought up under one of those umbrellas of parenting, so it does seem (more) normal to them than perhaps someone else. They probably feel loved and cared for in their own way, even if it isn't the way you believe. All we can do as a parent is to try our best and guarantee our children that they are getting the absolute best from us, we are not perfect, but we strive to be because they are worth it.


Continue Reading: blogs | Parenting Series | The Great PRO³

Catch up on the series: blogs | Parenting Series | What Kind R U?

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