role reversal

A follow on from the ‘negative side’ of having one child

I receive many emails from mothers and sometimes fathers who are not sure whether ┬áto have another child or not, so I thought I would post this recent email from a younger only child adult. Whist ideally no parent gets divorced or looses a partner – leaving them alone with just a child for company. The reality is that it can happen, and will put an extra strain on one child who may not have another person to talk too. This is the ‘role reversal’ the writer speaks about. Having to ‘parent a parent’ can be extremely damaging to adolescent development, particularly when they are the only one to support a parent. This is because the young person cannot get on and develop the ability to psychologically separate from a parent who is relying on them emotionally. This will keep them in a semi-dependent state until the parent is ready [...]

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