I have learned over the years that emotionally immature parents have similar characteristics of emotional detachment and emotional insecurity. They lack the ability to nurture, accept, and love their children because their past trauma of being abandoned or neglected influences how they emotionally relate to their children.

As an adult child, it is important to heal from emotionally immature parents so that abandonment triggers do not negatively affect your sense of well-being and your parenting. So, that you can say to yourself, “it is well within my soul.”

Signs of Emotionally Immature Parents

Immature parents have behavior patterns that manifest as either emotionally insecure or emotionally unavailable. They were essentially childish in how they treated their own children when their emotional needs went unmet.

Here are some signs to look for:

  • Jealous of you having relationships with people outside of the family ( you’re their
    “best friend” or they might say something like ” your family is your only true friends”)
  • Dismiss your feelings ( invalidate everything you feel, think, do, or say)
  • Make it about themselves when you bring up an issue.
  • Happy when you do things without their support ( you can do it by yourself attitude)
  • Easily offended when you don’t do things their way ( tantrum, pouting, name-calling, silent treatment, comparing you to your siblings or other children, belittling and condescending)
  • Blame-shifting for their emotional outbursts towards you
  • Being petty when you upset them ( refuse to call you on your birthday, or behave in revengeful ways)
  • Parentification- You were their emotional and physical support system
  • You felt like you owed your parents for meeting your physical needs
  • Their love was conditional
  • You were expected to “take the higher road” or apologize for their offenses made against you
  • Perfectionism- nothing you ever did was good enough for them
emotionally immature parents

What is the root cause for emotionally immature parents?

Lack of nurturing from a mother

Immature parents have a root issue of lacking nurture in their childhood. The core emotional needs of being comforted or feeling safe to be vulnerable were never accepted or celebrated.

Lack of secure attachment -love, acceptance, approval

Children are more prone to securely attach to their parents when they feel loved, accepted, and approved. If these needs are not met, their emotional identity becomes flawed and it becomes difficult to know their authentic self ( emotional security, emotional boundaries, and emotional availability).

Emotional trauma

Emotional trauma can originate from emotional abandonment in childhood. Emotional abandonment is when a parent “abandons” the child by not providing for their emotional needs and natural desires. This can happen either by the parent having misplaced priorities in life or lack of acknowledgement for moments when a child is visibly in distress. Parents that are emotionally immature more than likely experienced emotional trauma.

Fear of abandonment and rejection

Rejection in utero can start before a child is born? There is a medical term called “ in utero wounding” which means that an unborn child can experience trauma in the womb  during the early and later stages of pregnancy.  If your parents were rejected or abandoned early or later in childhood, then they probably did not have the ability to learn how to recover from abandonment, neglect, or rejection.

Read related post:10 Key Signs of Rejection In Utero- How to Overcome

What you shouldn’t do with emotionally immature parents

Don’t address it with them

Do not address it with them because they will do either two things; gaslight or get defensive ( “you are too sensitive”). Emotionally immature parents are very tunnel vision and will only see things their way. Their thinking is very self-centered and self-righteous seeking ( they are ALWAYS right!).

Don’t use false coping mechanisms

Disassociation is when you disconnect from your thoughts and feelings to protect yourself from further trauma. De-realization is feeling separated from reality as if you are watching yourself from a movie screen. Rumination is a hyper focus on a problem by continuously thinking of all the possible scenarios that could happen. You often make up stories in your mind by creating character roles and story lines of what an emotional abuser might say to you.

These three mental disorders and symptoms of PTSD ( false coping mechanisms) keep you from feeling your emotions. Experiencing your emotions is a necessary step in healing from emotional trauma. If you suppress your emotions, you might walk a fine line towards the stages of emotional distractions, be triggered by abandonment, and walk in the footsteps of your emotionally immature parents. The cycle continues until you make a change in your mindset ( the house for your will, thought, and emotions) and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a new heart.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

Related post:Abandonment Triggers that You Need To Know Now

Remember the enemy is after your mind!! He is like a lion, roaming the earth, seeking who he may devour. He is looking to devour your mind by planting seeds of victimhood, poverty, insecurity, and abandonment with the help of familiar spirits. Why you may ask? He wants to reproduce or make a copy cat version of himself- a generation of people that lacks identity in God, purpose, and vision.

Heal from Emotionally Immature Parents

You are emotionally mature when you have learned to be fulfilled emotionally with God and loving people where they currently are emotionally, rather than grasping for them to give you what you need or expecting them to change for you. You will realize that they cannot pour back into you the same way God can.

How to Heal (Emotional Security)

  1. Self- care your emotional boundaries with your emotionally immature parents. God wants us to love ourselves by desiring good things for our minds, body, and spirit. This is where boundaries come in to protect your spiritual man ( the gates to your soul, body, and spirit). You are emotionally mature when you have learned to be fulfilled emotionally with God (13 Emotional Needs) and loving people where they currently are emotionally, rather than grasping for them to give you what you need. You will realize that they cannot pour back into you the same way God can.
  2. Secure your emotional identity in God. Emotional identity is being able to recognize your emotions, how it affects your emotional well-being, and your sense of how you see yourself. There are several core emotional needs that mothers should provide in their daughters.
  3. Secure your emotionally availability with those that are emotionally mature. Invest your time, talents, and emotional availability with those that God has called you to or has shown that they are emotionally equipped and available to share their life with you. You do not have to answer everyone’s request or meet their needs. Feel free to refer them to resources and other support systems if they show signs of codependency, or controlling and manipulative behavior. You are NOT their parent or therapist. If they are playing hot and cold as an emotionally unavailable person, then match their behavior by responding in a time frame that is consistent with theirs.

I hope these tips have helped you in some way. I pray that your healing journey shape you into who God has called you to be in Him. If you need help in how to apply these steps, consider booking a session.

Continue reading the series on emotional trauma:

How To Overcome An Emotionally Dismissive Mother

How To Overcome Emotional Pain

Toxic Projection: How to Master Your Emotions Today

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