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