Long Term Effects on Children Raised In Dysfunctional Households
Family dysfunction is a condition that interferes with healthy family functioning and most families have some periods in which functioning are impaired. Healthy families usually return to normal functioning after crisis such as death in family, parent’s illness ends. In dysfunctional families, there are always profound impacts on children who later grow with the negative effect in life (Hunt Web). Some of the dysfunctional families include substance abuse, emotional and mental problems, child neglect, religious fundamentalist families, alcoholism, child abuse, or extreme parental rigidity. Children in dysfunctional families do not always get their needs met and negative patterns of parental behavior usually become prevail in children’s lives.
Hunt explains that children raised from dysfunctional families normally suffer from low self-esteem, feel depressed or anxious, and that they may self-sabotage their goals and dreams or fail to actualize their potential (Web). Moreover, these kinds of children may unwittingly act out of a life script that had been written by early negative programming, face challenges of making money or settling down into a satisfactory career or have difficulties with intimacy issues. Another serious effect of children coming from dysfunctional families is sometimes out of touch with their feelings, spirituality, and other challenges that may arise from their stormy childhood with a spoiled self (Blair Web). Some of the effects of dysfunctional families are discussed under the following subtopics;
Uninvolved parents typically provide for their children’s basic and physical needs but lack emotional connection, distant and aloof, frequently attempt to adopt their children and are indifferent and dismissive of many of the children’s fundamental needs. Moreover, uninvolved children are usually disinterested in vital areas of their children’s lives such as school work and hobbies and are always uncaring about how their children behave in general (Hunt Web). This kind of parenting may have many negative outcomes for children that touch most of the significant areas of life such as greater proneness to stress (Blair Web). Children raised from uninvolved parents may have increased risk of drug and alcohol abuse and are further likely to develop problematic behaviors or delinquency. Additionally, children raised from uninvolved parents tend to perform poorly in academics and are likely to have challenge establishing and maintaining relationships or have poor social skills.
Parents with addictions
Parents with addictions usually impose dire consequences to their children among them physical, intellectual, social, and emotional problems that may continue or emerge until later in children’s lives. Addiction usually run in families and children of addicted parents are more at risk for drug or alcohol abuse than compared to children from other functional families because of both genetic and family environment factors. Substance abuse by parents and children are strongly correlated and adolescents who perceive that parents are permissive about the use of drugs are more likely to use drugs. Moreover, children from addicted parents always become mistrustful of others, have difficulty understanding emotions of others, and are at higher risk for placement outside the home. There are always adolescent runaways and homeless youths reported globally because of their parents’ harshness. According to Blair, such kind of children also exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety and further experience greater physical and mental health problems as well as higher health and welfare costs (Web).
Hunt asserts that authoritarian parents usually have the following characteristics: strict rules and expectations, very demanding but not responsive, do not express much warmth or nurturing, utilize punishments with little or no explanation, and do not give children choices or options (Web). Some of the possible effects of this kind of parenting include children rarely learning to think on their own, children feel pressured always and are usually withdrawn socially. Moreover, children raised in authoritarian parenting may develop resentment of authority, have low self-esteem, develop fear of failure and may develop a tendency to act out in most cases. Finally these kind of children may be very hungry, resentful or frustrated and can find it hard dealing with their anger.
Parents may always cheat for many reasons but for whatever reason, there are always impacts on the children’s life. Such kind of information is really damaging to children who may develop some trust issues in their later lives. They may feel that their future boyfriends or spouse will be unfaithful or even carry resentment for the cheating parent or both. Children will always feel embarrassed and may even be too angered to throw up the infidelity to the cheating parent. Furthermore, children faced with trust issues may flash back what their parents did and carry it with them the rest of their lives or even decide to adopt negative things such as adultery that their parents did.
Considering stages of Psychosocial Development, Erik Erikson asserts that children normally develop in a predetermined order especially how the children socialize and how their sense of self is affected by socializing. Successful completion of every stage of life may lead to healthy personality as well as good interactions with others but failure to complete the stages may lead to a more unhealthy personality. This kind of theory directly applies to the children in dysfunctional families who are usually faced by numerous challenges (Hunt Web).
According to Blair, children brought up in dysfunctional families normally undergo maximum mental health damage because in most cases, they spend time servicing their negative identity, which is more important to them than education (Web). Thinking oneself as worthless usually reflects in the life of children more than education issues thus causing them to perform poorly in academics. Such kind of children takes themselves as inferior beings incapable of learning anything particularly things that negate their negative identity thus leading to high rate of dropouts.
It is apparent that children born in dysfunctional families have negative feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that are derived from the nature of their families. The negative set of patterns adopted by the children make up their personality, which develops as they go through different experiences in life (Hunt Web). Children from dysfunctional families may sometimes have personality disorders that may make it difficult for them to change their past unusual or unexpected behaviors. Additionally, children brought up in dysfunctional families normally develop impulsive behaviors that expose them to many negative consequences such as distress or regret in their lives. In summary, children in dysfunctional families do not always get their needs met and negative patterns of parental behavior usually become prevail in children’s lives.
Blair, Tony. Blaming a moral decline for the riots makes good headlines but bad policy. The Guardian, 20 Aug. 2014. Web. 3 Apr. 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/20/tony-blair-riots-crime-family>.
Hunt, June. Understanding and Dealing With a Dysfunctional Family. The Christian Post, 8 Jul. 2012. Web. 3 Apr. 2014. <http://www.christianpost.com/news/understanding-and-dealing-with-a-dysfunctional-family-77826/>.