Parentification is where a child is forced or expected, to act as a parental stand-in from a young age.
Parentification is generally classified as parent-focused or sibling-focused and then either as instrumental or emotional. Parent-focused means you were primarily taking care of your parent. Sibling-focused means you were taking care of a sibling or siblings.
Instrumental revolves around practical responsibilities.
– Physically meeting the needs of your siblings or parent by feeding them, helping them get dressed, or bathing them.
– Being in charge of cleaning, cooking, or grocery shopping.
– Paying bills, budgeting, or being in charge of the family finances.
Emotional revolves around being forced to be an emotional support system.
– Listening to your parent talk to you about adult problems.
– Giving advice or comforting your parent over age-inappropriate problems.
– Mediating between your parents or family members.
– Being the one to make your siblings feel loved, safe, and protected.