Book Review: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents

Title: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
Author: Lindsay C. Gibson
Genre: Non Fiction, Self Help, Personal Development

What’s it About: Some people grew up with emotionally immature, unavailable or selfish parents, who may have not given them the security to deal with the things they need to in life. These kinds of parents result in children who lack confidence, feel guilty for feeling happy, are unable to trust their instincts, and feel like they have to take care of their parents.

Usually parents who are emotionally immature cannot handle emotional intimacy, something that is needed to grow satisfactory relationships. They are rigid, single-minded, with low stress tolerance, make split second decisions based on what feels good, are subjective, have little respect for differences, and many more.

Parents usually fall into one of four categories:

  1. Emotional–those based on their feelings and may seem unstable and unpredictable, exploding on the smallest things.
  2. Driven–compulsively goal oriented and super busy, perfectionist
  3. Passive–avoid dealing with anything upsetting and have a backseat style of parenting.
  4. Rejecting–zero tolerance for other people’s needs, and interactions are about commands, blowups or isolations

In contrast, children of emotionally immature parents are one of two types:

  1. Externalizing–they appear to misbehave in public or cause issues, where the underlying problem is that they don’t have parents who give them the emotional intimacy they need. They can turn into emotionally immature parents themselves.
  2. Internalizing–they seem well behave, no issue children, so the parents overlook them, but they take it as a given that they have to be the ones that change for others.

And then how to deal with emotionally immature parents on its own is a process of steps that helps children become aware of these issues, and to define clear goals for what they want to achieve with their parents. There is also a section on what emotionally mature individuals look and act like, which includes being aware of others opinion’s and feelings, and taking them into consideration.

My Verdict: I really enjoyed this book because psychology is a very interesting subject for me. It’s interesting to understand why people do what they do and it also in a way helps me empathize best with them, reach them, and connect with them. So understanding the underlying issue helps me better understand how to approach subjects or issues that they may not want to approach.

I think this is also a very good book for anyone who has parents that may seem reserved, cold or distant, or those that may seem to come off egocentric or narcissistic. I’ve read a bit about this book online when I came across it and a lot of individuals say that it has helped them understand their parents and also establish boundaries. So if this is you, I definitely recommend!

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