Raising children is difficult and, unfortunately, many adults aren’t equipped with the emotional maturity needed to become effective parents. As a result, countless children grow up in households that lack emotional stability, support, and validation. These disadvantages can impact a child’s habits, behaviors and overall mental health well into adulthood–even for their entire lives–if left unaddressed.
Do you suspect you were one of those children? Keep reading to learn if you show signs of being raised by emotionally immature parents and, if so, to find out how you can heal and break the generational curse.
Emotional Immaturity Explained
Not to be confused with empathy–which is a person’s ability to recognize and share another person’s feelings–emotional maturity can best be described as a person’s ability to recognize and regulate their own emotional states.
For example, suppose an emotionally immature parent is stressed out from work. After one especially stressful day, they come home to find their child has made a big mess. In this case, the parent’s response will likely be much harsher than the child deserves or expects–simply because the parent is already in a bad mood from work.
Signs of Emotional Immaturity
Unfairly lashing out at others over unrelated events is just one example of emotionally immature behavior. Generally speaking, emotionally immature people also tend to:
- Refuse to admit or apologize when they’ve done wrong
- Take personal offense at other people’s boundaries
- Dismiss or invalidate other people’s feelings that clash with their own
- Hold other people–even children–to higher behavioral standards than they apply to themselves
Lasting Impacts of Emotionally Immature Parenting
As previously stated, children raised by emotionally immature parents often develop coping mechanisms, self-defeating mentalities and behavioral issues that carry into adulthood. Some of these include:
- Prioritizing other people’s needs over their own
- Overreacting to stress, conflict or unexpected events
- Seeking validation from unsuitable sources (such as an abusive or emotionally unavailable partner)
- Feeling unworthy of happiness or success
Thankfully–with time, effort, and effective therapeutic practices–many people who were raised by emotionally immature parents are able to overcome their difficult upbringings.
At Valley Oaks Health, our experts are equipped with the knowledge and experience to address childhood trauma of all kinds. See our list of therapeutic services here, and consider giving us a call if you feel this article applied to you.