Adultification, Parentification and Infantilization

Adultification, parentification, and infantilization are all terms used to describe different ways in which a person may be treated or expected to behave in ways that are not typical for their age.

  1. Adultification: Adultification refers to a phenomenon where children, particularly children and other children of color, are perceived as older and more mature than they actually are, and therefore are held to higher standards of behavior and punished more harshly for their mistakes. This can lead to a loss of innocence and childhood experiences, as well as a range of negative psychological and social consequences.
  2. Parentification: Parentification occurs when a child takes on the role of a parent or caregiver for their siblings or even for their own parent(s). This can happen due to a variety of circumstances, such as the absence of a parent, substance abuse or mental illness of a parent, or other family crises. While the child may develop a sense of responsibility and competence, they may also experience stress, anxiety, and emotional overload, as well as a loss of childhood experiences.
  3. Infantilization: Infantilization is when an adult is treated as if they are a child, and is expected to behave in ways that are appropriate for someone much younger. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as a disability, mental illness, or simply being in a relationship where one partner assumes a dominant or parental role. Infantilization can be damaging to a person’s sense of autonomy and self-worth, and can limit their ability to participate in society as independent adults.

By Linda C J Turner

Coaching and Therapy
Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Hypnotherapy.
Qualified NLP, EMDR and CBT therapist.
REIKI Master.
I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦

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