Society pays far more attention to what DOES happen versus what DOESN’T happen. This is why you hear an awful lot about child abuse but not much about neglect. Yet the reality is that child neglect is often far more damaging than other types of maltreatment, because it has the ability to alter their development in more profound ways. For example, an abusive parent who hits a child causes an injury to attachment that will steadily destroy the parent-child bond. But a neglected child with a parent who ignores them or is emotionally distant suffers far worse, because they never have the chance to form a healthy attachment to begin with. Whereas abuse chips away at a child’s foundation in life, neglect prevents those foundations from ever being erected in the first place.
There are many different types of neglect. Not all of them are as damaging as emotional neglect, but each can threaten a child’s welfare in different ways. This information will help you understand more about the plight of neglected children and offer suggestions for how you can help.