Signs You Were Parentified as a Child - Deepstash
Signs You Were Parentified as a Child

Signs You Were Parentified as a Child

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What It Means To Be Parentified

What It Means To Be Parentified

Parentification is when a child is forced to take on the role of an adult. Many children get pushed into the role of caretake for their younger siblings or become the referee in their parent’s arguments.

When caregivers aren’t able to fully show up for themselves, children get put into developmentally inappropriate situations.


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Signs That You Were Parentified as a Child

Signs That You Were Parentified as a Child

If you relate to any of the signs on this list, it might be helpful to get in touch with your inner child and allow yourself to experience that part of you.:

  1. Don’t really remember "being a kid”
  2. Trouble with play or “letting loose”
  3. Like to feel in control
  4. Pulled into arguments or issues between caregivers
  5. Felt like you were given responsibilities that were not appropriate for someone your age
  6. Often compliments for being “so good” and “so responsible”
  7. May feel that being self-reliant is better than trying to trust others


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How To Get In Touch With Your Inner Child

  • Become aware. Accept that you have an inner child and get to know it.
  • Get to know what your inner child needs. What we did not receive from our caregivers as children is often exactly what we need.
  • Take responsibility. You have to recognize that it wasn’t fair and it hurt. Now you are the adult saddled with the responsibility of re-parenting yourself.
  • Become a parent and friend to your inner child. Take inventory of what you did not receive as a child and what needs still need to be met.


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Things Your Inner Child Might Need

Things Your Inner Child Might Need

Find a way to honor your inner child consistently by offering what it might need.

  • Structure: Create structure in your day through routine, scheduling, or having a set bedtime or wake up time.
  • Play and Freedom: Add moments of safe play in your life.
  • Community: Look for people that share the same values and allow you to be yourself.
  • Love and Positive Reinforcement: Speak kindly to yourself and spend time with people that do the same.
  • Safety and Security: Create a space that you can go to and feel safe and secure.
  • Emotional Health: Allow yourself to feel and experience emotions.


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Psychotherapist, CBT fanatic, community organizer, active citizen

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