Ayana Rose-Williams, therapist from My Mom is Obsessed, shares advice on how to know if your teen has been given a little too much to handle.
How can you tell if your child is taking on too much responsibility? If your child is robbed of their youth because they have to meet the emotional or psychological needs of their parent(s) then yes, they could be.
Parentification is a role reversal between the parent and child. Typically, the child's needs are sacrificed to meet the parent's physical and emotional needs. This happens a lot when the parents are abusing drugs and alcohol, but this also happens when there is a sick parent, and the child must step in to help care for them and/or the rest of the family.
As parents, we want to teach our children/teens responsibility. We want them to help out around the house, do chores and assist with “looking after” younger siblings, all of which is encouraged in moderation. However, you will want to monitor how much you’re giving your child to do.
If you are giving your child more responsibility in the house then you have, then the roles have reversed. If your child is getting behind in school work, has stopped hanging out with friends and appears to have little to no time for anything other than taking care of your needs or the needs of the house, then you may want to look at the amount of chores your child has.
There really needs to be a healthy balance in your child’s life. Remember, your child is a child, and there are age-appropriate activities that your child should be involved in, including school and hanging out with friends (for socialization and extra curricular activities to strengthen interests and learn other skills).
If there are extenuating circumstances, such as a parent becoming ill, divorce or a parent needing extra assistance around the house, then sit down and talk to your children, family members or a close friend to make sure that it is not overwhelming or taking too much away from the child’s life. If this is the case, it may be time to call in extra support from family and friends because as they say...sometimes it takes a village.