Parental rejection is the lack of warmth, love, and affection from parents or a considerable withdrawal of those feelings through either physical or psychological destructive behaviours or feelings. It can be felt through different manifestations or parenting approaches, such as being:

• Cold and uncaring

• Aggressive and hostile

• Undifferentiated rejection

• Indifference and neglect

Having the perception of being rejected by parents is an unpleasant experience. It may have a substantial effect on a child’s psychological and social growth. Physical rejection or emotional rejection from parents are both possible. 

Why Does A Parent Reject A Child

There is no one primary reason why parents reject their children. However, there are several risk factors that, when present, make parental rejection more likely. Parents with lower levels of education and families with lower socioeconomic positions are risk factors for paternal rejection. Furthermore, male adolescents are more likely to be rejected than female adolescents, while fathers have a tendency to be more rejected than mothers.

Effects of Parental Rejection

Childhood rejection can have a negative influence on a child’s psychological development in both the short- and long-term. According to research, children who experience rejection trauma are more likely to exhibit the following personality traits: Low self-esteem, Emotional instability, Emotional numbness, and a Pessimistic outlook on life. Research results were consistent regardless of the cultures, races, genders, or geographic areas.

Coping with Parental Rejection

Identify issues

Finding the root of the issue is the first step towards healing. If you were rejected by your parents when you were young, you are aware of how painful and enduring it can be, as well as how much it may impact your current relationships. However, it is possible to get past these wounds and live a healthy life. This might entail thinking back on previous events and identifying the precise ways in which you felt rejected by your parent or parents, which has an impact on how you perceive the world or behave around other people. Journaling is one approach to organising your ideas and considering these problems. Talking to a dependable friend or a mental health professional can also be beneficial for sorting things out.

Replace negative self-talk 

Some of your maladaptive behaviour patterns, including negative self-talk, a propensity to retreat from social situations, or trouble establishing and sustaining healthy relationships, may also be influenced by a past of rejection. However, you can fight these tendencies, enhance your self-esteem, and develop a happier, more fulfilled life through some work on yourself and support. 

Negative beliefs can be contested and replaced with empowering self-talk. You are capable and worthy of respect and affection. Retraining your brain to concentrate on powerful and uplifting thoughts requires continuous practice. Exercises in mindfulness and meditation can make you more conscious of your own thoughts and help you identify ones that are detrimental.

Practice self-care

Exercise and enough sleep can improve your mood and make your mind less prone to negativity. They work effectively to lessen the signs of anxiety and depression while also enhancing your physical well-being.

Final thoughts

Positive connections can help repair relationship trauma. As you attempt to overcome rejection from your upbringing, look for support and direction. You can ask your friends, family, or support networks for assistance. You may also collaborate with mental health professionals who have expertise in guiding people towards self-acceptance and coping mechanisms.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Charlot Cauchi is a Gestalt Psychotherapist at Willingness. He has experience working with adult clients with mental health difficulties, anxiety and depression, loss and grief, traumatic experiences, stress and relational issues.

ReferencesQuirk, S.W., Wier, D., Martin, S.M., & Christian, A. (2014). The Influence of Parental Rejection on the Development of Maladaptive Schemas, Rumination, and Motivations for Self-Injury. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioural Assessment. 37, 283-295. doi:10.1007/s10862-014-9453-y