The fact is that parental dysfunction can come in several forms.
Dysfunctional Family: What Are Its Signs And How To Overcome Its Effects
A family where one or both of the parents may be suffering from chronic mental illness or a disabling physical illness results in dysfunction in family. In such families, children are not treated as children. Rather, they are expected to play an adult role, to take care of their parents and fulfil certain responsibilities. But being a child, they are simply unable to handle everything, and for that they might often be scolded too. These children often feel inadequate and guilty. In the modern world, both parents are found working in most families, and work stress is also at peak.
However, despite the busy schedule, in some families parents do try to give quality time to their children, but there are many such families, where parents have no time for their children. When they come back home tired, they expect them to be taken care of or get involved in arguments with each other, rather than asking their little ones, how their school was or offer any kind of emotional expression.
They are often heard telling their children that they need to understand their parents are tired, and its for them they work so hard and that they are big enough to take care of themselves and even them. These children often feel lonely and unloved. As the name suggests, controlling parents try to control every life aspect of their children, failing to allow their children to take on responsibilities appropriate for their age. These parents continue dominating and making decisions for their children well beyond the age at which this is necessary.
Controlling parents are often driven by a fear of becoming unnecessary to their children, hence either through emotional blackmail, ordering or by giving warnings, they try to keep their children in their control.
The Abusive Parent
They fear making decisions independently. And if at all they act independently, these adults feel very guilty, as if they have committed a serious act of disloyalty. These parents tend to be chaotic and unpredictable. In these families, promises are not kept. In fact, parents may not even remember their promises. Rules keep on varying. Parents may be strict at times and indifferent at others. Positive emotional expression is frequently absent in these families, mostly only negative expressions like complaints and a fight on expectations is expressed, that too either by the alcoholic parent alone, or along with the non alcoholic parent.
Dysfunctional Family Relationships | Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Children in these families may feel conflicted and lost, not knowing where and how to express their pain. Family members are usually expected to keep problems a secret, thus preventing anyone from seeking help.
All of these factors leave children feeling insecure, frustrated, and angry. Some of these children often feel there must be something wrong with them which makes their parents behave this way. These children even when grown up as adults might have difficulty in trusting others. Emotional expression and commitment may be a problem for them. Children of alcoholics are at much higher risk for developing alcoholism than are children of non-alcoholics.
Abuse can be verbal, physical, or sexual. Verbal abuse can be present in family in form of belittling statements, criticisms, sarcastic comments or disguised humour. With physically abusive parents, the urge to strike the child is frequent and little effort is made to control this impulse. Striking can be in form of kicking, punching, biting, beating, knifing, strapping, paddling, etc. Parents often justify their verbal and physical abuse in the name of discipline and betterment of the child.
But the fact is, they only bring upon damage. Sexual abuse is any physical contact between an adult and child where that contact must be kept secret.
Sexual abuse happens to both boys and girls. It is perpetrated by both men and women. In most cases, sexual abuse is part of an overall family pattern of dysfunction, disorganization, and inappropriate role boundaries. Responsibility for sexual abuse in all cases rests entirely with the adult. No child is responsible for being abused. Yet, where verbal and physical abuse can leave children feeling insecure, terrified, mistrusting and angry, sexually abused children often carry feelings of self-loathing, shame, and worthlessness.
They tend to be self-punishing and often have difficulties with relationships and with sexuality. Remember, abuse in any form, only greatly damages the self esteem of children. Typically, the child will adopt one of four roles:. Hence, tries to fix the family problems and help create a positive environment and family image through noteworthy achievement.
This child receives positive attention but often develops perfectionistic, compulsive behaviours which in turn cause a lot of discomfort and guilt if their ideal goals are not met.
This child consumes time and energy from the family members and often develops self-destructive life patterns. This child avoids attention and is often lonely and withdrawn. This child is often hyperactive and usually seeks to be the centre of attention. A child may even display a combination of these traits or progress through different stages as they attempt to manage their emotional pain … in their pursuit to survive.
Typically children from dysfunctional families feel guilty. If only I could be a different kind of person. If any caring and responsible adult is available in family, he or she can do this. If not, a trained counsellor can help. Encourage the child to talk openly.
Help the child know activities that that the child can enjoy that will divert their attention from the chaos. It can be any activity of their interest like playing a game, painting, riding a bike, doing a puzzle etc.
Help the child learn how to make healthy decisions that are not dependent on unhealthy parents. They can learn to do this by making a list of pros and cons and picking the best choice. However, the acceptance and healing of that pain is important. Quotes tagged as "dysfunctional-families" Showing of A family can also be most of the meaning of one's existence. I don't know whether my family is bane or meaning, but they have surely gone away and left a large hole in my heart. After all, isn't that the task of a good parent, to enable the child to leave home?
But in my family, there were no roads - just underground tunnels. I think we all got lost in those underground tunnels.
Your session is about to expire!
No, not lost. We just lived there. When I have been through so much pain and hurt and have to live with the scars every day, I get angry knowing that others think it is all made up or they brush it off because my cousin was a teenager. I was ten when I was first sexually abused by my cousin, and a majority of my relatives have taken the perpetrator's side.