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Know the signs: Neglect

Signs of Neglect in Parent

When parents neglect children there is often an associated behavior that has gotten out of control. For example, the addictive use of drugs and alcohol, severe and untreated mental health challenges, or an unresolved history of trauma can all interfere with a person’s ability to parent.

Neglectful parents may:

  • Seem depressed or not interested in anything
  • Behave irrationally or strangely
  • Abuse alcohol or drugs
  • Deny that the child has problems, or blame the child for problems at school or home
  • Consistently talk about the child negatively
  • Expect the child to do too much or to be perfect
  • Use the child to fulfill their own emotional needs rather than being attuned to the emotional needs of the child
  • Seem not to care about the child

(North Dakota Mandatory Reporter Training, 2015)

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