Children or already adult people who grown up with emotionally immature parents have two things in common, deep internal emptiness and emotional loneliness, which are the results of emotional abandonment-emotional deprivation. These children or adults have difficulties to establish emotional relation and emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy means I can be who I’m and I’m acceptable like this.
Emotionally immature parents (EIP) are not able to give appropriate feedbacks to their child/children’s feelings, intuitions and because of the lack of accepting reaction, those children learn to doubt own inner voice, but learn to accept others opinion as their own. When these children can hear their own inner voice, the sense of guilt appears because they learnt their own needs is equal egoism. According to the coping style also they can become very dependent on others emotionally.
EIP basically are not able to satisfy their children’s emotional needs. Our emotional needs are basic; need of being wanted, being loved, being important for someone, being taken care.
Last week I wrote about emotionally immature people and now I’m giving you more characteristic of emotionally immature people how they act as parents, how their emotionally immature personality appears and influences their function as being a parent.
Lack of emotional reflection to the children. Reflection helps children to feel and see that, their parents listen to them and respect their own personality. EIP expect the opposite. They expect their children to reflect their own emotions but it’s a “mission impossible” for children. EIP hope when they become parents they will find peace inside but when they face with that children have their own needs and demands (being individual) these parents become very anxious. They use punishment, love deprival and humiliation to get back their control, re-establishing their self-esteem.
EIP’s self-esteem based and depends on the children’s obedience. They feel peace when everybody does what is expected and gets what they want. In real EIP’s self-esteem is very weak and they bear their children’s emotional world very badly. Often they blame children for their own failure. Every interaction is an exam to EIP, which is all about how much are they worth. They react very extremely for even slight resistance or reproach.
EIP consider family member functions and their places in the family as untouchable, intangible. They expect unconditional obedience and respect.
EIP expect things from their family members follow from their functions, (parent-God) they can do everything as parents because their parent function excuse them from taking into consideration others.
Forced functions. EIP force their children to behave, think and feel according to their given function. They achieve that using love deprival, humiliation and sense of guilt. The persistence in functions is rigid and inflexible and this is a rude querying of the child’s autonomy and right of own decisions. If they can’t reach this outcome they believe there is something wrong with the child.
Enmeshment is when two emotionally immature people look for their own identity and self-fulfilment in an intensive relationship based on mutual listening. They reach sense of security and foreseeing by the other person functions as known and expected. It causes a very strong emotional interdependence between them.
Favouritism. If an emotionally immature parent practice favouritism with one of the child most likely that parent is on that emotional level as the child. If the child has a strong independent personality that induces the parent to see this child as a small adult without need and not as a small vulnerable has to be taken care of child. In the case of dependence the child is unadaptable and has difficulties and when it comes to that the parent takes a victim or saviour function.
Substitute family members. When the child experience its own internal independent functions through someone else outside of the family.
Sense of time. EIP have a fragmented sense of time. The presence moment is immeasurable. Because of their momentary desires they are not able to set up a consistent future image. Consistency is not a value to them. For them time is not a continuous uninterrupted course but flashing isolated moments and that’s why they get very upset when someone is making an allusion to a previous happening in the past.
Limited sense of time – limited liability – limited calling to account. EIP can focus just onto the moment and that causes their lack of self-reflexion (objective self-assessment). They leave every each moment behind without connection between them and they don’t understand how others are not able to do the same, leaving behind problems, offenses without mentioning. The relation between action and consequence is a hardly perceptible concept to them because the fragmented sense of time.
It may be stated that emotionally immature parents are basically self-centred, narcissistic, emotionally not trustable and predictable, insensitive, incapable of real intimacy, having disfigured picture of reality and strong and inflexible emotional boundaries. They get too close to their children or keeping too much distance, they have difficulties handling frustration. They are emotionally manipulative or have threatening attitude.