Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents

Mada Hayyas
Raising a Beautiful Mind
3 min readJul 4, 2023


Augustus Leopold Egg, Past and Present, No 2 1858

The only acceptable reason to have kids is that you want to nurture and care for another being. That’s it. That’s all of the good reasons. Not because you want someone to take care of you on your old age, not because you want them to take on a certain career. None of that. To have such expectations of a child makes it unethical to have one, it lays the foundation for emotional blackmail; as in, ‘I brought you into this world and raised you, had you for this reason so give me that happiness’ No one owes you anything for the things you do out of your own will for your own sake, not even your children.

Growing up in a family with emotionally immature parents is a lonely experience. These parents may look and act perfectly normal, caring for their child’s physical health and providing meals and safety. However, if they don’t make a solid emotional connection with their child, the child will have a gaping hole where true security might have been. The loneliness of feeling unseen by others is as fundamental a pain as physical injury, but it doesn’t show on the outside. Emotional loneliness is a vague and private experience, not easy to see or describe. You might call it a feeling of emptiness or being alone in the world. Some people have called this feeling existential loneliness, but there’s nothing existential about it. If you feel it, it came from your family.

Everything everywhere all at once is about intergenerational trauma. About depression and passive suicidality and the gravitational appeal of nothingness. About aging, getting older in your twenties and getting older in your fifties. About the specific hurt mothers can cause their daughters and daughters their mothers. About the harsh reality of the immigrant experience and the american dream. But it’s mostly about kindness and family and it’s about choosing to sit at home talking about taxes with someone who loves you, and it’s about telling your daughter that you’d choose her over the entire universe, and it’s about how even in the universes where life didn’t form, love can still exist. And it’s really all of that at once. That daughterhood feeling of wanting to blame your mother for how you turned out, wanting to be angry at her for how you’ve inherited her pain and her insecurities, but at the same time wanting to keep coming home to her, out of everyone else in the universe, because you know that if there’s anyone who might be anything like you-if there’s anyone who might even have a clue of what it’s like to be you-it could only be her.

And, Fathers believe that paying the bills and bringing in the money gives them a free pass to be a passive parent. There is a big difference being a father who works and may not be able to spend all day with the kid, but is actively involved in child rearing, making important decisions and giving their all when they can into making sure the child isn’t neglected vs being a passive, absent parent

Stop forcing child to have relationships with emotionally abusive family members. You’re not teaching them ”family first” you’re teaching them regardless of how someone treats them they’re suppose to love them unconditionally and that’s not a good lesson. If you’re not prepared for your child to think differently from you, don’t have children. If you’re not prepared for your child to be disabled or chronically ill, don’t have children. If you’re not prepared for a child with autism or mental illness, don’t have children. You can lead a perfectly happy and fulfilling life without having a child just to traumatize them and make both you and your children’s lives miserable.