Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits

THE IMPACT Of CHILD NEGLECT ON DEVELOPMENT

 

Feeling:

isolated, alone, undefended,
no self-esteem,
a sense that one's needs will not be met, "no one's there,"
no trust, not entitled,
don't deserve anything,
learned helplessness, despair,
can't manage one's emotions,
lack of self-management,
no sense of appropriate feelings for situations,
no sense of what's right or wrong emotionally,
difficulties with identity,
you don't get a sense of yourself and who you might be.
It doesn't matter what you do -- it changes nothing.

Boundaries or lack of boundaries are a big issue,
craving for attention or difficulty in seeking out normal attention,
numbness or flat emotions,
being developmentally delayed,
behavioural problems in school,
suicidal feelings, self-abuse, depression,
may not know boundaries,
have difficulty sensing right and wrong,
drug and alcohol abuse,
can't relate to others,
lack of social skills, eating problems,
hoarding food,
constantly having accidents,
problems with physical health and illnesses,
lack of connection,
wanting to be invisible,
feeling you have no impact in the world or negative attention seeking behaviour.
Trying to get what you couldn't get -- shoplifting, shopaholics, gambling, drugs, alcohol.

When children are neglected, they grow up feeling isolated, alone and unprotected. They believe they aren’t worthy of anything. Self-confidence is missing along with the knowledge that I exist and I can do something because I exist. A neglected kid might wonder if he/she exists at all.

A child’s health is at risk when their physical needs go unnoticed, untreated or ignored.

Children who don't experience positive relationships will not grow up able to perform for themselves.

A child who is not encouraged or helped to learn will have trouble learning. Children who aren’t cared for don’t know how to care for themselves or others. A child whose abilities go unrecognized won’t be able to apply them at work.

Child neglect affects physical, emotional and cognitive development.

There are actually deep feelings of pain due to lack of nurturing.

Neglect leaves no visible physical scars but can be emotionally devastating, leading to feelings of abandonment, confusion, low self esteem and delayed emotional development. If left alone the cycle can continue and be passed on to the next generation.

Whatever needs are neglected in children we as a society will deal with later. Let's do it right the first time.


IN SUFFERING

Together born into pain
Together survived in suffering.
Rules, judgement, inadequacy;
Separated at birth,
Given away,
Sister I have no more.

Crucified me
No family
Not believed, Alone.

Given Christopher
Made to take away
Judgement.

Not believed,
Given a choice,
Freedom in telling,
Individuality,
Anger to those
That leave Me.

Chandra

 

 

 


HEALING

Abuse, Neglect, Abandonment
Feel my sadness, Hear my rage
A life of pain
With one caring hand
the healing has begun
For me with the telling
For you with the listening
The truth shall set us free
Share my gladness

Babette

 

 

 


THE POWER OF TOUCH

DADDY,
I wanted your touch
You touched me and I cried
I needed your touch
You touched me and I died
I longed for your touch
Your touch was denied

MOTHER,
I wanted your loving touch
You gave me a stare
I tried to earn your loving touch
You gave me a dare
I believed I had your loving touch
Your loving touch was to beware

SIBLINGS,
I hated your touch
You controlled me with touch
I denied your touch
You could do so much
I avoided your touch
You forced me to do such

STRANGER,
I feared your touch,
You offered acceptance
I evaded your touch
You provided a chance
I felt your touch
You gave me confidence

Began in April 1997
But not finished until
the completion of
"The Power of Touch"

Ruth

 

 

 


TELLING MY FATHER

Daddy
You needed a golden-haired princess
A child with no needs
A virgin, pure and white.
I kept my secrets as much for you as for me;
I tried to be what you needed
and hoped so hard
that you would be what I needed.

You betrayed me, Daddy
You made yourself my whole world,
my only hope,
Then refused to rescue me.
You trapped me and overwhelmed me
in your needs so that I would lose sight of my own.

The Self remembers, Daddy,
After years of abuse and torture, it was you who pushed her
over the edge.
Your rejection, your neglect, your irresponsibility
destroyed her.

Everything I am today, I am because of me,
Everything I could have been, I lost because of you.

Jacquelyn

 


 

 

 

Discussion - The Impact of Child Neglect on Development

Impact

Children who are neglected will grow up feeling isolated, alone and undefended, with no self-esteem. They will have a sense that their needs will not be met, that there is no one there for them, and that they are not entitled to care. They will experience despair. Suicidal feelings, self-abuse and depression are not uncommon. They may lack a sense of self: the knowledge that they exist and can do things because they exist.

The health of a neglected child is at risk. Their physical needs go unnoticed, untreated or ignored. They experience learned helplessness. “It doesn’t matter what you do, it changes nothing.” Their cognitive development is at risk. Accidents may be a pattern with some children, who constantly have accidents or develop other attention-seeking behaviour, much of which is negative. They may experience poor physical health: illnesses, headaches and a range of physical ailments.

Often children and adults who have been neglected will not be able to manage their emotions, and will experience a lack of self-management and social skills. They will not know the appropriate feelings for appropriate situations. They will have no sense of what’s right or wrong emotionally, due to a lack of models. They may not be able to relate to others.

Neglected children and adults may be behind developmentally, partly due to physical neglect such as lack of nutrition or eating problems. They may hoard food. They may feel pain due to a lack of nurturing, or feel a sense of rage. As children, they may receive material things instead of affection. Society teaches us to take care of things first, not people.

Many victims of child neglect become trapped in a developmental loop, trying to get what they couldn’t get as children. They may shoplift or develop different types of addiction, to shopping, gambling, drugs or alcohol. They will look for stimuli that fill the gaps and meet unmet needs.

If the key people ignore you, you don’t deserve it. Being a child, playing and laughter are missed. A neglected child leaps ahead before experiencing parts of childhood. If you don’t get a sense of yourself and who you might be, you will have a difficulty with your own sense of identity. If a child feels invisible, they will feel that they have no impact on the world.

 

 

REFERENCES ON THE IMPACT OF CHILD NEGLECT ON DEVELOPMENT:

Leach, Penelope. Children First: What Our Society Must Do - and is Not Doing for Our Children Today. New York: Knopf, 1994.

Swift, Karen J. Manufacturing Bad Mothers: A Critical Perspective on Child Neglect. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995.

Winnicott, D.W., Clare Winnicott, Ray Shepherd and Madelaine Davis. Deprivation and Delinquency. London: New York: Tavistock Publications: New York: Tavistock Publications in association with Methuen, 1984.

 

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THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ABUSE


All of our precious
children deserve to
feel safe and loved.
Barb

 

 

 

 

 


Together/Fight!
Support/Tough
Abues/Hurt
Younge/Old
Cyesha, age 10

 

 

 

 

 


mom

 

 

 

 

 


I think it is bad
and wrong!!!
Kyle, age 11

 

 

 

 

 


This hand shall forever
know the pains and
woes that sorrow sows.
F red, age 17

 

 

 

 

 


unheard tears
unheard scream
unheard lies
unheard breath
Now I'm left with all
the scars that will
never heal.
Heba 16

 

 

 

 


Build more group
homes.
Love on another.
Heather, age 17


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*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)


*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2004)