Emotionally Immature Parents: Signs and How to Cope

Emotional maturity and emotional intelligence involve self-awareness, empathy, and emotional self-regulation as well as conscious communication, collaboration, creative problem solving, and effective conflict resolution. When we work on ourselves through self-reflective practices such as psychotherapy or counseling, spiritual exploration, or self-help programs, we develop emotional maturity and emotional intelligence. Emotional maturity is a critical component of cultivating healthy relationships. Emotional immaturity can be the result of insecure attachments during early life experiences, trauma, untreated addiction or mental health problems, and/or lack of deeper introspection or work on oneself. It can manifest as self-centeredness, narcissism, and poor management of conflict. Having a parent who is emotionally immature can be deeply frustrating (enraging even) and cause you to question your own sense of self and perception of reality. It can lead to regressive behaviors (reverting to their less sophisticated way of functioning) and can trigger depression, anxiety, trauma symptoms, substance abuse, and other mental health conditions. It can also lead to parent–child conflict and ongoing relationship challenges.

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