When parents withdraw emotionally from their Child, it largely means that the parent is unable to communicate with the child or does not desire to communicate, which can cause depression in the child. This is also means of control parents use when disciplining children or to show their children disapproval. This is also referred to as conditional parenting when you are a parent when it suits your purpose.

Examples of Emotional Withdrawal include not speaking to the child, not hugging or showing physical affection. Emotional withdrawal also includes showing no interest in the child, ignoring the child when they are speaking to the parent.

Some parents use this as a tool during discipline to show the extent of their disapproval. This is considered by researchers as a form of child abuse. The support, love and unconditional affection children need for their development are lacking.

The impact of withdrawal on the child

Social Bonds

The child has challenges entering into healthy relationships. They did not receive the love and affection they required as a child so their emotions did not develop properly because of the lack, limited or conditional stimulation they received from parents.

Control of Emotions

When parents engage in the emotional withdrawal, the child has challenges in controlling their emotions as adults and dealing with changes that may occur in their life as well as normal challenges which they may encounter.

These children are easily frustrated.


When parents do not show their children the affection they need, the child often feels unlovable and expendable. They do not try to get the attention of the parent because they fear they with be an inconvenience to the parent and be dismissed. As such, they will distance themselves from their parents.

They do not see their needs as important or of any worth. The child becomes extremely independent.

Tries too hard

Children who have experienced this type of parenting fear rejection and as such, in relationships, friendships and so forth, they may try to be perfect so they are not rejected by persons in their life. They are overly accommodating, overly understanding and spoil you with gifts and tokens of affection

Low self-esteem

Their sense of self-worth is external to themselves.

They look to others to give them give them feelings of happiness, importance, and worth. It is only when they have this can they find happiness. When this is taken away they can become depressed and withdrawn.

Withdrawal and Rebellion

Parents who use this as part of their parenting tool box should pay careful attention to the effects it has on their children. It can do more harm than good. Keep in mind that you are the most important person to your child, even if they don’t act like it. If you reject them when they make mistakes this may be sending the wrong message to the child. Pay attention to your parenting practices, build your child up, be the pillar they lean on. Children who have been exposed to this type of parenting can become delinquent and rebellious towards those in authority. They give up very quickly when given the slightest criticism or correction or can respond aggressively.