What is exactly functional family? In contrast to it, what is exactly dysfunctional family? There are multiple difference ideas for a concept of dysfunctional family. However, family is one of the major keys in one’s lives, and it makes such a great impact in both emotional and physical values. Functional family—unity, compassion, and care between members of a family—is vastly important. Unfortunately, not every families out there work that way. Specifically, only 45 percent of American children have spent their childhood in an intact family, according to a survey produced by a conservative advocacy group. On there, parents’ abusive and neglect are the most common reasons lead to dysfunctional families. Consequently, it forces to the absolute failure of families and it severely effects on the children especially.
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First of all is parents’ abusive. In particular, drugs abuse and alcohol problems are the major things that leading to dysfunctional families. According to National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 7 million children live with a parent with alcohol problems and 2.1 million children live with a parent who had an illicit drug use disorder. Sadly, the children who are living with the abusive parents might end up with alcohol and drugs abuse as well. The children who face traumatic situations which essentially force them to grow up more quickly than their peers. Furthermore, rather than being able to depend upon their parents for either love, family, or role models, these children are left to their own devices, and must continually struggle—as an outcome, they might take on the challenges faced by their family such as poverty and social isolation. As an illustration, Jeannette Walls—an American author and journalist who made her name with her unique memoir called The Glass Castle. In there, she describes her lively dysfunctional family. Jeannette’s father is an alcoholic; and obviously, alcoholism is a disease. Its effects on behavior cause the most devastation to her family as a result. Jeannette’s father failed to make responsible decisions in regards to his family, leaving them with no income, no source of food, and often placing his children in difficult situations. Everything Jeannette’s father did in order to get his next drink deeply affected his family. Alcoholism eventually led to Jeannette’s father’ death many years later, taking from Jeannette forever the father she had learned to love despite his failings. It changed the dynamics of the family and proved that it affected Jeannette on an emotional level in her personal experience.
Following it, neglect is also play as a clear cause of dysfunctional families. 56 percent of working moms and 50 percent of working dads say they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance their responsibilities. Additionally, 1 out of every 3 parents say that they don’t spend enough time with their kids based on Brandon Gaille’s survey in 2017. Yet, the presence of family plays an important role in an incredible way. Without it, the children at least will feel nonexistent to their parents. By uttering lack of concern and care for children, children’ self-esteem, learning, and growing in terms of morals and character would be in jeopardy. As time goes by, they would be the loners, feel self-conscious, unsure, and perhaps even depressed. In fact, family support systems are just one of the most enriching, and rewarding aspects of daily family life. Again, for instance from Jeannette Walls’s memoir—The Glass Castle, although Jeannette never uses the word “neglect,” its affects can be seen in every page of the book. Jeannette’s mother was an artist who felt her time was better used on her art, rather than working as a teacher like her own mother or offering structure and discipline to her own children. Jeannette’s mother was so against structure in raising her children that she even refused to offer the proper three meals a day to her children, leaving a three-year-old Jeannette to cook her own meal. Jeannette and her siblings had to learn at a very early age to care for themselves and to care for each other. No one was there for Jeannette when she needed help. Jeannette’s parents were more concerned with their own needs and desires than they were with their own children’s needs. Neglect was the only consistency in Jeannette’s life. Neglect obviously making it perhaps the most important cause of dysfunctional families.
In conclusion, we all have our views and versions of the functional family. However, families who educate themselves, as well as support one another through emotional bonds, and the such, come closer to, and are the most widely recognized form of functional families, as close to “typical” or “normal” as it could ever get. We need families to help us when we fail, hold us when we are scared, teach us when we are unsure, and show us that a “functional family” is not specific, but is positive. By learning the causes and effects of the dysfunctional family, people will value their own family relationships and make an effort to build their own functional family.
- “Fewer Than Half of American Children Growing Up in Intact Families, Survey Finds.” CNS News, 15 Dec. 2010, www.cnsnews.com/news/article/fewer-half-american-children-growing-intact-families-survey-finds.
- “Defining the Traits of Dysfunctional Families.” King University Online, online.king.edu/news/dysfunctional-families/.
- Children Living with Parents Who Have a Substance Use Disorder, www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_3223/ShortReport-3223.html.
- Gaille, Brandon. “23 Scary Statistics on Dysfunctional Families.” BrandonGaille.com, 25 May 2017, brandongaille.com/22-scarey-statistics-on-dysfunctional-families/.
- Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle: A Memoir. Scribner, 2017.
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