• Reggie Jenkins

What's Crippling our Communities? Enablers

Updated: Mar 2




An Enabler is one who enables/handicaps another to persist in self-destructive behavior (i.e. substance abuse, irresponsibility) by providing excuses or by helping that individual avoid the consequences of such behavior. An enabler is a person who prevents the full maturation of another person (most likely a child, sibling, spouse, or another family member).


Enabler provides excuses such as 'I can't kick my baby out in the street' or 'he/she can't make out there without me'. One translation could be 'I don't have the confidence in my child/spouse/family member to make it without me.' Another is 'I don't have a life of my own so I will immerse myself into my child's life and disrupt his/her maturation into adulthood.'


Most enablers will argue you to death as to why they should continue to act in such a destructive fashion and will mostly never stop being enablers. And enablers can be a mom, dad, grand mom, aunt, uncle, or sibling. But from my experience, most of the enablers are women (mom/grand mom) due to the fact that so many guys are M.I.A. which is another conversation altogether.


Also, enablers think that enforcing 'tough love', the child will love them less. They will also think that being tough on their child will make them a 'bad' parent which is kind of funny since what they are currently doing is not working. I find that many enablers are suffering from some emotional dysfunction which came from previous experiences (childhood or failed relationships) and cope with that hurt/pain with overcompensating their dependents.


Another example of being an enabler is rearing grandchildren because the enabler didn't do a good job making his/her child responsible. Now, keep in mind, there's nothing physically wrong with his/her child. Its because of the guilt that they feel of not rearing their children to become a responsible adult that they attempt to rear their grandchildren. And the cycles continues.


The dependent (the recipient of the enabler) most likely will never see how they are being handicapped by their enabler's behavior and will act like you are crazy for suggesting that they should 'grow up' or be 'cut off' by the enabler. Some will engage in cussing and/or fighting for their 'life line'. The dependent makes excuses as well such as, 'I going through somethings and I need time to get it together'. I even heard some of the dependents talk about how hard of a time that they are having even though they pay no bills and are not contributing to those who struggle to pay for them, their children and themselves.


The sad commentary in all of this is that majority of our families consists of several enablers and this is one of the reasons why we have so many grown males/females who can't seem to 'get it together'. And what many enablers are unwilling to admit is that one day they will transition this life (i.e. 'Upper Room') and will leave a legacy of chaos and family dysfunction. And all the dependent will do is find another enabler or go into a deep depression which may lead to another destructive habit (i.e. drugs).


So if you are enabler, please don't click the like button.


If you are the dependent, please don't click on the like button.


This is not about how many folks liking my post, but seeing the truth in my words and possibly making a change for the better. Our children, grand children's, nieces', nephews', cousins' future depend on it.

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