May 22, 2023

Enmeshed Parenting

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What is Enmeshed Parenting?

Enmeshed parenting is a common issue that can lead to many problems within the parent-child relationship. It starts when the parent tries to control their child’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This creates an unhealthy bond between the two people, which continues into adulthood. Enmeshed parenting can cause the child to have low self-esteem, feel suffocated and become codependent. It is essential to avoid this type of parenting to create a healthy relationship with your child.

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How To Identify Enmeshed Parenting?

There are a few indicators that you may be an enmeshed parent. First, do you find yourself constantly worrying about your child? Are you continuously checking in on them or asking them for updates on their day? Do you feel like you have to be involved in every aspect of their life?

You might be an enmeshed parent if you answered yes to any of these questions because these are just a few signs of enmeshment. Enmeshed parenting can be harmful to both the parent and the child. It can cause the parent to become too attached to their child and prevent the child from developing a sense of independence.

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How To Avoid It?

There are a few key ways to avoid enmeshed parenting:

Respect Child’s Opinion

It’s okay to disagree with your child, but you should always respect their opinion. This includes listening to them, even if you disagree. Disagreeing doesn’t mean you’re disrespecting your child’s opinion. It shows that you’re interested in what they have to say and are willing to see things from their perspective. Respecting your child’s opinion is important to have a healthy relationship with them.

Encourage Independence

As your child grows, please encourage them to do more things independently. This includes getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and doing homework. Allowing your child to be independent will help them feel capable. It will also give you a break! Encouraging independence is key to avoiding enmeshed parenting.

Set Boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries with your child. This includes not allowing them to talk back, hit, or use bad language. Setting boundaries shows your child that you’re in charge and that they need to respect you. It also helps them feel safe and secure. Setting boundaries is essential to avoiding enmeshed parenting.

Be A Role Model

Children learn by example. So, if you want your child to be independent and set boundaries, you need to be a role model. Show them how to do things independently and respect other people’s boundaries. Being a role model is one of the best ways to avoid enmeshed parenting.

Seek Professional Help

If you’re struggling to avoid enmeshed parenting, seek professional help. There are many resources available to help you. Counseling, support groups, and books are all great options. Seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It shows that you’re committed to creating a healthy relationship with your child.

Talk To Your Child

The most important thing to avoid enmeshed parenting is talking to your child. This includes asking them how their day was and listening to their answer. It also means talking about your own feelings and experiences. Talking to your child is essential to creating a healthy, connected relationship.

Give Your Child Space

It’s important to give your child space. This means not always being available when they want to talk or play. It also means letting them have time to be alone and do their own thing. Giving your child space shows that you trust them and respect their need for independence.

Be Patient

Parenting is hard work. There will be times when you feel like you’re not doing it right. But, it’s essential to be patient with yourself and your child. Parenting is a learning process for both of you. Be patient and try to enjoy the journey.

How To Break The Cycle Of Enmeshed Parenting?

If you’re currently entangled with your child, it’s not too late to make a change. You can break the cycle of enmeshed parenting by making a conscious effort to change your behavior. Here are some tips:

  • Set boundaries with your child and stick to them: Explain to your child that you love them by creating healthy boundaries but that there are certain things that you need to do for yourself. This may be tough at first, but it’s important to stick to your guns with emotional and physical boundaries.
  • Encourage your child to have hobbies and interests: Children need to have things that they’re passionate about outside of their relationship with you. Adult children should have their own interests.
  • Don’t be afraid to let go: As your child gets older, it’s natural for them to want more independence. Allow them to experience this by giving them some space.

The Effects Of Enmeshed Parenting

The effects of enmeshed parenting can be far-reaching and long-lasting. Children raised in an enmeshed parenting style often have difficulty forming healthy relationships later. They may also struggle with self-esteem issues and a lack of independence.

If you suspect that you may be guilty of enmeshed parenting, try to take a step back and analyze your parenting style. Are you overly involved in your child’s life? Do you find yourself constantly monitoring their activities and checking in on them? If so, it may be time to take a step back and reassess your parenting approach to make your family a healthy family.

What Are Examples Of Enmeshment?

There are several examples of enmeshment, but some common ones include

  1. Hovering: Helicopter parents who hover over their children and don’t give them any space or privacy are usually considered entangled in their family relationships.
  2. Overinvolvement: Parents who are constantly involved in their child’s life to the point where the child has no room to grow independently are usually considered in an enmeshed relationship.
  3. Lack of Boundaries: Parents who have difficulty setting personal boundaries with their children and often give in to their demands are usually considered enmeshed.
  4. Control: Parents who try to control every aspect of their child’s life are usually considered entangled, and they often lose their family closeness.
  5. Emotional Dependence: Parents who are emotionally dependent on their children and often look to them for emotional support are usually considered enmeshed families.

People Also Ask:

When is a parent enmeshed with a child?

A parent who is entangled with their child cannot separate themselves from their child’s needs which causes them to lose control over their own emotions and behavior and become dependent on their child for survival.


How do you break enmeshment between a parent and a child?

If you want to get out of an unhealthy relationship, you must first admit that you have a problem. Then work together as a team to fix it. Breaking enmeshment by being honest about it with both people involved. Don’t sugarcoat things for either person. Be open and honest.


How do I know if my child is enmeshed with me?

You will know when you see it. It is easy to spot because there are signs such as:

  • Your child doesn’t want to leave your side even though they are old enough to stay at home alone.
  • You feel responsible for everything your child does.
  • You spend too much time worrying about your child is doing rather than spending quality time with them.
  • Your child depends on you for all their needs.
  • Your child feels insecure and wants constant attention and approval.
  • Your child seeks your advice before making decisions.
  • Your relationship with your spouse suffers due to a lack of intimacy.


What is the difference between enmeshment and codependency?

Enmeshment is a form of bonding with another person or group of people dependent upon them for their own sense of identity. Codependency refers to a state of being emotionally attached to someone without regard for the well-being of oneself or others.



Enmeshed parenting is a parenting style that is characterized by an overinvolvement in the child’s life. This can often lead to the child feeling suffocated and unable to grow independently from the family members. If you think you may be guilty of being an enmeshed family, try to take a step back and reassess your parenting approach. It will be better for your family cohesion. Remember, it’s never too late to make a change. But, it’s important to be patient with yourself and your child as you transition to a healthier parenting style.

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