You tear your hair out when you think of your folks.

Your emotionally immature parents lack empathy for you or others. You need to cope with them but will first have to understand what emotional immaturity is.

So, what are its signs and how do you deal with them?

What is emotional immaturity?

Below is a short explanation of this behavior. Note that not all parents will act this way. Also, there are other examples of it.

As mentioned above, such parents find it hard to understand others. They control their kids’ lives and make them feel as though they’re never good enough. Also, these parents feel that their children are responsible for their failures. They ignore their kids’ needs because they’re focused on their own.

Such parents are volatile. They are prone to throwing temper tantrums and blowing matters out of proportion. They can’t accept criticism and are unwilling to forgive. These parents are quick to judge others, but cannot take criticism themselves.

They are also too reliant on their children to run errands for them. Such parents need their kids’ constant attention. They have low self-esteem, are self-centered and make unreasonable demands.

Conversely, emotionally mature parents can deal with their realities. They accept criticism and learn from their experiences. These parents look forward and are self-confident.

Types of Emotional Immaturity

According to psychologists, there are four types of emotionally immature behavior.

1. Emotionally Volatile

If you have emotionally unpredictable parents, they’ll have constant mood swings. Also, they’re either too involved with your life or not concerned at all.

2. The Overachiever

These parents are usually perfectionists who expect their children to succeed at everything.

3. Rejecting Feelings

Rejecting others’ feelings is another emotionally immature behavior. Parents who deny their children emotionally will ignore their problems. They won’t allow their children to get in the way of their life goals.

4. Passive

Passive parents will not become involved in decision-making or conflicts, preferring not to ‘rock the boat.’

Effects of Emotionally Immature Parents

These parents can’t connect with their children on an emotional level because there are too emotionally immature.

As a result, their kids feel emotionally neglected. These young ones may feel that they are different from others or are unlikable. Furthermore, they may have a fear of relationships as they grow up. They believe that others may reject them like their parents did.

8 signs that you have emotionally immature parents

Below are eight signs that you have parents who don’t have well-developed emotions. Note that there are others.

1. Emotional outbursts

First of all, emotionally young parents are prone to outbursts and temper tantrums. They flare up over trivial matters.

2. Blame

Such parents blame anyone else but themselves for their problems. Consequently, everyone else is responsible for their lives.

3. Lying

Like young children, parents who lack maturity will lie to get attention or avoid trouble.

4. Poor Impulse Control

These parents find it difficult to rein in their impulses. Like children, they may give in to the temptation to lash out at others when they feel hurt.

5. Name-Calling

Consequently, they may call names in a fit of anger.

6. Need For the Limelight

These parents want attention. They become sulky when their children ignore them. Narcissism is a common trait among emotionally immature parents.

7. Bullying

These parents may not bully their adult children physically but may threaten to withhold affection. They may say that they won’t visit you in the future if you don’t do as they wish.

8. Emotionally Immature Parents Don’t Acknowledge Mistakes.

Adults will see criticism as feedback and try to solve problems. Parents with poorly developed emotions, conversely, will not admit their errors and refuse to correct them.

How to Deal with Emotionally Immature Parents

So how would you cope with a parent’s outbursts or childishness? Here are four suggestions that may help.

1. Stay an Observer

First of all, being detached is the best way to cope with emotional immaturity. Don’t react to outbursts. Instead, look at their behavior clinically. Say, ‘Ah, he (she) is having an outburst again.’ and distance yourself.

2. Express Yourself

Also, express yourself clearly and calmly. Realize that getting your parents to change overnight isn’t possible. Speak up calmly, while assuring them that you’re not criticizing or questioning them. Say that you’re only saying what you feel.

3. Think About Outcomes, Not The Relationship

Consider the outcome you want instead of the relationship with your parents. You’re not going to find it easy to improve the latter because anything emotional will scare them. For example, if you want an apology for a temper tantrum, you can ask for it tactfully. However, don’t expect them to stop lashing out straight away, or at all.

4. Manage Conversations

Finally, control conversations by not being emotional yourself. State precisely what you want to discuss, and for how long. Make sure that you stay on top of the discussions, or your parents will take the chance to vent.

If you have emotionally immature parents, gain control of conversations and state what both parties want to achieve from them. Then, meet in the middle.

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Ukhti Annisa

    Now i know why i always feel afraid of relationship.

    1. volutaryism

      This is from the book. Adult children of Emotionally immature parents from Lindsay C. Gibson.

      Maybe the book can help, Good luck.

  2. Dan

    My both parents are exactly this all of the above…screw my life

  3. Sot

    My mother destroys her health, no matter how many times I let her know I SEE the same bad decisions, especially for an overweight diabetic in their 50″s. She goes on her quarterly emotional storms and does the blame game and immediately apologizes to everyone once she finishes. The most obvious sign is she keeps a piece of soft fabric around like a freaking teddy bear. You can assume what that could imply.

    1. JAna

      She sounds autistic.

  4. Me Christopher Manners

    If you have grown up codependent the chances are that you have always given and made compromises, so meeting in the middle may not be an equal middle. The parent had power over you and has probably occupied your space so you end up having to meet in the middle of the little remaining space you have. Hence I would advocate that there needs on the part of the emotionally immature a recognition of hurt done, a willingness to hear how these actions affected the child, the willingness to make good that which has been done ( if it can be repaired), and a firm commitment to never behaving in this way again. Anything less is a waste of time.

    1. Melissa

      As much as I want to agree with you, you can’t change the way people are. And pain is a great teacher. When the emotionally immature person is also an anti-social narcissist and decided that psychological abuse IS parenting, that’s when your brother, who refuses to get a job, comes home to find a padlock on your door a month later and a mattress in the living room. My mom will call me names in fits of rage or judge the questions I ask and things I do, but then never offers apologies, and it’s so painful I can’t even be sad anymore…I just become numb. I’ve told her it hurts, she knows I talk to my therapist about her frequently, she knows I spent my entire “teenagerhood” so existential I could have passed for a YA heroine. No matter how much recognition is done, I recognize that I am 23, but I am not going to get rid of my stuffed animals anytime soon.

  5. Dustin Harrell

    There is no way to “fix” these parents, I’m sorry. I have been dealing with a mom that has all of these qualities, i do all that is listed, but its like a quick/temporary fix. I have seen my mom be like this all my life and I am 29 years old. I know some people really love there parents but my advice. Is to stay away as much as possible. Hollidays and random small doses of the parent can be ok, but NO prolonged stay.

  6. M.

    Honestly, I have been doing this stuff from when I was four or something… but it doesn’t work, at least on my mother… and my father is so clingy…
    I think my sanity is having some difficulty working… I don’t want to be called an “adolescent with tempers anymore” especially when I practically don’t say more then three words a day at home…
    And I still have to wait other 6 years…
    I wish I had the time to be sad… But there isn’t any…
    Can’t there be some sort of parent-sitter to come take care of my parents for some time somewhere…? Or can’t I just graduate from school, get a job and leave…?

    1. Michelle Liew

      So sorry to hear this. I relate entirely to those who have parents who can’t change their limited mindsets. That’s why there’s this article!

      I know that there’s no fixed formula for ‘fixing’ people, especially our parents who know our ins and outs. But we can do our best to manage them, and our own emotions, as respectfully as we can. That’s what this list of suggestions aims to do.

  7. Bas

    My parents are addicted. Beer and pot. I’ve asked my mom to not smoke it when my kids are in her home. She mad a promise to me for years and still always does it when they are in her home.. They know what she is doing .. I confronted she apologies but says she loves it. Were they for like two hours if that. I don’t visit often. She can’t even wait.till I leave? It’s so frustrating . Father had to tote a cooler of set at every party because I don’t have it. He can’t just have one it’s like 5-7. Now she. I speak up and stand up for my feelings everyone acts like I’m bad.. All I want is a positive environment for my kids. I have been taking a break from them. It’s so hard I don’t want to have any holidays with them. I just want an occasional phone call! My mental health is suffering. ConstAnt roller coaster ride!

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