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Uninvolved Parenting: Its Characteristics And Potential Effects On The Child

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Aug 30, 2022

Uninvolved Parenting: Its Characteristics And Potential Effects On The Child

The way parents raise their child has a long-lasting effect on the child’s development. The parenting style, after all, has a huge impact on how the child would later on handle relationships and life challenges. Among the parenting styles described by Diana Baumrind, a clinical psychologist, it is said that the uninvolved style has the least hand-holding. What are the characteristics and potential effects of uninvolved parenting? Find out here. 

Uninvolved Parenting, An Overview

Basically, uninvolved parenting, which others also call neglectful parenting, is a parenting style that’s usually unresponsive, unavailable, and rejecting. The parents will provide for the child’s basic needs – food, shelter, clothing, etc. – but little to no guidance. 

Many people see the uninvolved parenting style in a negative light. But, it’s important to understand that most parents do not do it intentionally. Below are some of the possible reasons why parents may take on this parenting style:

  • Being too busy with work
  • Being raised by neglectful parents
  • Experiencing mental health conditions, such as depression or alcoholism. 

What Uninvolved Parenting Look Likes

According to Diana Baumrind, the uninvolved parenting style is low on two domains: support and demandingness. This means that as much as parents do not respond to or support their child’s needs, they also require very little from their child. 

Parents taking on the uninvolved parenting style may:

  • Focus too much on their own problems and affairs. Hence, they have very little time to give to the needs of their kids. 
  • Be emotionally distant from their child. 
  • Miss a lot on the child’s experience. Since they have the tendency to devote much of their time to their personal problems and they have little emotional attachment to the child, they might miss out on parent-teacher conferences, family days, sports fest, etc. 
  • Require very little from the child. There might be no rules on behavior or performance at school. 

Possible Effects of Uninvolved Parenting 

Reports say children raised by parents who took on the uninvolved parenting style tend to score low on all life domains. 

Apparently, parental support or responsiveness affects the child’s social competence and psychosocial functioning. On the other hand, parental demandingness impacts competence and behavioral control. 

Since this type of parenting style scores low on both support and demandingness, below are the possible effects on the child:

  • Difficulty interacting with people outside the family. They might even find it difficult to form attachments later in life. 
  • The child may misbehave since their parents rarely set limitations or expectations for their behavior. 
  • Lack of self-control
  • Low self-esteem
  • The child may become less competent than their peers. 

Tips to Engage if You Feel You’re Taking on the Uninvolved Parenting Style

If you feel you’re taking on this kind of parenting style and want to engage more with your child, you may consider the following tips:

  • Consider the possible reasons why you’re less involved in your child’s care. 
  • Try to reduce home-school barriers. Make sure that the teacher and school counselor has your updated contact information. If you can, ask them to give you updates on your child’s behavior and academic progress regularly. 
  • Get in touch with a healthcare expert. The expert can guide you through your role as a parent and what can be done to improve your practices. 

Key Takeaways

The uninvolved parenting style has low levels of support and demandingness. Children raised by parents who take on this kind of style tend to score low on all life domains. They may have low self-esteem, self control, and become less competent than their peers. 

It is important to note that most parents do not take on this style intentionally. Oftentimes, they become uninvolved because they may have personal problems. 

If you feel like you’re taking on the uninvolved parenting style and want to be more engaged, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an expert.

Learn more about Parenting here

Disclaimer

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

General Practitioner


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Aug 30, 2022

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