Parents in emotional dependence: how to help them?

Emotional dependence is a psychological alteration characterized by a noticeable alteration in people’s relational patterns and emotional “addiction” to others close to their environment, such as friends, relatives or partners.

Although this phenomenon has been widely studied in couples and love interests, the truth is that it can also occur between parents and their children, a phenomenon more frequent than we think and which can have consequences really devastating both between the parents and the young people of the house. This can happen, for example, in divorced parents who feel lonely and try to pity their children to have them “by their side” and fight the feeling of loneliness, or in parents who fear the moment when their children are emancipated, between other cases. then, Let’s see what we can do for mums and dads with emotional dependence to give them the support they need.

    What can be done to help fathers and mothers suffering from emotional dependence?

    Next, we will go over a series of guidelines and advice that we can apply to help parents who may present with a case of emotional dependence on their children. Yes, we need to be clear that as children our physical and mental health is also a key aspect of this process, and we don’t have to sacrifice ourselves without limit to provide this kind of support all the time. ; in cases where the situation overwhelms you, the right thing to do is to seek professional help in psychotherapy.

    1. Promote partner activities

    In marriages with children, diverting attention from what is done on a daily basis from the paternal/mother-filial relationship to the couple relationship helps to ease tensions of this type. And that’s why, encouraging them to do activities as a couple is usually helpful.

      2. Helps prevent feelings of loneliness

      Some divorced or separated parents may end up feeling lonely and use their children to overcome this loneliness or to release their own frustrations with life’s problems all the time. a very unhealthy type of relationship called “emotional incest”.

      To prevent parents from feeling lonely after a divorce or after the death of their spouse, they must be helped to find useful solutions so that they can overcome this feeling of loneliness.

      This can be achieved by looking for all kinds of activities that satisfy our parents and require introspection, so that loneliness is not always associated with the negative.

        3. Prevent empty nest syndrome

        Empty nest syndrome is the feeling of discomfort and suffering experienced by parents who dedicate their lives to caring for their children once they have left home.

        This psychological phenomenon is linked to the feeling of loneliness they experience, as well as to the fact that he has devoted a good part of his life to being engaged parents.

        To prevent this syndrome from developing in fathers and mothers, it is necessary to carry out intense psychological work in which the person manages to understand that his personality cannot be based on the fact of being a father or a mother and that it applies even if they did not live with their children.

        In addition to this, you can also find activities and all kinds of weekly or daily initiatives that keep them busy and help them forget the discomfort caused by the departure of their children.

        4. Set boundaries

        As with all cases of emotional addiction, the way we can help someone overcome it is to set boundaries with that person and specify what is eligible and what is not.

        In the case of some parents who emotionally blackmail their children to force them to study a career, we need to make them realize that they cannot participate so intensely in this crucial decision and that they cannot force their children to do something they don’t want

        It is clear that parents can help, advise or give their opinion on any subject, but they shouldn’t decide the future of their children.

        On the other hand, they must not have the perception that as sons or daughters, we will be available to them before any complaint or claim; it is important that they realize that our presence is proportional to the urgency or seriousness of the problem they are facing.

          5. Energize social life

          An energizing social life is essential for parents who can develop emotional dependence on their children; it is therefore of great importance that the person usually goes out and hangs out with other people their age.

          In the same way, it can help you meet other people with the same interests with whom you can hang out and do social and recreational activities of all kinds.

          6. Go see a psychologist

          Always and when necessary, go see a psychologist it becomes the most effective way to prevent or help parents overcome cases of emotional dependence on their children or their elders.

          A professional psychologist specializing in this type of case will be able to give us the best advice and can deal in depth with any problem that is at the root of the current emotional dependence.

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