Family Roles: Lost Child

Lost child:

In our family of origin, we each chose roles as our way to belong in the family. Possibly we were indirectly “assigned” these roles. However, we settled on two of the roles. One is our “doing” role (how we appear to others) and the other is our “being” role (the role we choose to solve our emotional problems through). The roles are family hero, scapegoat, lost child, and mascot.

Positive characteristics of the lost child:

Can work independently—good listener—good manual dexterity—hobbyist—resourceful—creative—good observer—well-read—imaginative—nonconformist—enjoys solitude

Negative characteristics of lost child:

Fears reality—indecisive—low self-esteem—feels invisible—sad—depressed—blames others—withdrawn—never a behavior problem

Inner feelings of lost child:


Major hidden feelings of lost child:


Gift to the family:

The lost child offers relief to the family as they are “forgotten” by family and are rarely a problem.

To outgrow need for lost child role, he/she needs to learn:

To reach out to others with his/her need

To make close relationships

Techniques others may use to help the lost child to give up using this role exclusively:

To help lost child to reach out and face his/her pain

To learn to experience intimacy and closeness with others

To reflect the creativity, talent, and imagination of the lost child

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