Our childhood experiences play a part in moulding us to be who we are as adults. Unfortunately, as children we cannot choose how we want our parents to love or teach us. Many of us grow up suffering the consequences from our emotionally immature parents.
The aim of this article is to help you understand yourself better and to give yourself clarity on how to live your life based on your deeper nature. Understanding emotionally immature parents frees us from the pain of emotional loneliness as we learn that their neglect is about themselves and not us.
There are no perfect manuals on parenting. Most parents learn to parent from trial and error in response to their children's needs, as well as from their own beliefs and life experiences. Parents were also children before, and how they raise their own children is oftentimes based on how they were raised themselves.
Many children experience a form of emotional neglect and this can result in a painful emotional loneliness that can have a negative long-term impact on their choices when it comes to relationships and intimate partners.
While emotionally immature parents are still able to care for their children's well-being, physical needs and safety, without a deep emotional connection, it leaves children with a void when it comes to the feeling of true security.
With emotionally mature parents, when a child is feeling lonely, all they need to do is approach their parents for an affectionate connection. On the other hand, if parents are afraid of deep connections, their child will experience an unsettling sense of shame for wanting to be comforted. Because of this, as much as they can still live life, get married and have children, their emotional void can affect how they unintentionally choose relationships that are unable to give them sufficient emotional connection.
What is emotional intimacy?
One aspect of emotional intimacy is being able to completely open up about your feelings to someone about anything and everything. There are many ways that people can open up, such as through conversations, exchange of eye contact and body language, or just by being present quietly while connecting. The sense of being able to connect with someone at a deeper level where you are being seen for who you really are can only happen with people who want to understand you without judgement. With emotionally engaged parents, children learn that they will always have someone to go to. Emotionally mature parents are able to provide that emotional support and connect with their children almost all the time as they have sufficient self-awareness that allow them to be comfortable with their own feelings and feelings of the people around them.
Parents who are emotionally mature also give their children a sense of connection when they show their genuine interest in engaging with their children’s feelings and how they show their children that talking about emotional issues is perfectly fine. One of the most important key to emotional connection with children is consistency. When parents are consistent with the way they react to their children, this gives their children a sense of emotional support.
Good parenting is not about being perfect. Good parenting is about good-enough parents.