Psychologist: Parents, beware of the trap

As a psychologist, one encounters inevitably many people, where it becomes clear that some of their challenges in adult life is linked with the experience they

Psychologist: Parents, beware of the trap

As a psychologist, one encounters inevitably many people, where it becomes clear that some of their challenges in adult life is linked with the experience they have with baggage from childhood.

I am not thinking of traumatic moments – but on the contrary, how persistent experiences in the close environment can have a big impact on how you later come to function as a human being.

There are made studies among young students, which shows that it is affecting their quality of life in a negative direction, if their parents are the types that mingle too much.

Although I have often met clients who have grown up with parents who always spoke and always spoke on their behalf – and it is usually obvious consequences of.

When I sit with young people, which describes the kind of experiences, it is often in the context of a problem, which is that they are very dependent, have difficulty in forming attitudes, and on the whole is extremely dependent on the other – often still parents.

the Mechanism is perhaps not so surprising when you hear it pronounced: "I have enormous difficulty to take decisions – and I was also never allowed to it in my upbringing."

Some parents go very much in and takes over the child's voice in the conversations – they enter and correspond on behalf of the child and does not allow the child to be heard, when there are other adults present. It can give the child a feeling of that it is not even able to articulate themselves sufficiently.

at the same time, it can become a self-perpetuating process, because the child is experiencing, that it is easier to keep quiet and let the parents talk and the more quiet a child is, the more likely the parents fill out, steer the conversation and respond on behalf of the child.

of course, It is good to help her child in all possible contexts and all parents want only their child the best.

But it is good to know that if you have a tendency to take on too much, it can lead to mental health challenges in later on.

the Ability to express themselves helps us to navigate in the thoughts, feelings and needs. When we participate in conversations, we become more aware of what we want, and how we have it – and it is an important part of our mental development to try to navigate yourself.


As a psychologist I experience by and for young clients, where a parent is in the beginning of the conversation and takes the word very. There may be good reasons to have parents inside of the – cooperation between staff and parents is extremely important and can be very beneficial.

But it may be that f.ex. a mother has so many opinions about how it all hangs together, and a lot of suggestions on what needs to be done. In this situation, the child typically seem very introverted and taciturn.

Some times it becomes quite clear that the child flourishing up, when a dominant parent is gone, and you sit alone.

For parents it can be a difficult balancing act, for it is certainly not intended to go over in the opposite ditch. Parents should just join and be with go a long way.

If the parents did not interfere in the lives of young people – because they f.ex. although is very tired or have very busy and lets the career, and fill it – it can have equally large consequences, as if they interfere in everything.

As with so much else, it is not free to move in the extremes, but to lie somewhere in the middle.

A good advice is to try to engage in a complementary role. So be careful with that control and put the exchange rate – but steadily and follow up where needed. Don't tell young people what to think – let them figure it out.

It takes time for young people to form their own opinions, but it is not a means to go in and take over. So have a little patience – stay in the background and support them to find their own voice.

Read more about Neela Maria Sris and her psykologpraksis Encounter HERE.

Neela Maria Sris Private practice psychologist

Neela Maria Sris is a private practice psychologist and director of the psykologhuset Encounter. She is also a consultant in the organization and management as well as external associate professor at Copenhagen University. Neela is very intrigued by the way in which we humans understand the world, life and each other. As a psychologist, she works every day to help people through life's challenges and problems. Through its hverdagspsykologiske op-ed trying Neela to open new perspectives on the way we understand ourselves and interact to the other.

Date Of Update: 23 November 2019, 00:02