A part of growing up, is losing your "hero-worship" of your parents. The moment you realize they're not larger-than-life, but they have got flaws... The moment you start looking at them with new eyes...

Is there a particular word for describing this in English? I'm not thinking of a psychological term (I'm sure there is one), but in daily-speak (well, not so daily probably).

Edit: In retrospect, if anybody has a medical or psychological term for it, that would be helpful too.

  • 13
    "Disillusionment" comes to mind.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 12:10
  • That could work in a combo... But I was hoping there might be a single word/short phrase specifically for loosing your faith in - becoming disillusioned with - ones parents (and perhaps other parent-like figures) Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 12:17
  • 8
    This is what I call puberty.
    – Zikato
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 12:20
  • :-D ! ...Or "being a teenager". But I was hoping for something a little bit less general and wide-reaching than that. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 12:29
  • Another possibility is "reality-checked."
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 21:20

5 Answers 5


"Coming of age" to correspond with the adolescent Erikson stage mentioned above.

  • Welcome to ELU! Could your provide an authoritative reference to support that statement?
    – ScotM
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 16:38
  • Also, coming into their own and simply growing up.
    – Mazura
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 0:21
  • Coming of age reminds me of having my first pint!
    – user414952
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 12:09

I don't have a word, just an expression. When a person ceases to look up to you, I would call that as "being taken off the pedestal."

The idea is that you used to be regarded like a monument (or a statue) to that person---something to admire---but no longer.


If you are looking for some technical terms, the following might help:

  1. Identity vs. Role Confusion:
  • During adolescence (age 12 to 18 yrs), the transition from childhood to adulthood is most important. Children are becoming more independent, and begin to look at the future in terms of career, relationships, families, housing, etc. The individual wants to belong to a society and fit in.

  • This is a major stage in development where the child has to learn the roles he will occupy as an adult. It is during this stage that the adolescent will re-examine his identity and try to find out exactly who he or she is. Erikson suggests that two identities are involved: the sexual and the occupational.

  • According to Bee (1992), what should happen at the end of this stage is “a reintegrated sense of self, of what one wants to do or be, and of one’s appropriate sex role”. During this stage the body image of the adolescent changes.

  • Erikson claims that the adolescent may feel uncomfortable about their body for a while until they can adapt and “grow into” the changes. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of fidelity.

  • Fidelity involves being able to commit one's self to others on the basis of accepting others even when there may be ideological differences.

  • During this period, they explore possibilities and begin to form their own identity based upon the outcome of their explorations. Failure to establish a sense of identity within society ("I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up") can lead to role confusion. Role confusion involves the individual not being sure about themselves or their place in society.

  • In response to role confusion or identity crisis an adolescent may begin to experiment with different lifestyles (e.g. work, education or political activities). Also pressuring someone into an identity can result in rebellion in the form of establishing a negative identity, and in addition to this feelings of unhappiness.



Peer-shifting is the thought-term that springs to mind.

Would like to elaborate shortly.


A painful period occurred for me when I "realized that my parents were human."

(Prior to that, I had considered them "superbeings")

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