Dysfunctional families do not acknowledge that problems exist. They don’t talk about them or confront them. As a result, family members learn to repress emotions and disregard their own needs. They become “survivors.” They develop behaviors that help them deny, ignore, or avoid difficult emotions. They detach themselves. They don’t talk. They don’t touch. They don’t confront. They don’t feel. They don’t trust. The identity and emotional development of the members of a dysfunctional family are often inhibited. Attention and energy focus on the family member who is ill or addicted. The co-dependent person typically sacrifices his or her needs to take care of a person who is sick. When co-dependents place other people’s health, welfare and safety before their own, they can lose contact with their own needs, desires, and sense of self. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/co-dependency
Many of the habits
of dysfunctional families
are not from the lack of love
but are the result of fear.
David W. Earle
Our families helped shape our attitudes about emotions, our abilities to identify emotions, our ways of interpreting events, and our ways of expressing emotions. If you are having difficulties in any of these processes and are trying to change them, you may find it helpful to consider what you learned about them from your family. Many people do not recall being taught “family rules” concerning emotions, but such teachings occurred, whether directly or subtly. A subtle example might be where a parent distanced him/herself from you or left the room whenever you got angry, thus indicating that expressions of anger were unacceptable. In other families a parent may yell, “Don’t raise your voice at me,” suggesting a rule against the child’s expressing anger, but subtly conveying the rule that expressions of parental anger are permissible. Identifying your family’s rules can help you change the ways you experience and express your emotions. Some common examples of problematic family rules include:
– Always treat other people’s feelings as more important than your own.
– Never do anything that might cause dissension or negative feelings for someone else.
– Don’t express anger.
– Use anger to get attention.
– Ignore your feelings, or better still, don’t feel.
– Don’t trust others with your feelings; keep them to yourself.
– Never trust your feelings; trust only your logic.
– Be happy all the time.
As a child growing up you may not have been able to experience or express your emotions in ways different than those prescribed by your family. As an adult you have more options, including replacing those rules which are not helpful. http://www.counselingcenter.illinois.edu/self-help-brochures/self-awarenessself-care/experiencing-and-expressing-emotions/
All parents damage their children.
It cannot be helped.
Youth, like pristine glass,
absorbs the prints of its handlers.
Some parents smudge, others crack,
a few shatter childhoods
completely into jagged
little pieces, beyond repair.
Loving and respectful parents are also approachable and nonjudgmental. Their children know that they can go to them with anything as there will be a logical discussion of the matter, instead of out-and-out condemnation. They also not threatened by the fact that their children will no longer need them as much when they become older and more independent. In fact, they view this as an evolution in their respective parent-child relationship. They do not try to psychologically infantilize their burgeoning young adult child. They realize that their parental role must progress to that of friend and/or confidante when needed. It is natural that children will love and respect such parents. No, not because it was a parental directive but because it was shown by parental example and treatment. Children with respectful, loving parents truly care for and love their parents. They enjoy and want their parents in their lives. Besides that, as they become older, their parents are more their friends than parents. These are the children who sacrifice and willingly do things for their parents. They are not loathe to include their parents in their adult lives or even care for the latter when they are unable to care for themselves. Parents who treat their children respectfully and with loving kindness in their formative years are amply rewarded with children who gladly reciprocate, especially when the former reaching their advanced years. Many parents who treat their children in less than respectful ways are oftentimes quite puzzled when the latter reciprocate in kind. They unknowingly have sown the seeds for such disrespectful treatment. Many of these parents often wonder why their children detest, even hate them. Some of these parents as they reach their advanced years, wonder why they are alone as their children have disowned them as a result of the quasi-abusive treatment the latter received as children. Parents who love and respect their children tend to have children who love and respect them in return. These children learned the value of loving kindness towards their parents from how kindly they were treated. They actually want to be around their parents, their love and respect increasing and evolving in their lives. These are the children who will be with their parents throughout, even in the latter’s old ages when the fruits of parental loving kindness will be ultimately demonstrated. Yes, one does sow what he/she reaps. The way parents treat their children for either good or ill will be justly compensated in kind. From an article by G. M. Williams http://gmwilliams.hubpages.com/hub/Children-React-to-Their-Parents-The-Very-Way-THEY-are-Treated
You don’t really understand human nature unless
you know why a child on a merry-go-round
will wave at his parents every time around –
and why his parents will always wave back.
William D. Tammeus
Slavery is at the heart of dysfunctional families. When people serve others because they are forced to do so, freedom to truly serve is lost. Slavery hardens the heart, creates anger, bitterness and resentment. On the other hand, true love often finds its expression in acts of serve. It is service freely given, not out of fear but out of choice. It comes out of personal discovery that “it is more blessed to give than to receive. Dr. Gary Chapman author of “The Five Love Languages”
Lack of love from parents
often motivates their children
to go searching for love
in other relationships.
This search is often misguided
and leads to further disappointment.
Dr. Gary Chapman
Mother Haters are… disturbing. These guys have never had a good relationship with the female representative in their life. While this is sad, and can be for any number of reasons, this does not bode well for the woman in his life if he hasn’t faced and dealt with the issues that this situation can create. A mother hater will probably have some serious control and possession issues. He’ll be Jekyll and Hyde, and this will lead to some serious disagreements. Because of his lack of positive relationship with the female figure in his life, he will try to take away some of your confidence in public or in private, to gain control, and to also bring you to a manageable level. Communication from him will be very poor. He will find it difficult to relate to you and when he sees you upset, he’ll struggle to feel sympathetic. If your partner is a Mother Hater, it’s ideal for him to spend some time in counseling to get to the heart of his issues. If he doesn’t recognize why he’s the way he is, the relationship is doomed because you’ll always be the bad guy, and he’ll always be the misunderstood perfect guy that can’t get a woman to be the way that he wants her to be, reinforcing his very skewed idea of women. I admire any woman that can overcome the different types of struggles that each of these guys bring. It takes patience, care, love, trust, and it takes a hell of a lot of understanding. The key is to ensure that your feelings and needs are not forgotten in the quest to ‘fix’ these guys. Ultimately either type of guy needs to want to change and if it’s like pulling teeth and he’s showing resistance, it would be best to hand over the fixer upper project to someone else and invest your time in a mutual relationship. http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/mother-lovers-mother-haters/
The best years of your life
are the ones in which
you decide your problems
are your own.
You do not blame them
on your mother, the ecology,
or the president.
You realize that you
control your own destiny.
When you unconditionally love a child, you love and accept him no matter what. For example, if your child drew on the walls with crayon, you won’t like what he did, but you still love him. According to a WebMD article titled “10 Commandments of Good Parenting,” it’s impossible to spoil a child with love. Just keep in mind that love isn’t synonymous with material possessions, low expectations or inappropriate leniency. When a child gets into trouble, a parent has a couple of ways to handle the problem — with punishment or discipline. Parents who use punishment do so as a way to make a child stop what she’s doing or to make her “pay” for her undesired actions or behaviors, according to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s publication, “Discipline and Punishment: What is the Difference?” Punishments often have nothing to do with a child’s offense, are self-centered and place responsibility on the parent to take action. On the other hand, discipline helps a child learn to behave appropriately, uses logical consequences that relate to the offense, shows respect and helps a child learn self-control. Parents are a child’s first teachers. From his first words to social norms, a child learns by watching and listening to his parents. According to the article “How to Be a Good Parent: It’s All about You!” on the Psychology Today website, being a positive role model for your child can be more effective than disciplinary measures or behavior training. Because your child looks to you to see how he should socialize and behave, it’s important to make your actions and words worth imitating. Children thrive on routine. When your behaviors, boundaries, rules and modes of discipline are consistent, your child will trust you, feel safe and respect your authority. While it’s important to be consistent with your behaviors and values, it’s equally vital to practice flexibility as a parent. As your child grows, so will her needs and skills. Making adjustments to the way you parent will help foster independence and intellectual growth, and provide a structured, supportive environment. Allowing yourself to pursue your own sense of independence is as important as fostering your child’s autonomy. Remember that you are more than a parent; you are a person with talents, hobbies and others who care about you. As you let your child explore and develop a sense of self, occasionally take time out for your own pursuits. Otherwise, according to Firestone, you’re at risk of living your life through your child, which can lead to emotional voids and rebellion. by Flora Richards-Gustafson, Demand Media http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/qualities-make-good-bad-parent-3846.html
Your kids require you
most of all to love them
for who they are,
not to spend your
whole time trying
to correct them.
Looking at codependency therapy, “family involvement is key,” according to Smith (Ann W. Smith MS, LPC, LMFT, NCC). She says that “the addiction was not caused by the family, but it thrives in a painful system.” She then goes on to explain the Attachment Theory Perspective, saying, “Every human being adapts to some degree in an effort to sustain emotional attachment.” She notes that “anxiety increases when we don’t have a secure and consistent connection as children” and goes on to explain three factors that determine how a person adapts and tries to maintain that connection: Temperament, Birth order and Degree of stress or trauma. If a first-born child is born exhibiting traits of compassion or a “Leader Gene,” that child will most likely demonstrate a natural fear response to move toward painful situations to try to help. Smith says this side of the spectrum is called “Anxious Attachment Style.” On the other side of the spectrum, children that are born second, third or fourth and exhibit traits of an extrovert or independent spirit, may tend to leave the situation when anxiety increases. A child in this same birth order category that shows traits of an introvert may withdraw into themselves when anxiety increases. Either one of these is known as the “Avoidant Attachment Style” as they pull away from conflict. Smith also touches on insecure attachment and says that these patterns often emerge without conscious awareness. “They are stuck in patterns that they have no awareness of and they end up not knowing themselves at all,” she explains. Attachment injury, she says, occurs when a person feels abandoned or betrayed at key moments where comfort and connection are important. By Shannon Brys, Associate Editor http://www.addictionpro.com/article/codependency-patterns-attachment
Behavior is a mirror
in which every one
displays his own image
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe