Out of all the institutions who handle training of a human into a responsible, working and suitable citizen of a society, family is the most important one. When we study the science of society, we discuss family first as a founding factor of the society. Healthy families combined make a healthy society. And we all know that our upbringing depends on our family, what we are today is all because of the efforts of our family.
What is a Dysfunctional Family?
A dysfunctional family is a family where problems like child abuse/substance abuse, negligence or misbehaviour occur so often that a child’s upbringing is compromised. These families are not healthy families in any sense.
Were you born in a house where you always wondered why the environment of your house differed from the ideal families’ houses? Or you thought you were too sensitive to enjoy your life? Or your family directly or indirectly made you realize you were not the best version of yourself? Years passed, you also moved away from your family. Now, you are living in a healthy environment. Still, the traces of your family’s behaviour are still there on your mind, your heart? Then, maybe you were also born in a dysfunctional family.
We just discussed that family is an institute of a society, and it has a function to perform, if it cannot perform that action, it is a dysfunctional family.
Signs of a dysfunctional family
- Your family has some unrealistic expectations
These expectations are normally set-up by the parents, they want their child to give his/her best everywhere, at school, in sports, at art clubs, in music lessons, everywhere. You might wonder, it is quite normal for parents to want the best for their child. It is normal, but if the parents have to force their child into something, it becomes a burden on the child’s physical and mental health. Then, they will upraise a robot, not a human. So, forcing a child doing things that are not meant for the children of his/her age is a sign of a dysfunctional family.
- A child’s becoming as the “parent” figure
This happens, when parents leave their children alone on their own expense. When one or both the parents are not present, and a child has to do his own chores. This happens in families where parents are the addicts or are too busy to perform their daily works as the literal leaders of their family. As a result, children have to do things in pace of their parents, which is called “parentification”. A child, in this kind of environment, grows up and matures so quickly that it proves physically and mentally unhealthy for him/her.
- Being neglected
This is the biggest sign of a dysfunctional family, that it does not fulfil the wishes of its members. It is a toxic behaviour which is the biggest threat to every member’s psyche. When the children are being ignored, and it does not meet their daily needs, it will result into a situation called emotional starvation. This situation can lead to children being quite all the time, not showing interests in anything or in a completely different scenario like, not respecting anyone’s boundaries and rights.
- Fighting all the time
If you grew into a family where your parents or your grown-ups were always fighting. They were bad at resolving matters in a healthy way. So, the fights lasted forever and never ended. We can count it as a huge toxic sign of a dysfunctional family where the members are always suffering from mental issues because the environment is not healthy. Fights usually happen among the parents and effect almost everyone living at a house.
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- Abuse and violence
In a house where members are abused, the abuse can be of any kind, physical, mental, sexual or verbal, a healthy family cannot grow. And we list these abuses under the category of violence. Even if you were not physically abused, the effects of verbal and mental abuse will last forever with you. The wounds on your body will heal, but the emotional stress will never go away. And some people start drinking or doing drugs to forget everything for a while.
- Punishments instead of discipline
In a dysfunctional family, mistakes always are corrected with a punishment, not by the proper training. It may sound common, but is not a healthy attitude. Psychiatrists say that punishing a child can make him/her go rebellious against their parents. We consider a family where the family members are not corrected but are abused toxic families.
If you were also a member of the dysfunctional family, although we feel for you. But, we strongly advise you to let go of your past. We understand your past was not quite memorable, yet you have the present, and you can make it right. Please adopt a healthy approach in your life, do not think yourself as a victim. All the bad days are gone now. Letting go of the past is not an easy task, because your very own experience is difficult to forget. Go for counselling and try to live in the present. Hope you get through this.