Article: Parentification- a license to kill childhood

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If you feel you were "parentified" this is a good article. Parentification is "when children under age eighteen assume care-taking responsibilities for parents, or other family members at the expense of their own developmental needs and pursuits." Which sets up codependency & enabling tendencies as well as a host of other issues. It's debilitating for those of us who struggled through this. It's a good article if you're interested, check it out.

    Parentification: A License to Kill Childhood – Suzette Misrachi – Medium
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I read this and thought that my mom was lazy and abusive but didnt make me or my sister take care of her. And my brother was the golden child. She never abused or neglected him. I am glad he was spared.

    But he has had problems too and I think she did rely on him to nurture and care for her in a more emotional way. She had no relationship with our dad and no friends and she and my bro were always together, even watching ballgames on her bed while she wore her bathrobe and he was sometimes in underwear. Nothing physical happened. But I wonder if it was his role to be her husband, so to speak, and if that is a form of parentification. My brother grew up to be a kind, strong man...brave even....but like my sister, for whatever reason, he never found a suitable mate.

    I wonder if his early over her harmed him. He is smart and funny and successful....i dont think he would have had trouble finding a parttner if he wanted one or knew how to reach out to one. Sad things parents do.
  3. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Thanks. This article really resonated with me. I spent part of my childhood in another country with my parents and younger brother. Both of my parents were having affairs, and often left us unattended. I was nine years old and my brother only four.

    I was left with the responsibility of my brother, and we often roamed town wondering where they were. I was resilient and cared for my brother making sure he was safe. It turned me into the perfect codependent—needless and wantless, always focused on taking care of others.

    I have spent most of my adult life trying to unlearn codependency and to not feel guilty for setting boundaries and taking care of myself.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Acacia, that's been my experience too. I'm sorry that happened to you. I think we can liberate ourselves from it's grip.......I remember reading a novel years ago which said, "it's never too late to have a happy childhood" ......I chose to believe that and I'm doing my best now to let that 'free' child within get out and play.