Everyone has heard of dysfunctional families. Most families will agree that their family has some degree of dysfunction in it. Although some families can joke about having the problem, they aren’t really dysfunctional. According to some terms people have used for dysfunctional, they would include single parent homes in the definition. Though this could affect the family as a whole, it doesn’t mean that the family isn’t functioning properly.
The definition of a truly dysfunctional family is a family that cannot work well together. The family, for one reason or another, have become unable to have a healthy home life. There are far more dysfunctional families in the United States than we would like to admit to, but there are just as many families that function very well even in the worst of circumstances.
A dysfunctional family might be one where abuse has occurred. In fact, this is the perfect definition of a dysfunctional family. When someone in the family is abused, the family cannot function as a whole. It is impossible to achieve when fear is part of the everyday life of any member of a household. It could be any type of abuse such as sexual, physical and mental abuse. All of these types of abuse renders the family powerless to function properly.
Maintaining family relationships is part of being a functional family group. When other issues invade, it becomes dysfunctional. Such is the case in an alcoholic home where the kids might find a happy parent one minute and a raging parent the next. When that happens, the family is deemed dysfunctional because they can’t rely on or trust any situation in any given moment in their home.
Dysfunctional families can learn how to become functional again. Learning to change/modify behavior can change the entire make-up of the family unit. No family has to remain in a constant state of dysfunction. If there is abuse in the family, this is the kind of dysfunction that no family or member of it should have to go through. Get out of the situation as soon as you possibly can. Dysfunction can turn into functioning if you rid the family of the situation that is causing the dysfunction.
The best definition of a dysfunctional family is a family that simply cannot function in the current situation that it is in. Functioning means that the family unit is working. It doesn’t have to be an addiction problem or an abuse situation. It can be any situation that causes the family to work improperly at any given time. Control can be gained over these situations though. Don’t give up on trying to make your family work the right way. The end result will make it all worthwhile.