A very common consultation in psychology clinics is related to dependency problems in children. This occurs in parents who, in one way or another, believe that their children have less autonomy than they should. Emotional dependence consists of the excessive need of a minor to be with their parents to feel comfortable, comfortable, safe and protected. The process of maturation and development of children consists precisely in becoming independent and self-sufficient. Thus, they go from an absolute dependence at birth, to an autonomous life in adulthood. In the early stages of life, the minor requires her parents for everything; little by little, gradually, this dependence is reduced, until finally becoming self-sufficient.
In early childhood, up to two or three years, all children are totally dependent. It is from this stage that personal autonomy begins to develop, slowly at first. At birth, the baby requires constant attention from its parents, who provide it with food, care, cleaning, etc. As he begins to grow, this attention becomes less and less necessary, as the child can achieve some of these things on his own. Thus, gradually and as they mature, the child will develop into an autonomous adult.
However, it can sometimes happen that this process is not completed satisfactorily. This can be due to a number of reasons:
• Attachment problems. As a consequence of a lack of affection on the part of parents, children grow up insecure. Parental attachment is essential to develop healthy self-esteem and self-confidence; Obviously, if a child lacks this security, she will always seek external reinforcement, thus giving rise to dependency.
• Lack of recognition. It occurs when parents do not value the child’s achievements, correct or reprimand her frequently. This dynamic can also lead to an insecure personality. The minor who has been raised with these conditions does not believe that he can achieve any relevant achievement. As a consequence, these children will also be dependent on a figure that acts as external reinforcement.
• Overprotection. It would be the extreme opposite to the previous points, in which the parents are permanently taking care of the child. In these cases, she will not be able to acquire that independence and autonomy that will be necessary for her in her adult life.
• Lack of discipline. Growing up without established and enforceable rules can prevent the child from assuming responsibilities. Thus, sometimes acquiring that autonomy and independence is not an easy task, but rather an effort. In these cases, the minor must be forced to face their fears and take charge of their obligations. Otherwise, a dependency can be generated as a way for other people to assume those responsibilities.