In an ideal world, our parents love us, care about us, want the best for us, and are always there when we need them.
The reality, however, is that our parents are human and capable of making mistakes or just not being the parents we want them to be.
If you feel like your parents don’t love or care about you, as sad as it is, it’s possible they don’t.
To help you out – here are 19 signs your parents don’t care about you, see how many you can check off:
19 Signs Your Parents Don’t Care About You!
1. They Put Their Own Needs Before Yours
Your parents are supposed to be there for you, but if they’re always putting their own needs before yours, it’s a sign they’re selfish and don’t care about you.
Whether it’s neglecting your emotional needs in favor of their own happiness or ignoring your physical needs in favor of their own comfort, putting their needs above yours is a clear sign that they don’t care.
It’s a sad reality, and a tough pill for most kids to swallow. But unfortunately, it’s the reality some people find themselves in.
2. They Regularly Dismiss Your Feelings and Thoughts
Do your parents regularly dismiss your feelings and thoughts?
Do they tell you to “stop being dramatic” or that you’re “overreacting”?
If so, it’s a sign they don’t care about how you feel or what you think.
Your feelings and thoughts are valid, no matter how our parents might view them.
It’s often our parents we often seek approval from, so it’s sad when it’s our parents that always put us down – a clear sign they don’t care as much as they should.
3. They Make You Feel Like You’re a Burden
Do your parents ever make you feel like you’re a burden?
Do they tell you that you’re “too much to handle” or that they “wish they’d never had children”?
If so, it’s a sign that they see you as a burden rather than a blessing.
It’s not easy to hear those words from the people who brought you into this world, and it’s a sad reflection that they don’t care about you like you wish they did.
4. They Compare You to Other People Negatively
Do your parents ever compare you to other people – and always in a negative light?
Whether it’s comparing your grades to a sibling’s, your achievements to a friend’s, or just putting you down in general, it’s not a good sign.
It shows that they don’t think highly of you and that they’re more likely to focus on your faults rather than your positive qualities.
5. They Aren’t Affectionate Towards You
We all want affection from our parents, and getting affection as we grow up helps shape us as loving, affectionate people ourselves.
Do your parents hug you, kiss you, or tell you they love you often?
Or do they avoid physical contact and never say “I love you”?
If it’s the latter, it might be a sign that they’re not as emotionally attached to you as they should be.
This may mean they struggle to show their emotions, but it may also mean that they don’t care about you as they should.
6. They Make Important Decisions without Consulting You
You and your parents are supposed to be a team, and that means making decisions together.
But if your parents are always making important decisions without consulting you – whether it’s about your education, your future, or even just what you’re having for dinner – it’s a sign they don’t see you as an equal member of the family.
This shows that they do not care about you, at least not in the traditional sense of how parents should care about their children.
7. They Ignore Your Successes and Focus on Your Failures
Do your parents always focus on your failures and ignore your successes?
Do they dismiss your good grades as “luck” and criticize you for getting a C?
Do they tell you that you’re “lazy” when you don’t do what they want, but never praise you when you do something right?
If so, it’s a sign that they’re more interested in putting you down than in celebrating your accomplishments.
This is a common sign of parents who don’t care about their children’s best interests.
8. They Constantly Criticize You
Do your parents constantly criticize you?
Do they tell you that you’re “never good enough” no matter what you do?
Do they make snide comments about your weight, your clothes, or your intelligence?
If so, it’s a sign that they’re more interested in tearing you down than in building you up.
This is a toxic and destructive parental attitude, I hope it’s not had the desired effect of breaking you down!
9. They Gaslight You or Make You Question Your Reality
Some parents will go as far as to gaslight or make their kids question their own reality as a way of retaining control over them.
Do they tell you that you’re “imagining things” when you know you saw or heard something?
Do they try to convince you that their version of events is the “correct” one, even when you know it isn’t?
If so, it’s a sign that they’re more interested in control than in your wellbeing.
This is a very harmful form of emotional abuse, and I hope you’re able to realize it’s happening and get out of their grip and control.
10. They Make You Feel Guilty for Wanting Attention
Do your parents make you feel guilty for wanting attention from them?
Do they tell you that you’re “selfish” or “ungrateful” when you try to talk to them about needing more emotional support?
Do they dismiss your feelings as “not a big deal”?
If so, it’s a sign that they’re more interested in their own needs than in yours.
Sadly, this is a common sign of parents who are emotionally unavailable or simply don’t care about their children.
11. They Withhold Financial Support
Some parents will use their financial power as a way to control their children.
Do they threaten to cut you off financially if you don’t do what they want?
Do they make you ask for money instead of giving it to you freely?
If so, it’s a sign that they’re more interested in using their money as a weapon than in supporting you.
12. They Constantly Let You Down
Do your parents constantly let you down?
Do they make promises they never keep?
Do they cancel plans at the last minute or forget important events?
If so, it’s a sign that they’re more interested in their own lives than they are in being there for you.
It’s certainly not the actions of parents – or anyone – who cares about the person they’re letting down.
13. They Never Ask About how You’re Doing
It doesn’t take a lot for parents to ask their kids how they’re doing – and really mean it.
Do your parents ever ask you how you’re really doing?
Do they ever show a genuine interest in your life, your thoughts, or your feelings?
If not, it’s a sign that they don’t care about you the way they should.
14. They Never Reassured You or Helped Build Your Self-Esteem
One of the most important things parents can do for their children is to help build their self-esteem.
Personally, I see it as a role of mine and have spent a lot of time helping my kids develop healthy self-confidence and self-esteem.
Do your parents ever tell you that they’re proud of you?
Do they ever encourage you or give you compliments?
If not, it’s a sign that they don’t care about your emotional needs.
15. They’re Not Interested in Your Friends
Another way your parents will show you that you care about you is by taking an interest in your friends and making sure you’re hanging out with the right kind of people.
Do your parents ever ask about your friends?
Do they ever inquire about your hobbies or activities?
If not, it’s a sign that they don’t really care about you or what’s important to you and aren’t looking out for your wellbeing.
16. They Never Give You Any Valuable Life Advice
Another important role parents have is passing on important and valuable life advice to their children.
The kind of advice that can only be earned through experience and helps us avoid the same pitfalls and mistakes they made.
Do your parents ever give you advice?
Do they ever share their own experiences with you as a way to help you learn and grow?
If not, it’s a sign that they don’t care about your future or whether you make the same mistakes they did.
17. They’ve Never Told You They’re Proud of You
This is the one thing that a lot of kids say cuts deep – when their parents never tell them they’re proud, no matter what they’ve achieved.
If your parents have never told you they’re proud of you, it’s a sign that your parents don’t think you’re good enough and that you’ll never measure up in their eyes.
It’s hard to say why your parents feel this way, but it’s possible you can talk to them and get to the bottom of it.
But if you do, be prepared to hear some things that may hurt you.
18. You Never Hear Them Say They Love You
If there is one thing that hurts more than never hearing your parents say they’re proud of you, it’s never hearing them say they love you.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone needs to hear the words “I love you” from their parents.
Some people just find it hard to say it and show their emotions, I get that.
But it’s also a sign that they don’t care about you or aren’t able to feel that strong emotional connection with you.
19. They’ve Never Been Great Parents to You
At the end of the day, if your parents just haven’t been great parents – or even good parents – it’s hard to argue that they care enough.
Maybe they were never there for you when you needed them.
Maybe they’ve always been critical and negative towards you.
Or maybe they’ve just never shown any real interest in your life or what’s important to you.
Whatever the case may be, it’s a sign that your relationship with them is not as strong as it could be and the fault is on their end.
Image credits – Photo by Nick Page on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.