I was parentified and realize now I did the same to my son from age 10 until 25 when he left. How do I fix things with him? How do I prevent doing it with the 4 younger children (10 - 4)?


Call your son and explain what you've learned about parentification. Tell him that you now realize that you were parentified as a child and did the same to him. Ask for his forgiveness. Most importantly, don't fall back into that safe and familiar role reversal ever again. From now on, be a mother to him and provide the unconditional love and support that every child craves from a parent.

Over twenty years ago, my mother and I were listening to a radio call-in show when the host, a psychologist, took a call about parentification. It sounded all-too-familiar to my mom, and she immediately turned to me and apologized for using me as her marriage therapist when I was a teen. While I was impressed that she recognized what she had done and expressed remorse, her behavior never changed.

She continued to use me as her therapist (telling me about the problems with her boyfriends since my dad was now dead). With a husband and kids of my own, I had no other choice but to distance myself from her. I needed to focus on my family and not be overwhelmed with her never-ending drama.

In telling you this, I'm making the point that an apology means very little unless it's backed up by actions. Changing how you see your role as a parent will be extremely difficult because it's deeply ingrained. Albert Einstein famously said: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Taking parenting classes. talking with a therapist, and building a support system of friends would be extremely beneficial to helping you see mothering in a whole new light.

Your ultimate goal is to become a “transitional character” and put an end to this dysfunction that has been passed from one generation to the next. I don't know if you can repair the relationship with your adult son, but you can certainly avoid repeating the same mistake with your younger kids. You may want to read my article entitled: “How to End Family Dysfunction by Being a Transitional Character.”


Updated on February 19, 2020

Original Article:

How a Parentified Child Can Grieve Their Lost Childhood & Become a Happy Adult
By McKenna Meyers

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)