It is quite common in all countries of the world for young children to suddenly develop a desire to marry one of their parents. Some adults are fascinated by this, but most mothers and fathers agree that such thoughts from their son or daughter are not normal. In psychology, this situation is classified as one of the manifestations of the Oedipus complex. This is why a child who shows excessive attachment to a parent of the opposite sex is overly attracted to his or her mother or father, and takes the other parent as his or her rival. According to Freud's theory, such a child gradually develops a sexual attraction to the parent of the opposite sex. The concept of the Oedipus complex can be applied to children of both sexes.


Key aspects of the complex that may pose a danger

Named after the Greek hero Oedipus, who murdered his father and married his mother, Oedipus complex echoes the torments he faced according to history. Oedipus was tormented until his death, first by blinding himself, then by quarrelling with his children, and later by severe isolation from society.

In the initial stages of the complex, the attraction that young children feel towards a parent of the opposite sex is a relatively normal psychological state. However, as the child grows up, a number of problems begin to emerge and if the adolescent does not overcome the problems in time, he is guaranteed to experience considerable difficulties later on.

Freud's followers believe that boys usually find it easier to overcome this phenomenon because of a subconscious fear of castration. That said, in some cases there is a risk of facing up to the challenges of getting rid of such a psychological handicap. Other psychologists agree that oedipal complexes in adolescents and adults are symptoms of delayed psychological development.

Also, the complex can often lead to the lack of independence of the adolescent, who becomes more feminine in behaviour due to the influence of the mother, who is the only idol. Girls subjected to this disorder acquire masculine traits because of their attachment to their father. Young men in most cases will have considerable difficulty in dealing with the opposite sex, which only worsens with time.


Effective remedies for oedipal complexes

The manifestation of such a complex in boys and girls varies due to the fact that the maternal and paternal love are different from each other. Paternal love, which comes from the intellect, is characterized by toughness, whereas the feelings of the mother are characterized by emotionality, unconditional acceptance of the child. Because of the love attraction to the father, the girl becomes a strong character, and the boy becomes more passive in the existence of feelings for his mother.

However, when it comes to curing a child of an oedipal complex, the approach to therapy is very much the same for both sexes, regardless of age category. It is important to start treatment at an early age as the therapeutic process will be much more difficult once the child reaches adolescence.

In addition to the individual psychologist's instructions which is the presence of the parents together with the child in the sessions, it is important to follow a few rules:

  • Both mother and father should spend time with their growing son or daughter equally. The demonstration of a harmonious relationship between parents will help to show the child how communication with the opposite sex should be structured. In this case, the son's hatred towards his father will subside faster and the girl's head-to-head rivalry with her mother will be greatly reduced.
  • Timely encouragement to switch the boy's attention to his peers and the girl's attention to boys should be reinforced with encouraging words. If the complex is in an advanced state, you don't have to give up. A visit to a competent therapist with solid experience should be the first step towards the treatment of this condition. The masculine interaction in the company of men can act as a reinforcing factor in the successful outcome of the therapy for a member of the male sex. Girls need to be around other women more often who are able to act as positive role models.


Despite the fact that the "Oedipus complex” is a rather complex phenomenon, to get rid of this psychological defect is possible at any age. It may take months or a few years in some cases, but the required results are sure to be achieved.


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