How Does Parental Absence Make a Lonely Child?- SPARKLEBOX
How Does the Absence of Either Parent Affect Your Child?

How Does the Absence of Either Parent Affect Your Child?

How Does Parental Absence Make a Lonely Child?

Table of Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Effects of parental absence on child’s growth
  3. Long-term effects of parental absence on children
  4. Tips to be involved in a child’s upbringing.
  5. Closure


Although there are many people in the world today, humanity is lacking. We frequently forget that a man who is now an adult was once a child, and his upbringing greatly impacted how he became the man he is now.

We emphasize one such factor in this blog. Continue reading the blog to learn more about how this aspect influences a child’s development and growth, impacting his adulthood.

Effects of Parental Absence on Child’s Growth

The importance of including both parents in a child’s upbringing is an eternal debate. There was a time when a child’s upbringing was solely a mother’s duty. Though this has evolved as time passed, there are yet innumerable cases where the mother is still the sole parent in upbringing a child and many instances where the mother is not in the picture. 

Various studies were and still are being conducted to see the effects that the absence of either parent leaves on a child. Irrespective of the cause of absence, such as death, profession or separation, all lead to a lonely child. If the absence is in a child’s growing years, here is how it affects the child.

Weakened Cognitive Development

The role of each parent plays a significant role in a child’s cognitive development. A child learns differently from his father and mother. The absence of either parent affects this development and makes him less at par compared to other children of the same age.

For example, a lonely child with rare involvement or total absence of either parent in his upbringing is less cognitively competent at six months, has lesser cognitive abilities at twelve months, has less problem-solving skills at the age of two and has low IQs at age three.

Affected Emotional Development and Well-being

Parents’ lack of involvement in a child’s life leads to insecurity and vulnerability in stressful situations. A lonely child is often scared to explore his surroundings because he feels he won’t be able to handle situations well.

A scared girl running away

Increase in Negative Childhood Outcomes

The absence of either parent is negatively associated with the development of left-behind children. Without parental love or care, a child usually becomes reserved, emotionally unstable and academically poor. 

Significant Decline in Academic Performance

Kids with one parent are more likely to score less in academic achievement and are more likely to have behavioural temperaments. It also affects their mental health, making them anxious or feel depressed. 

Affected Social Development

The absence of a parent, particularly a father in this scenario, is negatively related to the child’s overall “social competence, maturity, and capacity for relatedness with others.” It makes the child anti-social.

Long Term Effects of Parental Absence on Children.

A parent’s absence from a child’s life has an impact that lasts a lifetime.

Poor Academic Performance

A lonely child is more prone to score less academically. They are more likely to drop out of school or college.

Fear of Attachment and Love

A lonely child who didn’t receive any love or attachment during his growing years is usually scared to express or receive these feelings later on. It becomes difficult for them to form a bond due to a lack of trust they faced while growing up.

Emotional Imbalance

Children raised in a single-parent home are more likely to feel separation anxiety, low self-esteem, irritability and depression.

Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Traits

A lonely child is more prone to develop borderline or narcissistic traits, such as unstable moods, paranoia, aggression, self-centred or arrogance. This affects his mental health and makes it difficult for his peers to handle him.

Juvenile Crimes

A single parent-child is likelier to commit crimes and get involved in wrong crowds, such as drugs, theft, joining crime gangs etc.

A boy stealing purse from a woman

Substance use

A lonely child is more liable to turn to alcohol or drugs to compensate for his loneliness.

Lack of Identity and Direction

Without proper guidance and parental care, a lonely child usually feels lost, and when he receives the slightest of love from somewhere out, he grabs it with both his hands, thus letting anyone influence him and his choices.

Tips to be Involved in a Child’s Upbringing

The involvement of both parents is very crucial for the child’s growth. Though sometimes the circumstances go out of hand, every parent must be available for their little ones. Here are a few tips you can follow to get involved with your child.

Listen to Your Child

When your kid is talking to you, make it a point that you give him your full attention, no matter how trivial his talks may be.

Play with Your Child

If your child comes to you and asks you to play with him “house house” or “police thief”, keep aside your work and your gadgets and play with him. This gives him a sense of security that he will always be your priority.

Spend Quality Time with Your Child

Each parent should make time out of their schedule to spend time with their children separately, without the other parent’s or family members’ involvement.

A father painting with his daughter

Share Your Life Stories with Them

Parents always teach their kids to try and succeed in whatever they plan. What we forget is that life is not always about success. Teach them that failures are essential too. Share your failures as well as success with them.

Make Them Count their Blessings.

It’s not uncommon for your child to come from school and tell you about this lonely child with only one parent. Teach your child empathy and make him realise how lucky he is to have his parents. This will help him become a compassionate person and emotionally available to his peers.

A happy family


Parenting is a challenge that parents must overcome with proper coordination. Apart from the helpless causes, such as death, each parent must try to be present in their child’s life. The absence of either parent turns into an antisocial, reserved and emotionally unavailable personality in children. This affects not only his life but also those around him.  We hope this blog helped you understand the results of being absent from your child’s life and how you can rectify it.

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