Why is my mom so childish?’ is probably the question that keeps ringing in your mind. I understand. It’s not always easy to be the child of a parent with an immature personality. Almost everyone has undergone a similar situation in one way or the other. Some people may find it difficult to understand why their mom can’t stop being childish. It’s important to remember that no one is perfect, and everyone has their flaws.
Probably your mom never had a chance to grow up. She may have been raised in an environment where she was never allowed to mature. Her parents probably never allowed her to make her own choices. Likewise, she may have had too many responsibilities from a young age and didn’t have time for herself. Therefore, accept her and love her as she is.
If you are constantly asking yourself, ‘why is my mom so immature?’ you are in the right place. This article will explore why your mum might be acting so childish and tips to cope with such behavior.
What Causes Emotional Immaturity?
Various factors cause emotional immaturity, including parenting issues, childhood traumas, untreated mental illnesses, and drug addictions.
If emotionally immature parents raised your mum, it could be why she behaves the way she does. For instance, if her parents never gave her the chance to express herself, she may have an issue when you try to express your emotions. Similarly, if her parents never allowed her to make decisions, she might be too controlling to allow you to make your own decisions. Likewise, if her parents pampered her or were too overprotective, she might find it challenging to address real-life issues.
A parent who experienced childhood traumas may exhibit signs of emotional immaturity. They may have difficulties identifying and expressing emotions. Trauma interferes with the development of the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotion. If trauma occurs in childhood, a parent may use childish tactics to cope with stress, such as throwing tantrums, impulsive behavior, and temper.
Untreated Mental Health Issues
A parent with untreated mental health issues may exhibit signs of emotional immaturity. For instance, if they have untreated personality disorders such as dependent personality disorder, they may become too needy and unable to take care of themselves. Similarly, a parent with a narcissistic personality disorder often feels like everything revolves around them, and their needs always come first. Personality disorders can be caused by cultural and religious beliefs, childhood traumas, and genetics.
Untreated Substance Addiction
Untreated substance addiction can cause a decline in neurological functions leading to emotional immaturity. Probably your mum used drugs during her teenage years to cope with stress. In that case, it could have interfered with her emotional development, leading to immaturity.
Tips To Deal With a Childish Mom
Dealing with a childish mom can be emotionally draining and cause depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety. Nevertheless, you can still learn to be happy and accept and love your mom the way she is without changing her. Regardless of how childish your mom may be, she is still your mom. Therefore, learning techniques to cope with the situation is crucial for your emotional well-being. The following tips can help you deal with your childish mom.
1. Set Healthy Boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries is the first step toward healing and dealing with a childish mom. If your mum has narcissistic traits, decide where to draw the line and communicate it to your mum assertively and respectively. For instance, if she keeps yelling at you, inform her that you are not willing to listen to her if she doesn’t stop.
If your mom criticizes you unfairly, let her know what you feel and ask her to apologize. And if she does not stop, just leave. Limit your time with her, especially if you can’t have a healthy conversation without constant arguing, criticism, and disrespect.
Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries about being assertive when you set boundaries. Remember that your emotional health is also essential. Setting boundaries doesn’t mean that you hate or despise your mom. It’s about taking care of your emotions as long as you do it assertively and respectfully.
2. Healthy Detachment
Healthy detachment means taking a step back from the situation. When interacting with your childish mom, create a safe space for yourself to avoid getting stuck in unhealthy arguments. Limit the time you spend arguing or trying to prove that you’re right.
Decide how to handle the situation and when to avoid a confrontation. Do not hesitate to excuse yourself if you feel emotionally drained from an argument. For instance you can say, ‘excuse me. I need to take a walk to clear my head.’
Find a safe space within your home where you can retreat and think things through. For instance, you can identify a safe spot to spend time alone without her.
When you feel like you can’t handle the situation, leave the house until both of you are calm enough to talk things over. Going does not mean that you are rude and disrespectful. You have to love yourself enough to love your mom. If you don’t live together, try cutting contact for as long as you need to be ready to interact with her again.
3. Treat Your Mom Like a Grown Up
Treat your mom like a grown-up capable of handling your views or opinions. Don’t pretend to agree with everything she wants just to keep the peace. Hold her accountable for her actions and call her to order, respectfully.
Always remember that you also have emotional needs, as she does. Don’t be tempted to behave in a certain way just to please her. Instead, stay true to your feelings. If you feel disrespected, tell her respectfully and ask for an apology.
4. Get Out Of Your Rescuer Position
Recognize that it’s not your job to fix or save your mom or make her feel comfortable. Remember that it’s her responsibility to take care of your emotional needs. Don’t feel guilty when she throws tantrums or blames you for her mistakes. Instead, live your life as long as you do the right thing without disrespecting her.
5. Be Empathetic
Your mum may behave the way she does because of childhood trauma or parenting issues. Try to understand her too. She may be going through a difficult phase in her life, and she could use your empathy. For instance, if she has an untreated mental health condition, she may be unable to control her emotions.
Sometimes, setting boundaries may upset her, making her feel like you are rejecting her. In this case, explain to her that you understand, but you must also take care of your emotional well-being.
Empathy demonstrates that you care about her even if you don’t agree with everything she says or does. It also opens the floor for sharing deep emotions without hurting each other’s feelings.
6. Practise Mindfulness
Dealing with a childish mum can be stressful and cause anxiety and depression. Practicing mindfulness can help you cope with the situation by clearing your mind and sharpening your focus. Start by acknowledging that your mom has childish behavior and that it’s not your fault. Learn techniques like meditation, guided imagery, and mindfulness exercises.
Meditation can help relieve anxiety and improve your emotional well-being and stress management. Choose a safe, quiet place and switch off your phone. Sit comfortably and pay attention to your breathing. If your mind wanders off to negative thoughts, try to refocus on your breathing.
You can also practice mindfulness by focusing on everything and living in the moment. Try appreciating the little things that bring joy to your life and accept yourself. When you feel emotionally overwhelmed, try walking in a quiet place and focusing on the walking instead of the negative emotions.
7. Let Go
Dealing with a childish mum can cause emotional baggage when you fail to address it. Learn to let go of things that you can’t change. Tell her to let it off your chest if you feel hurt about something. Understand that your mom is not in an emotional position to understand you, and thus don’t expect any positive response from her. Try exercising or yoga to let go of negative thoughts.
8. Get Emotional Support Elsewhere
Try getting it elsewhere if you can’t rely on your mom for emotional support. For instance, you can talk to your guardian, friend, or teacher who understands your feelings. You can also join a support group for people in a similar situation to brainstorm how to forge forward.
9. Try Therapy/Counseling
A professional therapist can help your mom deal with emotional immaturity by teaching her ways to behave like an adult. In addition, they can help you relate with your mum in a healthy and better way to avoid conflict.
A counselor can help your mum identify negative behaviors and devise ways to deal with them. Likewise, they can help you identify hidden emotions and false beliefs that could lower your self-esteem.
Recommend your mom to see a family therapist but remember the decision is hers to make. Seeking help provides alternative emotional support to deal with a childish mom.
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