If your first emotional reaction to reading this post is to personalize it and become defensive, stop. There’s nothing wrong with goofing around and taking the occasional selfie with your kids. Nothing at all.
I’m referring to parents (usually moms) who chronically post mommy/kid selfies stating, “My kids are my best friends. My kids are my life.” First, kids aren’t adult peers. Your minor kids are your kids, not your friends. They’re not your confidantes, junior therapists, surrogate spouses or “partners in crime.” Get an age-appropriate friend. Or a cat. I’d say get a dog, but I actually like dogs.
Second, your kids won’t be kids forever. Making them “your life” is unhealthy for them and unhealthy for you. Unless, the plan is to sabotage your kids’ psychosocial development, so that they’ll never “abandon” you. Or, what psychologists refer to as healthy childhood development into independent adulthood. You need a life of your own and your kids need to understand they’re not the center of anyone’s universe.
Third, if the kids’ father has been pushed out of their lives, these selfies are a twisted kind of victory lap. The alienating mom is displaying her trophies and it’s Sick AF.
Gentleman, if a woman’s Facebook or other social media is riddled with these kinds of mother/kid bestie selfies — BIG RED FLAG. Don’t ignore it.
Facebook post conversation here.
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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