In facing this agonizing truth the parentified child can curtail acting out deeply imprinted codependent patterns and begin the task of defining life-affirming boundaries, conditions and standards. Finally, they can salvage the capacity to revel in the joy of play and the safety of intimacy where balanced and healthy rules of engagement exist. It is here that the survivor of parentification can extend themself and receive not with trembling hands, but with hands that create and transform. Here the victim turned survivor is endowed with the ability to at last give and receive from volitional intent, not servitude.
Rev. Sheri Heller, LCSW
Thank you for such a magnificently well-crafted articulation of truths that form the ground of being for many parentified children. In particular the religious parents can hide behind the dictum of 'respecting one's parents/elders' as part of their arsenal of manipulation tools.
The children of immigrant parents can also become parentified.
In the sturggle to survive within the new environment, immigrant parents who often don't speak the language, within the settler-colonial setup, that exploits people of colour, leverages the children's natural loyalty to become the major caretakers for the whole family. And very soon, expectations morph into demands taht the adult child is alwyas there as a resource for the parents.