Self Objects

A great analysis of parents who use their children as political billboards:

They don’t want their kids to be like them; they want to be their kids. They don’t want to be grown-ups with all of that irritating experience and perspective. They want to be children, wearing T-shirts and shorts, confronting politicians with youthful zeal and ignorance, not being responsible for doing the reading or appreciating the complexity. Not being adults, in other words. The children of these parents have become what Freudians might call “self objects” — empty vessels to be used to wrap up some unfinished business, to complete some childhood experiences, to have the activist and politically dramatic youth that kids who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s didn’t have.


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