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Dysfunctional families and their impact on children
Dysfunctional families and their impact on children

Do you feel comfortable in your family? Home is a fortress, it is a place where it is safe, comfortable, where you feel mutual understanding, love and harmony. But, unfortunately, not all families can be said that way.

Sometimes in the home circle there are problems in relationships, material and emotional needs of each other are ignored, oppressive communication prevails. Such cells of society are usually called dysfunctional. A more scientific and less offensive term is "dysfunctional families." In the article we will consider their features, characteristics, types and influence on other members.

dysfunctional families are characterized

No matter how insulting it may be, but maybe it will be about you or your family? Do you need to rethink your behavior and ways of communicating? After all, it is they who form the personality of children, who can later become “difficult”.

Which family is dysfunctional?

The concept of a dysfunctional family can be deciphered as followsway. This is a micro-society that uses and encourages cruel rules and destructive behavior that does not change over time. Moreover, this can be characteristic not only for one person, but also for all family members. In such an environment, there is no respect, no value of the individual, no recognition of merit, no opportunity to speak openly about one's desires. Any problems are usually not discussed, not solved and hidden from other people.

As a result, members of a dysfunctional family cannot satisfy their needs for personal and spiritual growth, self-actualization, development, and in the load they get a feeling of inferiority and other psychological problems.

Such a cell of society is not able to properly perform its functions (household, material, reproductive, educational, emotional, controlling, spiritual communication, and others).

Factors of a dysfunctional family

As you know, dysfunctional families do not appear on their own. Several factors contribute to this.

Socio-economic. These are low material status, irregular incomes, low-paid and unprestigious work, poor living conditions

Criminal. Drug addiction, alcoholism, immoral lifestyle, criminal record, domestic fights, sadism and abuse of family members

Socio-demographic. These are single-parent families with many children, with stepchildren and adopted children, remarriage and elderly parents

dysfunctional families

Medicalsocial. One or more family members have chronic disorders, disabilities, and other illnesses (from depression to cancer). This factor also includes adverse environmental conditions, harmful work, neglect of hygiene and sanitary standards. These features of dysfunctional families are often associated with the following factor

Socio-psychological. These are pedagogically illiterate families, with deformed value orientations, destructive and conflicting relations between spouses, children and parents. Usually there is one or more forms of abuse (physical, emotional, neglect, sexual). In principle, many psychological problems can be a factor. For example, some unresolved grief that interferes with marital functions and childcare

Of course, this does not mean that a family with many children or with low earnings is necessarily dysfunctional. Even in this situation, a loving and harmonious atmosphere can reign in the house. All factors must be considered from different angles. But it should be borne in mind that in the aggregate they only give an amplifying effect.

Features of dysfunctional families

It is common to find difficult and strained relationships in dysfunctional environments. For example, divorced or conflicting parents, father or mother not involved in raising children, chronic hostility between relatives. Constant quarrels, week-long silence after them, and sometimes even fights are a common occurrence for a destructive family.

In such microgroups, especially among men, oftenhave problems with drugs or alcohol. Women often experience psychosomatic he alth disorders, which they call chronic and intractable diseases. Of course, during the examination, they will not be confirmed, because such problems simply “sit in the head”. But women shift the blame for their illnesses to other family members (including children), deftly manipulating their behavior and directing it in the right direction.

Dysfunctional families are cyclical. Therein lies the cause of the failure. All rules and stereotypes of behavior pass from one family to another through generations. That is, thinking is simply inherited from ancestors. It is because of him that certain tragedies happen in generations of families.

Let's say a mother overprotected and manipulated her son. There is nothing surprising in the fact that a dependent man who does not have his own opinion will grow out of him. Or another example. If the father was an alcoholic, then the daughter is almost 100% likely to marry the same person. And this will not be an accident, the choice will occur at a subconscious level. Of course, this can be avoided if the problem is recognized in time.

dysfunctional types of families

What is characteristic of a dysfunctional family

Let's consider what are the signs of a dysfunctional family that can be used to judge dysfunction.

  • Denial of existing problems and maintaining illusions.
  • Conflict in relationships. Scandals are constantly repeated, but the problems are not discussed and not resolved.
  • The absolutization of control and power.
  • Polarity of emotions, feelings and judgments.
  • Lack of differentiation of one's own "I". If dad is in a bad mood, then everyone will be like that.
  • No close communication. It is not customary to directly discuss personal problems.
  • Prohibition on the expression of feelings, especially negative ones (anger, resentment, discontent). Most often this concerns children.
  • A rigid system of requirements and rules.
  • The family rarely or never spends time together.
  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Codependency. This condition is inherent in the relatives of a person who is a slave to alcohol or drugs. This is a huge stress for all family members. They are forced to build their lives in accordance with what, when and how much their loved one will use. That is why a dysfunctional family and codependency are inextricably linked.
  • Having a shared secret that you can't tell anyone. It's about hiding a criminal past, chemical addiction and other shortcomings of the family.
  • Isolation. It is not customary to visit and receive them at home. Therefore, there is often an excessive fixation on communication with each other.

Roles in a disharmonious family

Based on these signs, we can conclude that there are certain roles in a destructive microsociety. Moreover, it is strictly forbidden to change them. Such attempts are immediately nipped in the bud.

So what are the roles in a dysfunctional family? Usually parentsact as oppressors towards children, feeling absolute power and control. And those, in turn, become oppressed. Although there are often situations when a husband suppresses his wife or vice versa.

Parents feel they are the masters of the child and determine for themselves what is right or wrong and how he should act. Adults do not believe that emotional closeness should exist in a happy family. In children, obedience is valued above all, because they must be "comfortable." The will is regarded as stubbornness, which must be immediately broken. Otherwise, the parents will lose control of the situation, and the child will get out of their oppression.

dysfunctional family concept

Also, you can not express your opinion and ask why you need to obey all adults. This is a violation of the rules of a destructive family, an encroachment on the power and sanctity of parents. In order to feel safe and somehow survive, children believe that adults are good, and unconditionally fulfill all their requirements. It is not until adolescence that a child begins to criticize their parents and resist rigid rules. That's when the "most interesting" begins.

Also, dysfunctional families are characterized by an addiction to force and violence. Moreover, it can be physical, emotional, sexual and expressed in the dissatisfaction of needs (parents can punish with hunger, make them walk in torn clothes, and so on). If the child did badly, received a deuce at school or showed disobedience, a kick, blow or other will immediately followbrutal punishment.

Poor children are traumatized for life. Often, against this background, a desire for victimization develops. This is an unconscious desire to act as a victim, a willingness to become a slave. For example, a pleasing woman, a battered wife, living with an alcoholic, marrying a powerful woman, and so on.

Rules of three "don'ts"

Dysfunctional families live by their own cruel rules, but they usually come down to three requirements.

1. Don't feel. You can not openly express your feelings, especially negative ones. If you don't like something, shut up. It is also rare to see hugs or kisses in dysfunctional families.

2. Do not say. You can not discuss problems and taboo topics. The most common taboo is talking about sexual needs. It is not customary to directly express your thoughts, requests and desires. For this, allegories and manipulations are used. For example, a wife wants her husband to wash the dishes. But she will not ask for it directly, but will only often hint and express dissatisfaction. Or another case. The mother says to her daughter, "Tell your brother to take out the trash." People from destructive families do not say anything in person, they do not know how to ask for help. Therefore, they do it bypassing and using intermediaries.

3. Do not trust. Not only do dysfunctional families not know how to resolve conflicts themselves, they do not discuss them with others and do not seek help. Such microgroups are more accustomed to living in social isolation. Therefore, all efforts are spent on maintaining the false image of an exemplary family.

features of dysfunctional families

Here are more examples of common rules.

You can't have fun. In disharmonious families, it is believed that having fun, enjoying life, playing, relaxing and rejoicing is bad and even sinful

"Do as you are told, not as I do." Children copy the behavior of adults. But parents often scold and punish the child for acting like them. People do not like to notice their shortcomings, and they expect the impossible from children. Here is an example. Mom explains to her son that in the evening you need to be quiet and try not to make noise, as the neighbors are resting and may already be sleeping. And then a drunk dad comes home, starts throwing furniture and yelling loudly. How to understand the child that you can not make noise in the evenings?

Faith in unfulfilled hopes. This habit is manifested in excessive daydreaming and can be found in all family members. "We'll wait a bit, something will definitely happen, and everything will be fine for us."

Types of destructive families

Types of dysfunctional families can be considered from the position of development (degradation) of such a microsociety.

Disharmonious family. It is characterized by actual inequality, limitation of personal growth and coercion, when one exploits the other.

Destructogenic family. This type is characterized by conflicts, excessive independence and autonomy, unrequited emotional attachments, lack of mutual assistance and cooperation.

Family falling apart. It is characterized by extremely high conflict, which eventually covers allmore areas of life. Family members cease to perform their functions and responsibilities, but they are held together by a common living space. The marriage of the spouses, in principle, broke up, but so far there is no legal registration.

The broken family. Husband and wife have divorced, but even then they may be forced to perform certain functions. We are talking about material support for former spouses, a common child and raising children. Often the communication of such a family continues to be accompanied by serious conflicts.

One variety cannot be attributed to these dysfunctional types of families, we will consider it separately.

functional and dysfunctional families

Pseudo-harmonious family

At first glance, such a family is no different from a happy one. She seems to take care of the child, is capable of financial support, and everyday activities seem to be an established system. Quite a normal life. However, if you discard the first impression, you can see serious problems behind the wall of external well-being.

Usually one person establishes undemocratic rules and requirements, for non-compliance with which severe and cruel punishments follow. This style of management does not involve the participation of other family members in decision making. So they are not asked what they would like. Households do not have emotional attachments and love, relationships are more like a usurper system. Although functional and dysfunctional families are similar on the outside, you can see all the problems from the inside.

Oddly enough, but such a micro-society canlast long enough, even a lifetime. And children will suffer the most from this if the situation is not changed in time.

How life in a dysfunctional family changes a child

Children from a destructive environment receive psychological trauma, which in the future may manifest itself in the form of many problems. These are self-doubt, neurotic disorders, addictions of various kinds, difficulties with trust and social adaptation, the inability to build close relationships with friends and the opposite sex. The list is endless.

Children in dysfunctional families learn to survive with the help of psychological defense mechanisms. They create around themselves the illusion of affection and love, idealize and minimize these feelings. Anger and hatred often spill out onto objects, friends and loved ones. Feelings are denied and clouded, causing the person to become indifferent to everything.

signs of a dysfunctional family

Destructive environment teaches the child to deceive, judge, make excessive demands on himself, be a warden, too responsible or, on the contrary, careless. For such people, any changes are painful, especially those that are beyond their control. They often seek support and approval, but do not know how to accept praise. Children from a dysfunctional environment do not know how to value themselves, enjoy life and have fun. A family is created early and according to an already known pattern, that is, in accordance with the behavior of the parents.

Features of working with a dysfunctional family

Psychologists and other professionals at workThese families face a number of challenges. Usually they are not ready to openly talk about their lives, and the realization of some things is perceived painfully. Some relatives prevent change because they condemn the recommendations of the counselor and do not allow them to be implemented. The spouses have no idea about the correct role behavior in the family, and it takes years to learn.

The first step to solving a problem is to recognize it. If you understand that not all is well in your home environment and want to have a happy family, then all is not lost. It's never too late to change, the main thing is to start.

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