As children, we look at our parents and assume they can do no wrong. Our mom is the one who takes care of us and sets the rules, so anything she says goes. However, not all parents are mature just because they're parents, and there could be some clean signs your mom is actually immature. It can be weird growing up and discovering that your parent isn't perfect, but realizing this could help you better understand how to navigate your relationship and help you understand how to deal with your mother.
According to Psychology Today, many immature parents express "emotional hunger," which is a strong emotional need often caused by deprivation in childhood. Immature parents often act out because they're desperately trying to fill an emotional void, and they use the child to try to fulfill this connection. Of course, this can become frustrating if you're the child.
Dealing with an immature mom can be stressful: You might feel insecure about your decisions, unsure of whose advice to take, or even exhausted from the constant arguments you find yourself in. But once you realize it's your mom and not you, you might feel a little bit better. Here are eight signs that your mom is immature and might have her own emotional growth to experience alongside you.
1She Behaves Differently At Home Than In Public
We all behave differently when we are home with our families, but this difference is much more extreme with an immature mom. "For example, this mom might brag about her children to other people, but be highly critical of them at home," says psychologist Stephanie M. Kriesberg, Psy.D over email. "What matters to her is what other people think."
2She Has Unrealistic Expectations For Her Children
An immature mom has unrealistic expectations for her children, and she can make them feel dumb or uncooperative when they don't live up to her standards. "As adults, [children of immature mothers] have low self-esteem and say they don’t know what they feel, like or what they really want to do in life," says Kriesberg. "They don’t have sense of who they are."
3She Can't Cope With Her Emotions
If your mom is unable to identify and deal with her own emotions in a reasonably calm way, she is likely immature. "She frequently gets out of control when stressed and is likely to blame the child or other stressors for her actions," says Kriesberg.
4She Can't Empathize With Her Kid's Feelings
Immaturity can lead to your mom only seeing things from her perspective or her own needs. "For example, mom insists her child take 5 AP classes because her friends’ kids are," says Kriesberg. "She feels anxious and bad about herself if her son might be seen as inadequate. She is not mature enough to realize this and/or put the needs of her child first."
5She Doesn't Cope Healthily With The Stress Of Being A Mother
"An immature mom does not have healthy ways of coping with the inevitable stress of being a mom," says Kriesberg. She may rely on the following behaviors to relieve stress: drinking, drugs, smoking, exercising too much, overeating, not eating enough, spending too much time online. "These behaviors help in the short run because they help mom block out her feelings," she says. "In the long run, they make her feel worse and cause additional problems for herself and her family."
6She Competes With You
No one likes someone who is constantly competing with you to boost their self-esteem, especially when that someone is your mom. "A mature parent is supportive," says clinical psychologist Helen Odessky, Psy.D. over email. "Competitiveness in a parenting relationship stems from parental immaturity and makes the child feel less than."
7She Is Jealous Of Your Time Spent With Others
An immature mom gets jealous of the time you spend with your friends, significant other, or children, even though the time you spend with them is perfectly normal. "A mature mother understand the needs of her child to have different relationships in their life," says Odessky.
8She Throws Tantrums
Tantrums aren't just for toddlers: Immature moms have them too. "If your mother expresses herself with aggression, pouting, or silent treatment during disagreements, she may be immature," says Odessky.