Parents play a major role in their child’s development.
Growing up, it is the responsibility of the parents to guide their children on things such as societal norms, rights and wrongs, and so on.
Whilst schools help with academic development, homes would influence a big part of a child’s character.
Parents would play a big role in how kids value basic things like relationships, avoid substance abuse, lifestyle, and even things like technology abuse. Children observe and follow in their parents’ footsteps.
However, imagine growing up not knowing who your parents are, or growing up learning you were abandoned by your parents.
You won’t be able to relate to societal norms on parent-child relationships.
This is the reality a lot of kids around the world are experiencing.
In some cases, they couldn’t reason with their parents’ decision to abandon them and would end up falling in a rabbit hole filled with substance abuse, violence, and other crimes.
It seems to be a no-brainer that a parent should raise their child and should provide guidance to the best of their abilities, so why is child abandonment still a thing?
Why Parents Decide to Leave
In most cases, it all boils down to the parents thinking that they don’t have the right resources for the child.
It is without a doubt that most, if not all, parents want the best for their child, but few can provide it for their kids.
Some have theorised that it could be due to the lack of parental guidance from the earlier generations.
However, this has been proven false as there are a significant number of cases showing that parents who, in their childhood, have been neglected, abused, or even abandoned themselves, grow to be loving and caring parents.
To be more specific, the Daphne Toolkit’s Summary Brochure highlighted that some of the other causes of abandonment are due to “being a single parent, post-natal depression, mental illness, a lack of sexual health education, poor knowledge regarding family planning, restrictions regarding access to abortion, the child having some form of disability, the child being HIV positive, pregnancy as a result of rape, abuse or force by partner, and a lack of services and resources to support parents who have children with disabilities.”
How It Affects The Abandoned Kids
It is without a doubt such a traumatic event as being abandoned can leave some psychological effects on the child as they grow.
Some of the more commonly observed psychological effects are:
- Trust issues,
- Insecurity in relationships,
- Lacking capacity for intimacy,
- Mood swings and anger issues,
There are multiple behaviours that have been observed.
Some would be more obvious in the early stages of the child’s development, and some would only turn up later in their adulthood.
In these cases, such effects can be grouped under abandonment issues as it is the root cause of their behaviour.
Should you be a victim to such an issue or know someone that has shown signs of abandonment issues, it is important to handle this situation delicately to avoid worsening the situation.
Tackling Abandonment Issues
Should you be the victim of abandonment, the best treatment is to seek therapy and focus on self-care. The social stigma revolving around therapy is that it is for the mentally unstable only. However that is not true.
Therapy can be a good platform to output all your thoughts, especially those that have been weighing you down. Certified therapists have studied and dedicated their lives to making yours better.
Should you know someone with such issues, Psychology Today has outlined 6 Levels to help you get started to help the victim get back on their feet and on the right path to recovery.
These six levels will help you to validate their concerns because when helping someone with any personal issues, validating the issue lets them know you acknowledge their fears and you are there to help.
The key is to maintain communication and establish a better level of trust are:
- Be Present
Make some time and focus on your loved ones’ concerns.
Reflecting here is to summarise the concerns. Although it can be awkward to be done by someone else, if you truly reflect with the intent to understand their concerns better without any judgemental tone, you could make them feel their problems are being acknowledged and validated.
It will not be easy for them to open up to you on the first try. Just listen to what they have to say and try to understand their situation and identify their emotions. It will take a lot of practice but this will help you reach a deeper understanding of their issues to help them overcome it.
- Know their story.
By first understanding what happened in their past, you can assure them that you understand some situations can be a trigger to them.
- Normalising their issues.
Don’t push them to a corner by expecting a better reaction from them if they were to face an emotionally upsetting situation. Normalise the situation to help them understand that their reaction is completely normal.
- Radical genuineness
Highlighted as the deepest level of validation, this level is to share your loved one’s problems as if your own.
It is important to note that you should avoid saying things that can invalidate their feelings and fears.
Saying things like, “everything happens for a reason”, or “it could be a lot worse, you should be thankful” will surely make them feel like their problem is not important and this will push them further away from building that trust with you and making it more difficult for you to help them get better.
Mental health has always been a tricky issue to tackle.
If you are unsure about how to help yourself or your loved ones on handling issues being faced, it’s always best to seek professional help.
With years of training and practice, they could guide you into getting back on your own two feet and help you be better