How Emotionally Immature Parents Have a Lasting Effect In A Child’s Adult Life

Emotionally Immature Parents Have Lasting Effect Childs Adult Life

Which is the healthy way of thinking?

In a relationship, we think:

If I change my behavior. If I love this person enough

Then I can turn them into the one. Get that happy ever after we crave.

The trouble is, we find safety in familiarity. So, seek safety in an emotionally immature partner. One who is like our parent(s). But, who’ll never meet our emotional needs either?

Related: How to Raise Spiritually Awakened Children

It took me years to understand this.

I was also sick of who I’d become. The chameleon, the people pleaser – anyone but myself.

I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I hit rock bottom.

I saw the real me for the first time. I was a frightened little girl. Desperate for love and approval.

I ripped that fantasy I had out of my head. My ex-was never going to fulfill my needs. I had to stop projecting this impossible dream onto him. That he was the one who’d plug the gap inside.

He’d shown me who he was all along. I’d denied the reality.

I saw my emotionally immature parents for who they were at last. Trying to do the best that they could, informed by how their own parent’s parents raised them. But, failing to fulfill my emotional needs.

I loved them, but I didn’t have to like everything about them. I could separate myself as their child.

I could forge a new relationship with them. I could nurture my own needs to become a healthy adult.

I had to stop being the rescuer in my relationship, thinking:

I can fix this

Related: 9 Psychologically Damaging Things We Say To Our Children All The Time

Now was the time to save and love myself.

Boundaries were key to this. Setting strong ones and sticking to them.

Walking away from abuse and never going back. No matter how hard this was and how much it hurt.

I was the Gatekeeper and Protector of my emotional needs now.

Learning how to detach from my parents was crucial too. And not slip back into the familiar, dysfunctional roles of the past.

Establishing new ground rules for our relationship to work. Saying no to them sometimes.

And now here I am. I’ve broken the cycle.

I somehow managed not to become an emotionally immature parent myself.

Loving me first allowed me to nurture my own children’s needs. I was able to raise them into healthy men.

This post was inspired by my recent reading this brilliant book: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to heal from distant, rejecting or self-involved parents. By Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD

Are you the child of an emotionally immature parent? How is affected you as an adult? Let me know in the comments below.

Originally appeared on
Written by Vivian Mc Grath

Emotionally Immature Parents and how they affect you as a child and your adult relationships
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Vivian McGrath

Vivian McGrath is a TV Exec Producer making documentaries for US/UK and Australian television networks. She’s a survivor of domestic violence, motivational speaker and empowerment coach. It’s her mission to help women recover from abusive relationships, fall back in love with themselves and never settle for anything less than they deserve again! Watch her free Masterclass here: Author posts