Dysfunctional Families: How Children Are Affected

Topics: Family, Family therapy, Dysfunctional family Pages: 6 (2423 words) Published: April 10, 2011
When a family decides to have a child, everything changes. That child becomes a number one priority. In order for a child to lead a healthy, functional life, a family needs to be strong and functional. When a family becomes dysfunctional, the most effected is the children. The children forget their children and act out which makes them difficult to live with. If a dysfunctional family, let alone the children, knew that therapy and help was available to them, more families would become healthy. In this paper, I will prove that children in dysfunctional families can self-diagnose and be encouraged to seek help and treatment so that their future can be affected by their own mistakes and not the mistakes of their families.

Dysfunctional Families
In a family, the children are the most important function. When the parents start to expect the children to act in ways they are not equipped to do, the family becomes dysfunctional. In a dysfunctional family, the parents do not provide a nurturing environment. Children are then affected negatively and furthermore not able to develop correctly or be prepared for their future. The children of a dysfunctional family will then pass on the same unhealthy characteristics to the next generation. Children of a dysfunctional family can self-diagnose and should be encouraged to seek help and treatment. Definition of a Dysfunctional Family

A dysfunctional family is opposite from a healthy family in every way. However, a healthy family is not a perfect family. There is no such thing as a perfect family. Every family bickers, yells, and will experience anger and hurt; but not all the time as in a dysfunctional family. In a healthy family, the family grows and learns from the hurt and the misunderstanding. All family members are treated with respect and parents are there for the children at all times. Children can sleep at night knowing they are safe in their home environment (Vannicelli, Forward, 1989; Benton 1993-1997). Family dysfunction can be any condition that interferes with healthy family functioning. Relationships in dysfunctional families are strained and unnatural. These relationships develop because one of the family members has a serious problem that impacts the rest of the family, and each member of the family feels constrained to adapt atypical roles within the family to allow the family as a whole to survive (Nadelson 2000 PG. 8). . The spouse in this family may enable the problem spouse to maintain employment by lying for him or her, for example. He or she may become obsessive about the problem spouse's abnormal behavior, such that he or she loses perspective in his or her own life, a pattern that is called codependency (Boyd 1992). Children in Dysfunctional Families

Children who grow up in dysfunctional families work hard just to survive. Nine million American children face risk factors that may hinder their ability to become healthy and productive adults. The survey also indicated that children confronting several risk factors are more likely to experience problems with concentration, communication, and health (Genematrix, Inc. 2003). The statistics are over-whelming but children of dysfunctional families can fight back and beat the statistics. Children in dysfunctional families do not realize that their family is dysfunctional. Usually they do not realize that their family should not act the way that is does until either there is some outside intervention or they become older and begin to compare the way their family functions with the way they see other families functioning. Because they think their family represents the way families are supposed to be, they try very hard to make the family system work (Nadelson 2000). When a family fails to provide for the emotional and physical needs of the children, that family becomes unhealthy and dysfunctional. In a healthy family, children grow up in families that help them feel worthwhile and valuable. The children...

References: Boyd, A. George (1992) When You Grow Up In A Dysfunctional Families http://www.mudrashram.com/dysfunctionalfamily2.html
Burney, Robert, M.A
Genematrix, Inc. (2003) A Generation at Risk http://www.rainbows.org/statistics.html
Mellody, Pia, Miller, Wells Andrea, and Miller, Keith J
Mental Health America (2011) http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/codependency
Nadelson, C
National Domestic Violence (2010) http://www.thehotline.org/
University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign Counseling Center
Wegscheider, Sharon. Another Chance: Hope and Health for the Dysfunctional Family. (Palto Alto, CA 1981), PG. 85-88
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