7 Things Immature Parents Do and How It Affects Their Kids
Emotional maturity means knowing how to control your emotions, taking responsibility for your mistakes instead of blaming others, and being accepting of other people’s points of view. Unfortunately, being an adult does not equal being emotionally mature, and that can have negative consequences on their children.
We at Bright Side believe it’s very important to work on your emotional intelligence. But let’s see what emotionally immature parents look like.
1. They only know how to take care of your physical needs.
Emotionally immature parents may be great at making sure their children’s basic needs are met. They might provide them with food, a home, and education, and they’ll take care of them when they’re sick. But such parents aren’t very good at giving emotional support. When their child is worried or upset about something, they might dismiss those feelings because they cannot understand how a child who’s well-provided for could have any problems.
2. They don’t know how to express their feelings.
When it comes to expressing deep emotions, emotionally immature parents aren’t comfortable. A child needs to know that they’re loved, but such parents aren’t very good at showing affection. It might be because of the way they were raised themselves; if emotions weren’t something to be shared or talked about in their childhood. Then, later in life, they become afraid of appearing vulnerable or weak if they want to connect with their child on a deeper emotional level.
3. They don’t tolerate differences.
Emotionally immature parents think they’re the only ones who know the right way to do things. If you have a different opinion, there’s no point in negotiating to find a middle ground — your point of view will simply not be accepted. So when you were a child, you probably always had to do things the way your parents wanted, and what they believed to be the best for you.
4. They act childish.
Because emotionally immature parents don’t know how to express their emotions in a healthy way, it might be hard to tell how they feel. Still, they might expect their children to somehow know what emotions they’re experiencing and what they need. And if the child doesn’t know that, they might get upset and make the child feel guilty for not giving them what they wanted.
5. They often lash out at you.
Part of not being able to express your emotions correctly is not knowing how to control them. So emotionally immature parents might often lose their temper and even blame their child for anything that made them so upset. As a child, you probably were very careful about what you said or did around your parents because you were afraid it would make them angry.
- When I was three years old, my dad was painting a room in the house. I accidentally stepped into some paint. Decades later, he still brings it up several times a year and is still angry at me for it. © Spartan2470 / Reddit
6. They don’t do any of the emotional work.
Emotional work is what you do to maintain your relationship with someone. In a family with emotionally immature parents, the burden of doing this work falls on the child. It’s their job to fix a strained relationship, even if the reason it became strained wasn’t their fault. Their parents, on the other hand, might never admit they were wrong and apologize for their behavior.
7. Their behavior is unstable.
Emotionally immature parents and their emotions are easily influenced by other people or other external factors. Their mood might change often, as well as the way they interact with their child. They might be very involved in their child’s life for a certain period of time and then suddenly become more disinterested and reserved.
Do you recognize someone’s parents in any of the above situations? How do you think it can affect children? What would your advice be on how to work on emotional intelligence?