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  #1  
May 27th, 2007, 07:57 AM
jhmomofmany's Avatar Look! A Dancing Banana!
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I would like to discuss this more, away from the context of the Duggars, please. The basic definition of "parentification" is forcing children into adult roles; see HERE.

I think somebody I know was a victim of the first two aspects of parentification; although he never had to take care of his younger brother or run the household, he often would end up being his mother's confidante and caretaker when she would become depressed over a divorce or break-up. He felt responsible for protecting her from abusive men she dated. For as long as he can remember, his mom would come home from dates and tell him all about it in disgusting detail. The first time he remembers feeling suicidal because of this was at the age of five.

I personally think this aspect of "parentification" is probably more damaging than the situation of an older child taking care of a younger one. But I would like to hear more opinions.
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  #2  
May 27th, 2007, 02:11 PM
CJMOM209
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I think kids need to be able to be kids. However, I also think having some responsibilities is also a good thing, but not until a certain age. I won't make my son help take care of his younger sibling some day, unless he wants to. My sister and I are 6 years apart and I wanted to help out because I wasn't forced to. Older siblings should not be expected to assume any role that the parent should be doing...just my honest opinion. They may be resentful later that they were not allowed to be kids themselves.

OOPS...I may have misunderstood what you were asking...but oh well I will still keep this here because I think it's important to discuss too.
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  #3  
May 27th, 2007, 02:41 PM
lotus86's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I agree with Shannon.
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  #4  
May 27th, 2007, 02:52 PM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Wow feeling suicidal at the age of five is horrible. That is definitely a horrible situation for a child to be in. Parents should never dump their problems on children like that. Adult problems are meant for adults to handle. I would consider that case worse than a child having to parent a sibling.

However, I don't like the idea of a child taking on a parent role. It is one thing to ask older children to help out but it is completely different to have the older sibling take over all of the parenting duties. Parenting is stressful and hard work. It isn't something that a child should be responsible for. If you can't take care of your own children then don't have them. Children should be given every opportunity to be children!
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  #5  
May 27th, 2007, 03:18 PM
bubblesispreggers's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Wow feeling suicidal at the age of five is horrible. That is definitely a horrible situation for a child to be in. Parents should never dump their problems on children like that. Adult problems are meant for adults to handle. I would consider that case worse than a child having to parent a sibling.

However, I don't like the idea of a child taking on a parent role. It is one thing to ask older children to help out but it is completely different to have the older sibling take over all of the parenting duties. Parenting is stressful and hard work. It isn't something that a child should be responsible for. If you can't take care of your own children then don't have them. Children should be given every opportunity to be children![/b]

ITA

Sorry nothing else to add.
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  #6  
May 27th, 2007, 07:02 PM
*kyle*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I personally feel that the emotional parentification is the most harmful form. I feel it is a bit different when a child "parents" younger siblings versus when a child "parents" their parents. The former is stressful and inappropriate; the latter is a complete reversal of roles which messes with the child's self-identity, their attachment, their boundaries, what they feel they are responsible for, and completely removes any chance of that child being able to feel taken care of or protected... since they are the ones taking care and protecting.

Both are bad though and in extreme forms this can be considered abuse or neglect.
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  #7  
May 27th, 2007, 07:18 PM
rdhdtrue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I know this occurs but that is is deemed healthy, it worries me. If you have a dependent (unhealthy) parent and we are talking about self (or sibling) survival I have no issues and will not judge. But if someone is trying to say a healthy family environment has a child taking on adult responsiblities (before teenage years) I have an issue with. You have to have time to be a innocent child carefree of adult worries.
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  #8  
May 27th, 2007, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
I personally feel that the emotional parentification is the most harmful form. I feel it is a bit different when a child "parents" younger siblings versus when a child "parents" their parents. The former is stressful and inappropriate; the latter is a complete reversal of roles which messes with the child's self-identity, their attachment, their boundaries, what they feel they are responsible for, and completely removes any chance of that child being able to feel taken care of or protected... since they are the ones taking care and protecting.

Both are bad though and in extreme forms this can be considered abuse or neglect.[/b]

Nuff said. Great answer.
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  #9  
May 27th, 2007, 08:58 PM
CJMOM209
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Wow...I think this is a debate we all agree on!!
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  #10  
May 27th, 2007, 09:02 PM
*Aspen*
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I think it's just a dead debate because most people have already stated their stance on parentification in the other thread.
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  #11  
May 27th, 2007, 10:35 PM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
I think it's just a dead debate because most people have already stated their stance on parentification in the other thread.[/b]
After reading the definition of parentification, I don't think that it applies to the Duggars at all. I don't think anyone will agree that true parentification is acceptable.
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  #12  
May 27th, 2007, 11:28 PM
Caeden&#39;sMama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Quote:
I think it's just a dead debate because most people have already stated their stance on parentification in the other thread.[/b]
After reading the definition of parentification, I don't think that it applies to the Duggars at all. I don't think anyone will agree that true parentification is acceptable.
[/b]
How do you feel it doesn't apply to them?

Quote:
# When children become primary caretakers for siblings and are expected to run the household.[/b]
Sounds like what's going on to me...
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  #13  
May 28th, 2007, 06:44 AM
*Aspen*
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^^ditto
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  #14  
May 28th, 2007, 10:25 AM
jhmomofmany's Avatar Look! A Dancing Banana!
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I didn't really expect a lively debate over the topic, since I doubt anyone is going to post saying that using your child as an emotional crutch is a great idea. The word was thrown around in the Duggar thread, and it was (rather snottily) suggested that I look it up. So I did.

I would think the third definition would count as abusive only in a situation where Mom and Dad are abdicating ALL responsibility. If I expected my kids to keep house and provide all the care for eachother and themselves while I am gone all the time or at home wasted, that's abuse. If I expect the same while I am home and doing my share, that would not be parentification, as I understand the definition.

IOW, parentification does not apply to a situation where the children are helping out within their abilities and reasonable expectations.
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Congratulations Raechel and Kaleb, married May, 2015

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  #15  
May 28th, 2007, 10:49 AM
Ms.Michelle
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Quote:
I personally feel that the emotional parentification is the most harmful form. I feel it is a bit different when a child "parents" younger siblings versus when a child "parents" their parents. The former is stressful and inappropriate; the latter is a complete reversal of roles which messes with the child's self-identity, their attachment, their boundaries, what they feel they are responsible for, and completely removes any chance of that child being able to feel taken care of or protected... since they are the ones taking care and protecting.

Both are bad though and in extreme forms this can be considered abuse or neglect.[/b]
I just looked up this:

Quote:
The current study, utilizing a group of 197 undergraduate students, found that childhood parentification is associated with shame-proneness in adults (when the shared variance with guiltproneness is controlled). Parentification, the reversal of parent and child roles, requires a premature identification with the parent(s)' expectations and needs, at the expense of the development of the child's true talents and gifts, often leaving the child feeling ashamed of the true self's unrewarded strivings. This finding is linked theoretically to an earlier study that found a relationship between childhood parentification and both narcissistic and masochistic personality characteristics (Jones & Wells, 1996). A secondary finding supported a predicted relationship between guilt and shame. Clinicians are encouraged to attend to the possibilities of these connections when planning and executing treatment plans with parentified adults.[/b]
source

~~~~~~~~~

Parentification (which I don't think comes close to what the Duggars are doing because it's the parent making and enforcing the boundaries) is something really new to me in definition.. but really close to home. My mom was (mentally) ill during the short time I was with her.. and even after I was told to take care of my brother.. In the next family, it just continued. I was expected to babysit my other brother, not knowing where my "parents" were or if I should be getting supper ready or what.. I remember crying a lot on the Kid's Help Phone trying to understand what's going on. Reading the link jhmomofmany provided, is scaring the crap out of me. I think this subject might be something I should step away from. This might be the help I needed in my personal life to make the final break from my family.
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  #16  
May 28th, 2007, 10:56 AM
~Jess~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Central California
Posts: 16,959
Quote:
Quote:
I personally feel that the emotional parentification is the most harmful form. I feel it is a bit different when a child "parents" younger siblings versus when a child "parents" their parents. The former is stressful and inappropriate; the latter is a complete reversal of roles which messes with the child's self-identity, their attachment, their boundaries, what they feel they are responsible for, and completely removes any chance of that child being able to feel taken care of or protected... since they are the ones taking care and protecting.

Both are bad though and in extreme forms this can be considered abuse or neglect.[/b]
I just looked up this:

Quote:
The current study, utilizing a group of 197 undergraduate students, found that childhood parentification is associated with shame-proneness in adults (when the shared variance with guiltproneness is controlled). Parentification, the reversal of parent and child roles, requires a premature identification with the parent(s)' expectations and needs, at the expense of the development of the child's true talents and gifts, often leaving the child feeling ashamed of the true self's unrewarded strivings. This finding is linked theoretically to an earlier study that found a relationship between childhood parentification and both narcissistic and masochistic personality characteristics (Jones & Wells, 1996). A secondary finding supported a predicted relationship between guilt and shame. Clinicians are encouraged to attend to the possibilities of these connections when planning and executing treatment plans with parentified adults.[/b]
source

~~~~~~~~~

Parentification (which I don't think comes close to what the Duggars are doing because it's the parent making and enforcing the boundaries) is something really new to me in definition.. but really close to home. My mom was (mentally) ill during the short time I was with her.. and even after I was told to take care of my brother.. In the next family, it just continued. I was expected to babysit my other brother, not knowing where my "parents" were or if I should be getting supper ready or what.. I remember crying a lot on the Kid's Help Phone trying to understand what's going on. Reading the link jhmomofmany provided, is scaring the crap out of me. I think this subject might be something I should step away from. This might be the help I needed in my personal life to make the final break from my family.
[/b]
(((HUGS))) My mom is the product of parentification as well. Her mother died when she was 10 and her father was an abusive alcoholic. She ran the household and raised her baby sister. She is the most AMAZING mom, and my absolute hero and best friend. Don't worry, Michelle, you'll be a fantastic mommy.
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  #17  
May 28th, 2007, 11:03 AM
rdhdtrue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I personally feel that the emotional parentification is the most harmful form. I feel it is a bit different when a child "parents" younger siblings versus when a child "parents" their parents. The former is stressful and inappropriate; the latter is a complete reversal of roles which messes with the child's self-identity, their attachment, their boundaries, what they feel they are responsible for, and completely removes any chance of that child being able to feel taken care of or protected... since they are the ones taking care and protecting.

Both are bad though and in extreme forms this can be considered abuse or neglect.[/b]
I just looked up this:

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE
<div class='quotemain'>The current study, utilizing a group of 197 undergraduate students, found that childhood parentification is associated with shame-proneness in adults (when the shared variance with guiltproneness is controlled). Parentification, the reversal of parent and child roles, requires a premature identification with the parent(s)' expectations and needs, at the expense of the development of the child's true talents and gifts, often leaving the child feeling ashamed of the true self's unrewarded strivings. This finding is linked theoretically to an earlier study that found a relationship between childhood parentification and both narcissistic and masochistic personality characteristics (Jones & Wells, 1996). A secondary finding supported a predicted relationship between guilt and shame. Clinicians are encouraged to attend to the possibilities of these connections when planning and executing treatment plans with parentified adults.[/b]
source

~~~~~~~~~

Parentification (which I don't think comes close to what the Duggars are doing because it's the parent making and enforcing the boundaries) is something really new to me in definition.. but really close to home. My mom was (mentally) ill during the short time I was with her.. and even after I was told to take care of my brother.. In the next family, it just continued. I was expected to babysit my other brother, not knowing where my "parents" were or if I should be getting supper ready or what.. I remember crying a lot on the Kid's Help Phone trying to understand what's going on. Reading the link jhmomofmany provided, is scaring the crap out of me. I think this subject might be something I should step away from. This might be the help I needed in my personal life to make the final break from my family.
[/b][/quote]

(((HUGS))) My mom is the product of parentification as well. Her mother died when she was 10 and her father was an abusive alcoholic. She ran the household and raised her baby sister. She is the most AMAZING mom, and my absolute hero and best friend. Don't worry, Michelle, you'll be a fantastic mommy.
[/b][/quote]

That is different. There is no choice in the matter and the child stands tall. I have no issues with that. I have issues with a perfectly fine parent relying on a child to take care of another child.
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  #18  
May 28th, 2007, 11:20 AM
*Aspen*
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^^^ Which is what my dh and his siblings went through. It's very very sad. Now dh's little brother is going through it. We are getting custody of him next weekend and he is moving in. I hope this helps him very much!!! I'm very excited. He's been with us all weekend, we try to take him in as much as possible and give him what parenting we can of a 16 year old. It's strange because I'll be 21 soon and I have to act like a Mom towards him, but it's something that he is lacking and needing in his life and dh and I are more than willing to fulfill those roles for him.
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  #20  
May 28th, 2007, 01:07 PM
Ms.Michelle
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I'm ((crunch, crunch)) glad you both ((crunch, crunch)) brought it up. ((crunch, crunch)) I'll have to ((crunch, crunch)) go back and look ((crunch, crunch)) to see what ((crunch, crunch)) snotty is...
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