“People Expect Kids To Act Like Adults”: Therapist Goes Viral After Calling Out Toxic Parenting Takes

Whitney Goodman, an author and a licensed marriage and family therapist from Florida, has over 550,000 followers on Instagram alone.

She regularly creates content about relationships, and her recent videos on making children choose sides in a ‘bad marriage’ and treating them like adults have gone particularly viral.

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In them, Goodman explains why she thinks that one of the worst things a parent can do is fight with their partner in front of their kids.

This is Whitney Goodman, a mother, licensed psychotherapist in Florida, and the author of Toxic Positivity

Image credits: sitwithwhit

Recently, she made a video about kids who grow up with “teams” in their families

“Okay, so this video is for anyone that grew up in a home where your parents would fight a lot and their marriage was really bad. Tell me if this happened to you. If you grew up in this kind of a house, you may have noticed that your family would split off into, like, different alliances or teams to try to manage the marital discord. So because the marriage wasn’t a good, safe foundation for the family, everybody else had to kind of go and form these new teams.”

Image credits: Wavebreakmedia (not the actual photo)

According to Goodman, they are forced to choose sides

“So maybe you and your dad teamed up and you would talk bad about your mom, like mom is crazy and we need to, like, fight against her. And maybe your other sibling was teamed up with your mom and would start acting like her and maybe started to behave in similar ways and everybody was trying to find stability, but also out to get one another at the same time.”

Image credits: whitneygoodmanlmft

And are robbed of growing up in a stable environment

“You’re all looking for safety and trying to find it in different ways, and you’ll never be able to achieve the same type of stability you would’ve felt if your parents had like that concrete, stable relationship.”

@whitneygoodmanlmft♬ original sound – Whitney Goodman, LMFT

Goodman said that as hard as parenting can be, moms and dads shouldn’t get a free pass

Image credits: whitneygoodmanlmft

And that it’s actually the children who deserve more empathy

“I get so many comments from people when I talk about adult kids and their parents saying, you know, parents are people too and we need to have empathy for parents. And I’m a parent, I get that. I think parenting is one of the hardest things that you will ever do. But actually, what I find is that people have no empathy for kids.”

Image credits: whitneygoodmanlmft

Even when they grow into adults

“People expect kids to act like adults. And then in my experience, when they become adults, parents look back at their experiences as if they were adults, moving through all those life stages the entire time. And the focus is really put back on the parent. ‘You don’t know how hard it was for me. You’ll figure it out when you become a parent. I didn’t have money, I didn’t have resources.’”

Image credits: Wavebreakmedia (not the actual photo)

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“And all these things can be 100% true and real, but we have to be able to hold empathy on both sides of that coin, right? And when we’re having these conversations, this will always be true. The child was a child who was helpless, defenseless, and unable to care for themselves physically and emotionally. The adult had power and had options, and when we keep that in mind, it makes the conversation a little bit more fair.”

@whitneygoodmanlmft #parenting #adultchildren #adultchildrenofdysfunction #whitneygoodman ♬ original sound – Whitney Goodman, LMFT

The therapist received comments from people who disagree with her

Image credits: whitneygoodmanlmft

“I wanna reply to this comment, not because I wanna reply to this person specifically, but because they’re bringing up something that I hear a lot and I think it’s important for us to talk about.”

It’s a complicated dynamic

“They’re saying that once a child grows up and becomes an adult, their relationship with their parents and their trauma from their childhood is their business and their thing to heal, and that the parent is not responsible anymore for healing that. And I wanna consider and reconsider why we think about child and parent relationships in this way because it’s really the only relationship that we think of in this way. There’s no other relationship that I can think of where someone would be abused, hurt, ridiculed, denied needs or rights, and we would say, ‘You know what, that’s your problem now. You need to figure out that.’ But we tend to do that with adults and their parents.

And it’s always under the guise of like, well, they did the best they could. And now if you got hurt by that, that’s your problem. And I think there’s a lot of empowerment in telling adults that your childhood is not going to dictate your life. It’s over now and you can work on it. But we also need to work on the dynamic and the healing that happens when parents are able to say, “You know what, maybe I tried my best and it wasn’t good enough. Maybe I did hurt you. Maybe there is something that I can apologize for and I can take ownership of to allow us to have a good relationship moving forward.”

@whitneygoodmanlmft Replying to @sarahmariecapulet #therapytiktok #childhoodtrauma #sitwithwhit #whitneygoodmanlmft #adultchildrenofdysfunction ♬ original sound – Whitney Goodman, LMFT

But at least we’re talking about it

The post “People Expect Kids To Act Like Adults”: Therapist Goes Viral After Calling Out Toxic Parenting Takes first appeared on Bored Panda.

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