Performing the role of an adult or caregiver by a child, during childhood, is parentification. When a child plays the role of a senior, it may be good in some way like fulfilling responsibilities, but it snatches the innocence, fun, enjoyment and playfulness of children. Because of this parentification, such type of children feel the lacking during their adulthood even.
You might have observed that some adults want to act as children just because of this factor as they could not enjoy their childhood in the best possible way. Understanding parentification is very important to save your child from this problem.
Fun and enjoyment are the basic elements of childhood but parentified children follow the structure and hierarchy of family system and sacrifice their playfulness. Apparently, it seems good to see your child responsible in the early phase of life but its long term results are not encouraging because she feels a gap in her personality due to early maturity and responsibility.
For being effective parents, it is necessary to save your child from being the victim of parentification.
Signs of parentified child
Let us try to understand the signs of parentified child:
- Parentified children are extra ordinary responsible while carelessness is the quality of childhood.
- Most of the time, they feel, they are in control of their parents or caregivers.
- When parents quarrel, parentified children play the role of a judge or moderator.
- More than normal responsibilities are put on their shoulders before the time.
- When they feel that the efforts that they are putting are not being respected.
- These children don’t like depending on other; rather they want to be self reliant.
- Trying to establish an environment of peace at any cost is the sign of parentified child.
- Showing empathetic attitude is also a significant sign of parentification.
- Often forgetting to be a child is also an indication of parentification.
- Parentified children usually play the role of a caregiver in the family.
- Sometimes, parents are unable to perform their role properly and assign this duty to children.
Connect with your inner child (Parentification)
If you find above mentioned points in you or your child, try to connect with your inner child by having fun and enjoyment. Also, help your child to do this. Along with this, free yourself or your child from stress, anxiety or remorse.
Following points can help you connect inner child.
Become conscious of your inner child
Everyone in this world has an inner child. Awareness and connectivity with your inner child is as important as water is for fish to live. Childhood experiences may be full of enjoyment or injured ones also but remembering those events and connection with that source is helpful for your adult life.
Wants of inner child (Parentification)
Inner child wants playfulness and carefree life far away from miseries, worries and tensions of practical life. Irrespective of financially rich or poor children, every child more or less enjoys her childhood with full zeal and zest.
Child does not want costly dresses; she just needs stress free time and environment in the family. Being a parent, if you are giving these things to your child, you are giving everything which she wants.
Take responsibility of internal child
If you were a victim of parentification or your own child unknowingly is suffering from this problem, it is the time to take responsibility of your inner child. You wish it was it would have been different, but, now it is not possible.
Now, you have a shift in your life and start taking care of your inner child. Same is true to your child as she is still in her childhood and you should provide all the essentials to free her from the burden of parentification.
Become a friend of inner child
Respect and love your inner child both as a parent and friend. As a child, if you had no structure to live a happy life, develop it now. Contrary to that, if you had a tight structured schedule, you should give freedom to yourself.
In a nutshell
The word “parentification” was quite unfamiliar for me before writing this article; but, while conducting research on that particular topic, I was stunned.
You may ask, “Why was I stunned after reading the details of parentified children?”
Its answer is simple. Most of the children in developing and under developed countries are the prey of this ailment unintentionally. Parents of such children don’t want their kids to spend a stress free life because their point of view is that they should face challenges and hardships from the very early age. But, sometimes, it snatches away their softness and innocence.
So, concluding the whole debate, parentification ought to be avoided at any cost.
Wish you happy parenting