Premature Children of Immature Parents

People are born, they become children, they become adolescents, they become adults and they grow old. Every era has its own set of crises. Once these are resolved, the preparation for the next stage begins. People who have survived crises in a healthy way and have reached adulthood generally have a great deal of maturity indicators brought by age. On the other hand, for some people, these crises are more severe and traumatic. The problems that they cannot overcome and solve despite their age continue to grow with them, causing them to be stuck in that period and not reaching the required level of maturity even if they are adults.

When a person becomes a parent; It means that he is more responsible for another person than himself. To fulfill the requirements of this responsibility, he must have reached a sufficient level of maturity. Just as it is not possible for a child to raise another child, it is not possible for a parent who is in child mode to raise a child in a healthy way. This is where the concept of the immature parent emerges. Seeing the child as a tool to meet his own needs, not seeing or ignoring his needs, not being able to empathize with the child, expecting him to act like an adult, and pulling the child into adult problems (for example, including the child in his disagreements with his spouse), burdening the child with more responsibilities than his age ( For example, taking care of his sibling, home, etc.) in short, we can think of any behavior that will prevent the child from having a childhood as immature parenting.

What happens when a child lives with an immature parent? As a child, their needs are not consistently met (mostly needs such as love, attention, but sometimes even very basic needs such as shelter, nutrition). The child cannot feel loved just for being and being himself, he learns from his parents that he can receive love under certain conditions.

In an environment where their needs are not met, the child gradually loses hope that the parent will meet his needs and starts to develop skills that will enable him to be self-sufficient. For example, even at a very young age, he tries to meet his nutritional needs himself, cooks at home, cleans, and has to spare the energy he needs to play games for his more vital needs. Sometimes there are times when the parent cannot even meet his own needs and the child tries to meet his needs as well. The biggest example of this is when the parent constantly transfers the need to be loved and accepted to the child. This need leaves the child in a position where he cannot stop loving and being by his side no matter what, and compels him to take meeting this need of the parent as a responsibility and to constantly strive to please him. Thus, the concept of a prematurely matured child emerges. When these children grow up, they become adults who take care of everything on their own, take excessive responsibility, cannot ask for help, and at the same time try to please people excessively or assume the role of “saviour”. They have a pattern of relationships with their parents in which they are both conflicted and inseparable.

It is difficult to mature early, every child deserves to have a childhood, but sometimes life does not go as it should and there are differences between what is deserved and what is achieved. Oftentimes, one blames one’s parents for what they lacked, but blaming them alone is not enough to improve one’s recovery. Psychotherapy; It is very useful for a person to discover the reflection of his unmet needs from childhood to adult life and to see what he actually needs today. How to meet unmet needs in adulthood can be explored with the help of a therapist.

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