In one of my previous post I wrote about emotionally immature people, how they think and act. Now I’m giving you more information how they act as parents. There are four types of emotionally immature parent which is based on a scope of sensitivity-insensitivity; acceptance-refusal; cooperation-intervention and availability-ignorance.
First type is the too emotional parent. This is the most infantile type, small things can upset them and everyone in the family must make every effort to calm them down. When they are going to pieces, the child (who is around) feels the despair, anger or hate of the parent with full intensity which causes a kind of walking on eggshells feelings to the family members, because they never know when the next breakdown is going to happen. These people are very unstable emotionally, in serious cases there are personality disorders in the background, like psychosis, bipolar disorder, narcissism or borderline personality disorders. Their uncontrolled feelings often can cause attempted suicide or hurting others physically or abusing emotionally or verbally. In their environment everybody is very nervous or anxious, especially the family members. These people’s mood can change easily, good and bad mood alternation. They are controlled by their own emotions and they see the world just in black or white and recording experienced offences. They are emotionally very manipulative what they use as a control on others. Since they have extreme mood alternations, family members think and feel, these people are scary and unreliable. (The sign is often very simple and recognizable, the child or children in the family is/are afraid of this parent.) These parents have a big difference in behaviour between home and work. (Home is safe to release anger and tension) Their children often learn to subjugate others.
Second type is the determined parents. They focus on tasks, which must be done. Their self-centrism is not so visible but their children suffer from lack of initiative and self-control. They have rigid opinions about human values and know what is good for others. They direct their children (sometimes partners as well) aggressively instead of accepting their development of interest and decisions. Continuously intervene in their children’s life and bustle without stopping, goals are more important than others’ feelings. They are proud of their own successes but feel shame if their children can’t or not able to achieve the same. They are not able to give unconditional acceptance which hinders their children in developing confidence which is one of the requirements of success. Most of the times they make their children feel being tested or evaluated which hinders their children asking support or help in the future. They remove autonomy and not able to attune their children’s continuously changing (which is normal) emotional needs but pushing them into a direction which they believe is correct. Their children feel they should do something else or more (always) to be enough good, to be loved. “Be successful” – destruction of autonomy
Third type is the passive parents. They are available emotionally till a certain level but become passive by experiencing intensive emotions. They don’t provide guidance and don’t set up borders. Usually children feel close these parents but if their needs clash with their parents’ need, they lose. These parents’ self-centrism appears in the need of being in the centre of attention. They easily can “go down” to their children’s maturity level but with exchanging of roles, their children shows unconditional acceptance and attention which also has negative consequences, like lack of guidance, support from the parent. The key point here is, the child is providing what the parent needs but the parent doesn’t give what the child needs, like protection, guidance and boundaries.
Fourth type is the refusal parents. These type of parents don’t feel good with interacting emotionally with their children. These children grow up feeling that would be better not being alive. These parents’ irritated reactions teach their children not getting close. They refuse every efforts which requires emotional involvement. They are susceptible to use corporal punishments and parents in this category has least empathy. They avoid eye contacts, rule the whole family and just their own needs and wishes are important. Every family member feel anxious and pay attention not to incur the hatred of this parent. A typical dictator type, centre of the world. Children of these type of parents struggle to express own basic needs.
Of course, not all of the emotionally immature parents show exactly the same or all of the characteristics as described above but they have patterns in common which are, basic emotional immaturity, self-centrism, narcissism, emotional unreliability, insensitivity, lack of empathy, disability of developing emotional intimacy, having distorted reality picture, low level of frustration tolerance, problem with respecting-keeping emotional boundaries (enmeshment or keeping too much distance) and using emotional manipulation.
Emotionally immature parents’ already grown up adult children suffer mainly from emotional loneliness and a feeling of deep emptiness.