Consequences of ignoring your Child

The Impacts of Ignoring Your Child

Your child needs your utmost attention, almost all the time. He is dependent on you for all his basic needs. Giving due attention is a sign of good parents, but most of the parents are unaware of how much attention they should give to their children. Neglecting your child all the time can lead to negative psychological impacts. For example, your child feels he is worthless and holds no importance for their parents. Over attention has different disadvantages, it not only suppresses the child’s creativity but promotes negative behaviors in the child as well. A delicate balance of attention and ignoring required to maintain the healthy growth of your child.

What is ignoring?

The meaning of ignoring, in childcare case is mostly misunderstood. Most of us think it means completely ignoring your child, irrespective of what they are doing, well or bad. But ignoring in our case means ignoring your child for his betterment. In this type of ignoring, you take all your attention away from your child and his behavior. You stop listening to your child protests and excuses to get your attention. The purpose of all this activity is to discourage your child unwanted behaviors. It is a common observation that over-attention promotes these obnoxious behaviors in your child.

When you should ignore your child

It is a tough job to manage your child miss-behavior (you can learn how parents manage their child miss-behavior in the below-given graph). When a child starts growing, his tactics to get due attention from parents in order to fulfill his desires changes sharply. Their tactics vary from just crying in the beginning to using more advanced options like whining, complaining, negotiating, and throwing a tantrum within a few years. For example, when a child wants to east pasta instead of what is already present in front of him at the dining table, he starts to whines and complains until his parent fulfill his desire.

Pic Source: Royal Children Hospita

Every time parents fulfill these unrequired desires, they reinforced their wrong behavior and tactics. Every behavior that is reinforced is likely to be repeated next time. Every time parents promise yes after saying no due to a child whining and spending half an hour just lecturing their kids not to repeat wrong behaviors in the future, actually reinforce the wrong behavior.

To improve children behavior, parents need to stop rewarding them with undue attention and other stuff (sweets and toys, etc). This way child will learn that his tactics are not useful and have no impact on the parents. Then he will search for new ways to get attention and starts behaving in a better way. Instead of giving in to bad his behavior, it seems better to ignore your child completely for some time. As the child starts to behave better, parents should re-engage with him in a way that nothing happened a while ago.

The positive impacts of ignoring your child over bad behavior

Ignoring your child doesn’t mean you should not care about their primary needs. Further, the pre-planned ignoring policy should only be practiced with children that are mature enough to understand the real situation.

  • Ignoring your children with positive intention can bring a lot of positive changes in them. By ignoring their wrong behaviors, giving full attention and praise when they do something good encourage them to avoid nasty and unpleasant things.
  •  When you become predictable with your ignoring and rewarding practice, your child starts adopting things you like to see in him. For example, when your child does something good, reward him with his favorite sweet or something he likes the most. 
  • Being predictable is very important during ignoring practice to force your child to adopt something better. In the start ignoring practice, be ready for the attitude to get even worse. Your child may whine longer and louder to see if he can get your attention.

Consequences of ignoring your child

Ignoring your child is a better strategy to force your child to introspect and adopt better behavior. This is only good for specific purposes and utmost care is must avoid negative psychological impacts on your child’s life. If extra care not taken, following negative impacts on your child can appear in some severe cases.

  • If children ignored for long they stop using their usual tactics like crying, whining, complaining, and negotiation to get parents attention. They become rather numb. In extreme negligence, they stop showing these feeling even they are growing, because they think there is no point in all these things.
  • Being a parent it is important to understand the feelings of your children. Continuous neglect leads to dangerous mental health problems. In some cases neglecting sensitive child is same as you are torturing him. The below-given pic elaborates how much children are facing some sort of mental problems.

Pic Source: National Alliance on Mental illness (NAMI)

Children form a unique relationship with their parents called an attachment relationship. This relationship is stronger when the amount of love and attention from the parents to their children is on the higher side. Ignoring a young child’s feelings in some cases stops their ability to normally attach to others. This in long term, effects his normal mental growth.


Parents should ignore their children or not for improving their behavior, is a controversial topic. Many experts believe ignoring your child as a planned strategy is fruitful in teaching them the right ethic lessons, while the score of other experts believe it is not a useful strategy. According to some experts, ignoring your child for the long term can cause unwanted problems especially mental complexities. We recommend parents to ignore your child only in severe cases when other methods of taming them are not working. At the same time, never forget to reward your children when they do good deeds to increase their self-esteem.