What is called emotional deprivation? Emotional deprivation in children occurs when their innate need to feel protected, valued, and love is not satisfied. At this age, the need to receive affection, gestures of love, and constant care is much stronger than in adolescence or adulthood. Indeed, at this stage, the person already has other mechanisms to face the world.
How could one define the term emotional deprivation? The term “deficiency” – derived from medicine – refers to the lack or insufficiency of a substance necessary for life that is provided by the environment in a normal setting. It is difficult at first glance to apply this definition to the psychological concept of emotional deprivation: because what is missing, in this case, is immaterial, invisible. This probably explains the fact that this concept – yet essential in psychology – developed only late.
Emotional deprivation occurs when a child suffers from a lack of maternal or paternal care, as a result of the absence of one or more attachment figures or a pattern of rejection or indifference. Several psychologists have linked developmental delays, delinquent behavior, or schizophrenic-type disorders to an early affective deficiency, particularly from a psychoanalytic perspective. This link is however far from systematic.
Emotional deficiencies can make our children, tomorrow, people insecure and unstable. They must not be neglected during their childhood, or later.
This lack of affection and attachment does not occur only when one or more members of the family exert violence on others. In fact, it occurs in situations that we see today as normal. These occur daily. These include lack of communication, long absences from work, or abandonment by parents.
This is much related to the lifestyle that prevails in today’s society. It is not strange at all to see parents running from here to there. Or, always have the phone in hand and think of all their problems at work. And, the children in all this? With luck, they will run behind and ask for attention.
I – Emotional Deprivation in Children and Children’s Development
Emotional deprivation in children causes many problems. But, in general, many of them do not manifest themselves until adulthood. It is at this moment that we begin to encounter difficulties and that we are unable to find solutions.
Among these problems are the interpersonal relationships that lead us on the path of bitterness because we do not know how to solve them. Everything comes from our past and our childhood.
1 – Emotional Deficiencies That Hurt
Among the emotional deficiencies are unstable and traumatic family situations, abuse, lack of care, etc. As we can verify, in all this, the child suffers and lives his situation in a very deep way.
Why do we allow this? Do not parents realize that this will affect their children in the future? Parents often think that the little ones are not aware of reality and that they are well in their bubble.
However, the reality is completely different. Children are very receptive and awake to the many negative stimulations to which they are exposed.
All of this will condition their future.
It is then that, years later, the problems of emotional dependence arise. As well as the fear of loneliness, and various difficulties in relationships with others.
What adults saw as something that had no impact has yet become determinant.
2 – Symptoms of Emotional Deprivation in Children
Of course, the difficulties are greater when we are adults. But many can be detected in childhood if we are observant enough.
We must be alert and pay attention. Because some of them are intermittent and not very visible.
If the emotional deficiencies are treated in childhood, the result will be very positive.
However, if we do not identify them and do nothing when the children are adults, they will face many barriers.
Among the symptoms of emotional deprivation in children, we can find:
– Impulse control problems.
– Sudden changes in behavior.
– Generalized mistrust towards others.
– The aggressive responses.
– The deficient development of language and social skills.
– The deficit of attention.
– Anxiety disorders.
– Difficulties in expressing feelings or problems to solve them.
Many of the symptoms can be transposed into adulthood in a very painful and disturbing way. Because the problem is at an advanced stage and becomes more and more difficult to solve.
3 – the Deterioration of Children’s Development
As we have been able to verify, it does not only affect emotions and the ability to convey feelings, but also the development of children.
The deterioration of children’s development causes serious misunderstandings in their learning from an early age.
Stress and anxiety, so strange in the early stages of life, are among the most visible symptoms that should not be ignored.
These are not typical features at ages when one should enjoy and where one does not have to worry about things that concern adults.
But … does all this arise under extreme circumstances?
No need to be in situations of abuse, abandonment, or divorce for children to develop this type of emotional deprivation.
Poor quality education will also cause deterioration in their development and possible future difficulties that will affect them greatly.
An example of this deficient education is the number of hours a child can spend in front of the television.
The work of the parents and the lack of envy they have to support their small crises make them use some jokers, which are not good for their children. Computers, mobile phones, games …
Children do not profit, do not go out, and do not interact with others. There is only one screen that makes them stupid.
Every child needs standards and care that prepare him to be a responsible person with good values.
If we neglect what they need out of laziness, emotional deficiencies will emerge quickly.
Parents have a great responsibility when they bring a child into the world.
No one should give themselves the luxury of throwing all this responsibility out the window and then complaining about the attitude of their children.
A good education is necessary to avoid the emotional deficiencies that will one day make their life more difficult. Not only that but also this deficiency will cause a lack of self-esteem in the future of the child.
II – Emotional Deficiencies and Lack of Self-Esteem
*** Deficiency Can Come from Suffering
There are many signs to identify the existence of emotional deprivation. When one suffers from emotional deprivation, one has the gift of embarking on suffering relationships. We expect the other to give us what we did not receive during our childhood. That is affection, recognition, attention, etc … All these repetitive situations develop compensatory defense mechanisms.
This emotional deprivation is a fundamental need that has not been met. Before being born, a child lived in the womb for 9 months. It was wrapped, rocked, and worn most naturally when desired. When he comes into the world, he can not brutally, stop needing human contact. The child, like the adult later, keeps the need to be cherished, wrapped, to be cuddled.
At the level of childhood, if the parents keep a distance, the child will be in demand, in search, in the quest to be taken into their arms. And the need for contact and tenderness is as important as the need for warmth or food. Deficiency can come with suffering, it is a painful situation that we could not manage and digest. It is difficult to define what a person feels in emotional deprivation.
– It has the impression of being destined to always remain alone, to never find fulfillment, never to be heard or understood, not to deserve.
– She feels a sensation of emptiness, loneliness, and absence with the painful and agonizing certainty of being condemned to loneliness. Emotional deprivation is related to the feelings of the neglected child.
– The person is certain that others will not give the emotional support they need.
*** There Are Three Main Categories
– Lack of emotional contributions:
Lack of attention, affection, warmth, or a friendly presence.
– Lack of empathy:
The absence of an understanding person who listens to you and someone to talk about yourself.
– Lack of protection:
The absence of someone strong who guides and advises.
Thus this unfulfilled need for tenderness continues to shout in itself. A person in emotional deprivation will seek to fill this gap. She will ask (consciously or not) the people she meets, to fill her, as if they were likely to be able to compensate for what she did not receive as tenderness, affection, and security.
She will have the impression of never being sufficiently taken into consideration, never being loved enough, and this lack is in fact the echo of what she had missed on the part of her parents. What we give him is never enough since it can not fill the lack that comes from childhood.
But the opposite is also possible: if a parent has overprotected his child, the adult will later seek this same overprotection, this same form of love.
In the couple, this gives, for example, a partner who wants to be loved at all costs. He is in such an expectation of love that it can scare and stifle the other. And even when we love him, he never feels loved enough.
*** Treat Emotional Deficiencies with Psychological Counseling
He may doubt the love that is brought to him because he does not feel worthy to be loved. He, therefore, has a lack of self-confidence, does not feel like a beautiful person, is even complex, not attractive, and lacks esteem. Any remark or attitude will be interpreted as refusal, rejection, abandonment, or lack of love, and this tends to provoke uneasiness, frustrations, fears, and peculiar anxieties.
This fear of not being loved falsifies the judgment and takes away from reality.
“And fear generates 3 types of behavior. One can undergo it without reacting, and it is the inhibition that corresponds to a kind of depressive suffering. Secondly, we can rather take a defensive position: even when we love you, you do not believe it. We repress love, we do not believe it, because we think that it is not possible to be loved. And the third possible behavior in the face of fear is flight. Fear prevails over the desire to be loved who is very present. ”
Stop Believing That Love Will Heal the Suffering.
Working on oneself is essential to identify one’s wounds. Understand why it works like this, with repeated suffering … You have to learn to love yourself and work on self-confidence. Feel that our suffering is rooted in our past. In the end, we must rebuild ourselves to take stock of our shortcomings, heal them by becoming aware, and finally accept to love and be loved.
III – the Signs of Emotional Deprivation in Children
Kissing, cuddling, counseling, and protecting are actions that children must take from their parents. It’s not just about addiction or whim; there are very important reasons for doing it.
Children are people in training. As a result, they exponentially absorb what they receive from their environment. It does not matter if it’s good or bad. Certainly, good examples can go further at this stage of life. However, emotional deprivation in children can have serious consequences on their well-being.
During childhood, we depend to a large extent on responsible parents or elders. And this is not only from the economic point of view (the impossibility of obtaining material goods). They are also dependent on an educational point of view because they must receive specific learning. In addition, children are highly dependent on us from an emotional and psychological point of view.
In this sense, providing love, affection, support, and understanding is one of the best things adults can do for a child. This will allow him to grow in a healthy environment. Thus, he can develop values and social skills that mimic the good you offer him.
However, this often does not happen. It is then that the negative consequences of emotional deprivation appear in children. The latter has a direct influence on their attitudes, behaviors, and interpretations of the events of their lives.
In the following lines, we will see 4 signs of emotional deprivation in children.
1. the Emotional Emptiness
This can happen during childhood or even later. Emotional emptiness is described as a feeling of constant need. It does not matter what he gets or the accomplishments of the individual.
Ultimately, this feeling of loneliness, discomfort, or anxiety can be linked to disconnection from attachment figures at an early stage of life.
2. a Bad Relationship with Attachment Figures and Other People
Children who do not grow up with the necessary constraint find it difficult to cultivate healthy relationships with others. This can result in rejection, anger, or mistrust of attachment figures. They can even show hatred and resentment.
As for the rest of the population, cases of dependency may be formed. This is due to the imperative need to receive the exclusive attention of someone. This same reason can cause jealousy or dissatisfaction with the interaction received.
In truth, “Providing love, affection, support, and understanding is one of the best things adults can do for a little one.”
3. Bad Behavior
Inappropriate behavior arises from the need to receive that attention that was previously denied. Let’s say, for example, that you are in a public place and look around us. You will probably see many cases where children run, shout, and push their parents to watch or talk to them. If they do not reach their goal, the intensity of the scenes increases.
The typical signs of this bad behavior are as follows. Sudden mood swings, and excessive crying. Or, aggression, anger, and impulsiveness.
4. Physical and Psychological Problems
Children who suffer from emotional deprivation are more likely to suffer from certain conditions. These include anxiety and learning disabilities. They may also have difficulties in their social relationships and have more frequent infections.
This is due to the direct relationship between a person’s mental well-being and the effectiveness of his or her immune system.
In a Conclusion:
Can this situation be corrected? Not only is it possible but it is also necessary. Emotional deprivation in children can cause a void in the future. Indeed, they can try to fill it with substances dangerous to their health. This includes tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.
On the other hand, it can also lead to compulsive shopping to get satisfaction. Or reckless behavior, such as ignoring the wearing of seatbelts, unprotected sex, or even flying.
Once one of the signals has been detected, it is advisable to consult a psychologist for treatment. In addition, the best thing to do is to prevent it. For this reason, it is necessary that parents:
– Listen to their children.
– Spend quality time with them, even if it is limited.
– Show them affection, consideration, and understanding.
– Make them feel protected and supported.
It is clear, then, that parents’ demonstrations of love for their children are fundamental in the lives of the little ones. Even small, seemingly insignificant gestures can radically change a child’s perception and mood.
It is essential for all this to devote time and dedicate energy to its optimal development. Especially on the emotional level. What do you expect from parents or future parents?
Do you like your children? Do you care about their mental, emotional and psychological well-being? Do their future worry you? Make your children the apple of your eyes. One thing is to be a parent and another is to be a good parent. Together, let’s avoid emotional deficiencies in our children!