Parentification: Signs, Effects, Strategies & Therapy To Cope With It


What Is Parentification?

what is parentificationParentification is the act of taking on parental responsibilities for their child. This can be done by either taking on too much responsibility or by neglecting themselves. The effects of this type of behavior are usually bad and can lead to serious health problems, lack of financial stability, and even more family problems. It is important to balance your time with your children and yourself so that no one gets neglected. If you find that you are struggling to do this, it is best to seek help from a professional.

There are many different types of parentification, but the most common is when the child becomes responsible for their parents’ emotional well-being. This can be very damaging to the child and can lead to problems such as anxiety and depression. In some cases, the child will take on the role of the parent and become the caretaker for their siblings. This can be very stressful and can lead to problems such as obesity and addiction.

Signs You Were Parentified As A Child

If you think that you were parentified as a child, there are some symptoms that might show. You might feel like you can never live up to the expectations of your parents. You might also feel anxious or depressed. It is important for children to have some sort of support system, whether it be friends, family, or even a therapist. These are the signs of being parentified-

  • You are constantly taking care of your parents’ needs
  • Feeling like no matter what you do, it will never be good enough for them
  • You often feel resentful towards your parents because they don’t appreciate the work that you do for them
  • It is difficult to set boundaries with your parents or say “no” to their requests
  • Your relationships with others are usually not very close since you have trouble sharing emotions and getting close to people
  • Sometimes you find yourself feeling incompetent when trying new things or doing certain tasks (such as driving or cooking) because it feels like it should be something that only adults can do
  • It feels like you are always making sacrifices for others while receiving nothing in return

Effects Of Parentification

Effects Of Parentification

The effects of parentification can be very damaging to the child involved. They may begin to put pressure on themselves, suffer from anxiety or depression, and even neglect their own needs. Children who are raised in this way usually have serious problems receiving love because they feel that they can never live up to the expectations of their parents. It is important for the child to have some sort of support system, whether that is friends, family, or a therapist.

If someone was parentified as a child they may become obese and addicted because they take on the role of caregiver for their siblings. Take care of yourself to make sure that you are not neglecting your own needs and responsibilities by taking on those of others. Make sure to set boundaries with your parents and make time for yourself too.

One of the most serious effects of parentification is when the child becomes a surrogate parent. In this case, the child takes on all of the parental responsibilities and becomes the main caretaker of their parents. This can be extremely stressful for them not only because they are taking on a lot, but also because it is difficult to be able to make decisions that will affect someone else’s life instead of your own.

Strategies For Coping With Parental Responsibility

There are many ways to cope with the responsibility of being a parent to your parents.

Find A Way To Take Care Of Yourself

The most important thing is to find a way to take care of yourself as well. This may mean setting boundaries with your parents, taking time for yourself, or seeking professional help. It is important to remember that you are not alone in this and there are people who can help you through it.

Take Responsibilities In A Healthy Way

It is important that people learn how to take on responsibilities in a healthy way. This will not only help them cope with the stress of being a parent, but it also helps to avoid problems such as addictions and depression. Sometimes people feel that they have to take on all of these responsibilities in order to be successful or fulfill their own needs, but this can lead to serious health problems and hinder your ability to succeed.

Take Care Of Yourself

Take care of yourselfIt is important that you are able to take care of yourself and your own needs. This will help you to be the best parent possible, but it can also help prevent problems such as depression and anxiety. It may seem like there is constantly someone who needs something from you at all times, but this should not lead you to neglect your own needs. Make sure you take some time for yourself and do things that make you happy. This will help you to be more patient and understanding with others.

Types of Therapy for parentification

There are a few different types of therapy that can be helpful for those who have been parentified. One type of therapy is called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. This type of therapy helps people to change their thoughts and behaviors. It can help you to deal with difficult emotions and learn how to cope with stress.

Another type of therapy is called family systems therapy. This type of therapy helps to understand the dynamics within a family. It can help you to understand how your parents’ issues might be affecting you.

Lastly, there is also psychoeducation. This type of therapy helps people to understand the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders. It can also help you to understand how mental health disorders are treated.

Family Therapy for Parentified Children

Family Therapy for Parentified Children

This form of therapy allows the family members to come together in order to help each other heal and recover from any stress or trauma that they have experienced in the past due to their children taking on most of the parenting responsibilities in their home when they were still too young to do so themselves. This type of therapy is usually done with all members of the family present, including both parents and any siblings who are old enough to attend sessions without disrupting them through their behavior or presence.

The therapist will work to help the family understand why the child became parentified in the first place and what type of impact it has had on their life overall. They will also provide guidance on how the family can start working together to change these dynamics so that everyone can benefit moving forward. This type of therapy is beneficial for all involved because it allows each person to have a voice, share their feelings, and hopefully start to repair any damage that was done in the past as a result of being parentified.

If you feel like you are struggling to take care of your parents, it is best to seek help from a professional. They can provide you with the guidance and support that you to take care of your parents the right way.

Ways To Overcome Parentification

Ways To Overcome Parentification

There are ways you can overcome the stress of being parentified. One way is to establish boundaries with your parents. If you do this, they will be more understanding and respectful of your needs. Another thing that you can do is say no when an unreasonable request comes up. You can also tell people that you are too busy to help them with something or that you must refuse to help them because it will take away from something else important in your life.

You can also make time for yourself by identifying common triggers for procrastination and scheduling time to tackle those things instead. Make commitments to friends, family members, or co-workers even if it means breaking other commitments.

“It’s impossible to fix everyone’s problems; I’m not going to just fix everyone’s problems: I’m just going to try and take care of myself.”

Become aware

You need to become aware of the negative impact being parentified can have on your life. It may seem like a good thing to do, but it has more negatives than positives. For instance, you might not have been able to go to college or find a job because you were always taking care of your parents at home instead. You also opened yourself up for being taken advantage of. Being aware of this is important so that you can change what needs changing and learn how to be independent of your parents again beginning today.

“I’m going to take some time for myself now.”

Take some time for yourself

You need time away from your parents in order to start thinking clearly about things outside their influence again. This will help you make better decisions and feel better about yourself as well. Start small and slow, but start.

Be open to new ideas

When you are around your parents, you should be open to the idea that what was normal for them. Or what they believed growing up may not be right for you now. You can also embrace change and believe in yourself enough to know that whatever decisions you make will help your life and theirs better move forward together. When you feel good about yourself, it shows and others can see this too which is why it is so important. This means smiling more often, giving others a chance even if they don’t deserve it at first, brushing off negativity from people who try to bring you down, etcetera.

Prioritize Yourself

Prioritize Yourself

It is possible to have boundaries with your parents without being disrespectful. It might seem impossible at first, but it can be done! You just need to know what you are willing to do for them and what you are not. When they ask something of you, think about how it will affect your life before telling them yes or no. By doing this, you are prioritizing yourself which means putting yourself first. So that you can live a fulfilled life who makes healthy choices that benefit everyone involved.

“I am worth taking care of.”

Treat yourself better

The more time you spend on yourself the less time you have for others which is why it is important to look out for number one first. Take up hobbies that make you happy like writing, painting, singing, dancing, etc., exercise more often to feel better about yourself and your body. Take care of your health by eating right and getting plenty of sleep every night. Do things that make you feel beautiful like wearing cute clothes or experimenting with new hairstyles. All these things will help you to become the best version of yourself possible which in turn helps you take care of others better too!

“This is my life and I’m going to live it the way that makes me happiest!”

Do what makes you happy

It’s easy to get caught up in taking care of other people that we forget about our own happiness. It isn’t a bad thing to help others because this is how can all grow together as a society, but you need to find a balance. If all you do is take care of others and not yourself then you will eventually break down. You need to do things that make you happy.

Life is too short to spend it doing things that don’t make you happy. Life is about the journey and not the destination so enjoy every second of it!

“I am a strong person!”

Be confident in yourself

Taking care of others can be draining on one’s self-confidence. You start to believe what people say such as “you’re not doing enough” or “you’re being selfish” which can lead to feeling guilty. This means you need to be confident in the decisions that you make and stand by them no matter what others may say or think. You are a strong person for taking care of yourself and your family, that is nothing to be ashamed of!

How To Seek Help From A Professional?

It is best to find a professional that specializes in helping people who have been parentified. This can be helpful because they will be able to give you the guidance and support that you need to help you cope with your parent’s needs. They can also provide you with the support needed when it comes to setting boundaries, saying no, or even standing up for yourself.

If you find that you are struggling to take care of your parents, it is best to seek help from a professional. They can provide you with the guidance and support that you need to take care of your parents the right way. This can also help you get through any frustration or resentment that you are feeling towards your parents.


Parentification is a term that describes the process of taking on parental responsibilities for someone else. This may be your children, or it might be an elderly parent who needs more care than they can provide themselves. In this post, we discussed how to handle such situations and some of the pitfalls you’ll want to avoid as well as some solutions you can implement in order to make sure things run smoothly without any negative long-term effects. If you’re unsure about what’s best for yourself and/or others involved with child-rearing then please feel free to reach out at any time. We would love help figuring out what’s going on and coming up with a plan if needed.

A Word From MantraCare

Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depressionanxietystressrelationshipOCDLGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.

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