When people outside of a spiritually abusive system or adults who choose to join a group consider the actions of a Second Generation Adult (SGA), they usually fail to take these developmental gaps into consideration.
They also forget about the dependency of a child and the fact that the child doesn’t have the ability to challenge a parent through critical thinking. This generally does not start developing in the manner that most people expect until about age 12. This is why algebra is taught in high school and not taught to typical eight year olds. Younger children don’t yet have that ability.
The High Demand Group Uses Children for Gratification through Parents
This discussion of enmeshment at Overcoming Botkin Syndrome points out this aspect of enmeshment which also intensifies a child’s and young adult’s dependency on their parent:
In Facing Love Addiction, Pia Mellody describes effective bonding between parent and child as a functional and intimate activity that the parent sustains for the child. She likens this emotional connection to an umbilical cord that flows from parent to child, so that the stable, secure, and more grounded adult, from a position of maturity, nurtures and supports the child.
Covert emotional abuse reverses the flow, so that at times, the parent draws emotional nourishment from the child to meet needs that should only be met in the context of adult relationships. The child lacks the wealth of resources that adults have including a sense of self, the ability to self-soothe, and the choice to direct themselves, something that they should be learning and deriving from their parents in varied ways until they enter adulthood. From resources that are drastically limited in comparison to an adult, the child must draw from their own limited resources to nourish the adult.(Pg. 43-4). […]
The emotional sense of responsibility for the parent becomes unavoidable in many such cases. This also happens with adults who are too immature or fearful to be appropriately intimate with another adult, finding the intimacy too threatening emotionally. But they do not have such setbacks with children because the balance of power in the relationship is always in the adult’s favor. The child is not only vulnerable due to immaturity, the child will not abandon the parent because they need the parent in order to survive.