Did you know that 20% of children have a behavioral, emotional, or learning problem because of changes to the family system? Having family issues and problems can be daunting, especially when many people feel that asking for help is acknowledging failure. Instead, though, people should recognize that not only do many families need help, but ultimately, families are better off when they work to resolve problems rather than trying to sweep them under the rug. Here are three things to keep in mind when you are looking for family help.
1. Feeling Trust
Did you know that statistics show that about 96% of families in the U.S. are dysfunctional to some degree? This does not mean there is an epidemic, instead, it just means that issues with good communication and positive relationship building are incredibly common. In dysfunctional family settings, children learn not to trust, not to talk, and not to feel. To unlearn this type of teaching, parents need to create an environment for children where there is honesty, confidences are kept, feelings are not abused, and the child is not judged for being themselves.
2. It is Not About Divorce
You will often see a lot of scare statistics about divorce and single parents. Indeed, for many years professionals such as therapists and social workers were reluctant to help treat families with married parents, worrying that involving themselves might risk the possibility of divorce. By assuming divorce was the worse possible outcome and that helping could hurt relationships, many families were never assisted during this time. Dysfunction can happen, and does happen, in any type of household. Many married dysfunctional couples actually have similar dysfunctional behaviors, which is exactly why patterns can be difficult to break without intervention.
3. How to Recognize the Signs
How can you recognize when there is dysfunction in your household, so that you know to receive help for family issues and problems? There are several key indicators of dysfunction. Lack of empathy towards some family members but not others, denial, missing boundaries, high levels of jealousy, and lack of time spent together are a few. Unhealthy parenting signs that could eventually lead to dysfunction include conditional love, excessive criticism, faulty discipline, and scapegoating. There are many ways you can help family problems, but recognizing that there IS a problem is often the first step.
Do you need advice on family issues and problems, or have advice for others? Let us know in the comments.