THE CHILD IN EVERY ADULT

Childhood emotional neglect occurs when parents fail to take care of their children’s emotional needs or when the emotional needs of a child is neglected. It is the parents failure to act or parents omission. This omission or failure to act could be as a result of the level of parents knowledge as to what parenting is all about.
 It could be intentional neglect from part of parents or unintentional. It is unintentional when the parents feels they are doing or have done their best to make sure their child is satisfied and not lacking in any form. To such parents, they have done all they can for the child to be happy and contented and grow up to become a better person. An intentional emotional neglect occurs when the parents are aware of the abuses or lacks and neglects due to such parents inability to cater for their children.

This childhood emotional neglect is an invisible but visible slow killer of the future and personal development of many children who grow up into adulthood.

As an adult who was once a kid, I have battled and gone through this myself. Even as a growing child, I couldn’t explain what was wrong with me. This is because with all the things I had, I should be happy but then I was not. I always felt there was something missing. I felt this void, this vacuum that needed to be filled.

However, in my quest for answers,discovering true self and personal development, I found out why I felt such way. I found answers to my long time depression and search for acceptance.
It is for this same reason that I have decided to write this  in order to reach out to as many people as I can who may also be going through same thing without knowing what it truly means and why they feel the need to be accepted or they feel the way they are. This article is just a guide and may not be answers to all your questions but will help you get to the root of this.

ONE


“We learn people’s past not to punish them but to understand their need to be loved.”


The child in every adult
Childhood is the period between infancy and adolescent. Childhood is filled with mixture of happiness,laughter,wonder, angst and resilience. It is generally a time of playing, learning, socializing, and exploring. It is a time to be selfish as a kid where you have all the attention to yourself and you can get away with anything you do without being bothered with adult’s responsibilities. It is a period where our parents or guardian do most of the thinking for us and make most choices on our behalf.
However, reversal happens when there is no time to play with other kids, wonder over little things, explore with fellow kids and then loaded with expectations of adulthood or burdens of adult responsibilities. Such child grows in an environment with the pressure to grow into adulthood so quickly. Such child is automatically robbed of his or her childhood.
Thus, just as a child who lacks some nutrients due to failure of the parents to feed him with balanced diets suffer from deficiency or malnutrition , that is how a grown adult who missed out on childhood will grow up with deficiency in character , growth or one thing or the other. Such deficiency shows as he struggle to be self-developed or improve himself. He is faced with lots of limitations due to his believe system as a child. According to Dr Jonice Webb, childhood is like a foundation of  a house and adulthood is the house itself. It is possible to build a house without noticing the flawed foundation, but then over the years, the side effects of such flawed foundation will begin to show up. There are lots of adults with flawed foundation that don’t even know that’s the cause of their problem.
Before the boom of technology, childhood in Africa was so much fun that we wished we never grew up. We had our moonlight tales from our parents or granny. As kids, we could build on sand, play with tire wheels, play hide and seek and had lots of childhood fantasies. The moonlight stories mostly formed our thoughts as we lay on bed to sleep each night, we had thoughts of wonderland and of which of the characters we will like to become or take after as we grow up.
It is important to note that not everyone had this kind of childhood. Not all was lucky to have their parents around or grew up with lovely granny’s who had time to tell them folklore. This is true as everyone is wearing a mask, creating an image to hide the harms done to them in their childhood. Many adults are ashamed of their background or where they come from. They do not want to identify with their childhood because to identify with it is to kick start the hurt they have struggled for years to bury or get rid of in their own way.


This is why when I meet people for the first time and we click, I love to know them on a deeper level. For me knowing people on a deeper level from my own experience is to know what their childhood was like, where they come from, the challenges they had as a child and how they coped, survived or got to the point where they are today.
One important factor of personal development is called self-awareness and part of being self-aware is coming to terms with the child in you and not running away from it no matter how bad your experiences were.
In order to be self-aware and to ensure personal development and be a complete individual, you must answer the following questions sincerely.
1. How was your childhood?
This entails you describing your childhood. If you were to summarize it in one word, what would that word be. Will it be perfect, amazing, sorrowful, tearful, sad, joyful , splendid. Or how best will you describe your childhood. At this point, I will suggest you make a note of what your childhood was like.
2. Did you miss out of childhood?
With what you know about childhood now, would you say you missed out on all of it or some part of it. Did you really have a childhood or you were forced to grow up quickly to take responsibilities and take care of your younger ones as well.
The essence of this article is for the readers to come in terms with the child within them and be one with them for them to have enjoy their adulthood without hindrance from childhood experiences.

3.  What type of environment did you grow up in?
The kind of environment a child grow up in matters a lot. I know that not all are born with silver spoon so not all adults had the privilege of growing up in a good nature friendly and social environment. Some children grew up in tough areas, or such areas termed as ghetto where they are exposed to the ghetto life , some to environment of child abuse , while some grew up in mansions, beautiful environment etc.
The question is how best you would describe your environment.
4. Were your needs catered for?
Speaking of the kind of environment you grew up in, brings us to the question of physical needs. Did your parents or guardian provide you with the necessary basic amenities as a child? Did you as a child have what you wanted, good food, good clothes, shelter, and good school. These are the basic things every child born on planet earth is entitled to. Besides why bring a child you cannot provide for into this world. When a child lacks in basic amenities of life, it affects the child as such child grows to develop low self-esteem and lack confidence. I know that no parents will want that for their children or for her child to grow up having a battered self-esteem due to things he or she lacked and those things used in insulting the child while growing up. Words kill faster than anything and some words last a long while with damaging effects.
So I will ask again were your needs met or were they neglected?
5.  Were you given attention or neglected?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how will you rate the attention you got as a child? Were you neglected or you had mom and dad’s best attention. 

If I may ask, between you and your siblings, who got the best attention?  If you were asked that question whose name would you call? Yours or that of any of your siblings?

When we talk about attention as kids, we mean those little silent not so obvious subtle messages passed across to parents by their kids. It could be a need to spend time but mom or dad was too busy because they have to make a living or improve the standard of living. It could also be a physical need, maybe a game or toy but the parents sees it as not so important, something that can be postponed till a later date. There is always a thing line between attention, neglect and not giving the child, what he or she wants. The problem is parents who are adults always want their children who are kids to understand. That is the irony of everything. How do you expect the child to understand when he is just a child. It is therefore the parent’s duty to see to it that in cases as such, the child is not neglected but given necessary attention. and made feel accepted.

TO BE CONTINUED….
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