Abusive vs Absent; which is worse?! UPDATED with more info
What's worse; an abusive parent or an uninvolved parent?
My dh and I just finished watching a short documentary about gang life in our city. The link is here:
Dh cannot feel empathetic towards the young man interviewed because he was never physically abused so he doesn't feel he has any reason to be the way that he is. I argue that the fact that he was never taught morals and didn't have a positive role model is much more detrimental to his well being then if he had been physically abused. This got us debating what's worse.
My husband states: I think abusive is the greater evil btw. Children can find positive role models in teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents or many other places in lieu of absent parents. I'm not saying they won't be negatively affected by absentee parents but they may be able to tap other sources for their values and caring. An abused child carries that with them for the rest of their lives. No matter what happens, they will always have that horrifying ordeal haunting them.
I state: Well it's not ideal to have either type of parent, a heavy handed one that offers routine and consistency is not as terrible as one who is just not there. An uninvolved parent sends the message to the child that they don't matter. I mean, if your own parents can't be bothered with you, then how could you expect anyone else to? How could you develop an ounce of self esteem? These children search for acceptance anywhere and many land up doing the dirty work of gangs. They have few loving lessons and do not develop a moral compass. They are deprive of experiencing what a family life is supposed to be and may struggle to provide a positive one for their future children.
Research has proved that the uninvolved parent is the worse of the 4 styles for these reasons.
We are in a heated debate here. Help us settle this!