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The Childish Mother

The childish mother is the woman who constantly expects others to coddle her. This woman is very devious and cunning in her ability to get others, especially her children, to do just that. She is often the wife of a husband who abused their children, and portrays herself as even more his victim than her children were. Her children often are very protective of her, claiming she is naive and innocent. They fail to see her faults, but instead see her as simply not knowing any better, even when it is clear to others she most certainly does know better. This woman also makes a very bad mother in-law. She sees her new son or daughter in-law as competition for her adult child's attentions. She may even create things she needs her adult child to do for her on special days, such as his or her anniversary or Valentine's day.

Simply put, this childish mother is extremely and unhealthily dependent.  She also is often a covert narcissist.

If this is your mother, it is obvious.  You and your husband have had many arguments over how much you do for your mother.  You frequently get frustrated by needing to do so many simple tasks for your mother.  Or, you are angry for feeling she has used guilt to force you to take care of something you know she is well able to take care of,  Or, you are embarrassed by how childish or silly she acts around other people, and then you feel guilty for feeling that way.  If this describes you, now is the time to make a change.

While you cannot force your mother to grow up, you can change your own reactions to her, which may make her act differently towards you.

First of all, remember- you are not her parent.  It is not your job to indulge her in her childish behaviors!  If others wish to do so, that is their choice, but you need not do that!  Indulging her childish ways only encourages her to continue acting that way with you.  If she is not getting the desired result, most likely, she will act differently.

When dealing with your mother, always maintain a calm and pleasant demeanor.  Do not show that you are angry or frustrated with her- she will act like the victim because you are "so mean" to her.  Then you may end up apologizing and losing any progress you have made.

If your mother pouts because you will not do something her way, then let her pout and ignore her.  If she huffs and puffs, trying to get you to ask her, "What's wrong, Mom?" ignore her!  Asking her that question only will initiate an argument. 

If your mother hints at wanting you to do something, ignore the hinting.  She is an adult- she can use her words to ask you to do something.

If your mother wants you to do something that you know she is well able to do, encourage her to do it.  Remind her she is perfectly capable to take care of this matter herself.

On the road to recovery, I personally found my relationship with God to be my greatest help.  He helped me to heal, and to learn ways to deal with my dysfunctional mother.  Prayer and meditating on His word, the Bible, helped so much.  Learning who the Bible says I am as a child of God is not only inspiring and comforting, but helpful in the healing process.  If you do not have a personal relationship with God, please read the page Salvation Through Jesus Christ for more information.


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