Did You Have to Grow Up Too Soon? - Deepstash
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Did You Have to Grow Up Too Soon?

Did You Have to Grow Up Too Soon?

Since you had to grow up too early too soon, you might be trained to become hyper-independent. You are incredibly self-reliant that it may feel impossible to be vulnerable or seek help from others.

Being highly self-reliant was your only option in a household with only emotionally vulnerable adults, but it is a strategy that no longer works for you. Challenging yourself to connect with others is the most potent ways to heal.


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What Is Parentfication

What Is Parentfication

Parentification constitutes a form of "role reversal" in the family when a child is made to take on parental responsibilities.

They may have to, aside from taking care of themselves, be their parents’ confidantes, their siblings’ caretaker, the family mediator, etc. It is a form of boundary violation because the innocent childhood that one is entitled to is robbed away.


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Forms of Parentification

Forms of Parentification

Parentification can occur in two ways:

  • emotional parentification when a young child is forced to meet the emotional needs of their parent(s), siblings or other family members, on a regular/daily basis.
  • instrumental parentification is like emotional parentification but in terms of physical and material aspects. Parents who either shy away from or have no care or consideration for practical duties and responsibilities can push their child to take on the roles they are neglecting.


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What Happens to the Parentified Child

What Happens to the Parentified Child

Parentified children are not given the time, care, love, emotional support, or security needed to develop and thrive. They are deprived of the opportunity to learn through observation and guardianship.

If they were to be vulnerable, they are either ignored or sometimes punished. Eventually, they internalize the message that having needs and desires is not acceptable. They become ashamed of their vulnerabilities, and eventually, emotional numbness and self-denial become their second nature.


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Healing and Integration of Parentification

Healing and Integration of Parentification

There are many to recovery for a young adult or adult who has been parentified as a child:

  • Tell your story! Acknowledgment of reality is the first step to healing. You are accepting not the injustice, but the truth of your story.
  • Challenging yourself to connect with others authentically would also be one of the most potent ways to heal. The thoughts, feelings, impressions, and emotions buried within are waiting to be heard.
  • Self-compassion is an essential ingredient to your process.


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