Primary Caregivers Can Not Be Categorized As Adults Caring For Dependents

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Primary caregivers cannot be categorized as adults caring for dependents, parents, or extended family members. Children under 18 years of age are caring for their family unit such as siblings, grandparents, and parents due to circumstances beyond the child’s control. These children have received a classification of parentified child. In this reflection paper, the areas of focus is to provide a working definition of parentification of a child, how to recognize a child that is parentified, how to support the parentified child, and provide a connection between alcohol and substance abuse on the child and family unit. Minuchin and colleagues coined the term parental child in 1997 while Broszormenyi-Nagy and Spark defined the process of parentification of child (Earley & Cushway, 2002). The process of parentification of a child examines the role of the child in the family system as it relates to caregiving but examines the parents’ gratification as it relates to sex, aggression, and emotional needs (Bying-Hall, 2002; Earley & Cushway, 2002). Under those circumstances, parentification of a child is role reversal, the child assumes the role of the parent, and the parent assumes the role of a dependent or child. Consequently, when a child assumes the role as the primary caregiver or parent, the expectation of the parentified child is to terminate the process of being a child. The parentified child no longer plays as a child. The parentified child is not concerned with

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