Placement – Part of the Bloodlines and Baggage Blog Series
The easiest way to understand ‘placement’ is to look at our bodies. If we break an arm, and the elbow is not in the same place as before, we will not be able to use that arm. This causes dysfunction and pain.
In families, we have a place where we belong.
Who is parenting whom?
Parents are parents and children are children.
If children are trying to parent their parents – or be the ‘emotional spouse’ of the parent – then placement is out of order.
Some adults have not used their years wisely and a child could then easily attempt to parent them. This doesn’t work. We are not referring to ‘practical caring’ but rather ‘emotional entanglement’ – a child feeling and carrying a parent’s negative emotions, for example, or trying to save them.
If a parent is emotionally or physically absent, a child may unconsciously (and innocently) attempt to fill the parental gap.
The role of mother or father must be clear – this may be challenging in, for example, step-families.
Who is first?
Siblings are born in a certain order. If any child, for whatever reason, tries to change that order, placement is disrupted.
The questions of who is lost, who is excluded, who is running the show and whose family is first are also relevant, but not covered in this blog.
Next week’s blog is on Burdens.