Let’s face it; all families or relationships go through some tough times every once in a while. We all know that occasional conflicts in personal relationships are usual. However, there are times when the concerns become overwhelming. This can happen to anyone including the healthiest of families, resulting in painful, challenging and frustrating interactions among family members.
With time, these little irritations build up to resentment and anger, which eventually blows up to intense emotional outbursts or even worse.
Everyday Family Concerns
Ideally, the family concerns unit on which every member relies for support. It is the foundation from which we draw strength, feel accepted and loved, and with whom we feel safe to open up about what is going on in our lives. However, in reality, only a few families meet these expectations. If anything, most families today are the source of stress, and misunderstandings, disconnection, and anger characterise the interactions. We will look at some of the most common family concerns.
Abusive Parents or Guardians
A parent or guardian should not in any way be offensive to a child, spouse or anyone else for that matter. Child abuse is punishable by law, and this protection extends to minors (below the age of 18). It is important to note that parents, step-parents, relatives or friends are all considered caretakers and should not inflict physical, sexual or emotional abuse on any child.
If you know of a child that is getting abused, you should contact child services immediately. It is vital that the child knows the abuse is not their fault.
Parents with a Drug or Substance Abuse Issue
While most parents who take occasional alcohol may still be able to take care of their children, most who are addicted to drugs and other substances often neglect their responsibilities. Families, where a parent or parents are dealing with addictions, you will often see anxiety, sadness, and abandonment.
Do you live in such a home or do you know any children who live under such conditions? It is vital to contact child services immediately. Ensuring that the parents get the assistance they need in dealing with the addiction while the children stay safe.
Nagging and Overly Critical Parents
Parenting is hard, and sometimes, parents may fail to realise that their children are not so young anymore. As a child ages, they become more independent and need the parent to believe in them more than they nag or criticise their every action or decision. Keep in mind that a lot of nagging and criticising breeds frustration, low self-esteem, and anger in kids.
Do you live with parents you feel are nagging or overly critical? It can help if you show your parents that you are listening, are appreciative of their direction and interest in your well-being. A good conversation can be all that is needed to turn the situation around. However, if the case dangerously borders emotional abuse and always putting you down, you may need to talk to an adult you trust. If the situation worsens, you may need the protection of child services.
Parents Who Are Constantly Fighting
In every home, parents may have an occasional difference of opinion. However, this should not progress to a full verbal exchange or even physical fights in front of the children. As a child, living in a house where the adults are always fighting can be terrifying and disturbing. As such, you can talk to an adult you trust such as your grandparents about the situation.
Talk to your parents when they calm down. Explain to them how the fights affect you. If the situation doesn’t change, talk to an adult or walk away if you can’t avoid watching the fighting. If the family fights spill over to you, and this places you in a position where you are forced to choose between parents. Call an adult that you trust or children services. You should never have to choose between your parents.
An Abused Parent or Guardian
There are families where one parent is continuously under emotional, psychological and or physical abuse from the spouse. The abused parent or guardian’s self-esteem is crushed and may seek escape in drugs, substance or take it out on you.
As a child of such a home, talk to an adult you trust. This can be a counsellor at school or a grandparent who will be willing to talk to your parents about the situation. A counsellor is in a better position to understand the situation and help with resources that can solve the issue.
Parents Facing Separation
Separation, in many cases, comes as a couple’s attempt to work on their relationship after a significant fallout. It can also end up in a divorce. Separation can be quite hard on all parties involved, with the children being the most affected.
When facing a separation or divorce, it is essential that the children know that it is not their fault and that both parents love them regardless of their issues. While the children may find it hard to understand some of the problems, the parents can try to help them even as they sort out their issues in the best way they know how.
Family Concerns for Parents in a Divorce
While separation is hard, there is still hope that the relationship may work out eventually. However, after a divorce, the reality sets in. Divorce may leave parents sad, withdrawn, depressed, and anxious. The frustration may manifest in intense grief, shame, anger or deep sadness. The separation also gravely affects the children, which is noticeable by their behaviour and performance at school.
A divorce can put everything in disarray as all parties are in pain. The depression that comes with it may cause child neglect. Sometimes the children may be made to choose one parent over another, and everything becomes messed up. In such circumstances, a counselling service is always a good option for all parties.
Finances & Supporting Your Children
Throughout all this upset you still need to think about the parent that has the child or children living with them. Financial support for that parent is a must, as you both have a financial responsibility to bring up your siblings. A family-based agreement is the best way of supporting your child. This is an arraignment that you agree together, without a 3rd party intervention. If you can not achieve this, then the Child Support Agency is there to assist you in getting the arraignment with your x partner.
After a divorce, either or both parents can remarry. Parent’s remarrying can be confusing and stressful for the children, especially if they feel that the new parent is supposed to be a replacement. Financial issues can further fuel the fire. The resulting strife and coldness towards the new parent or new family can be depressing. In addition to family therapy, financial assistance may come in handy.
As much as the children may find the whole situation confusing, it is vital that they know the new parent is not a replacement. Children should not be made to choose between their parents or forced to love the new parent as they love their birth parent. The relations will take time to take root. At times, the children may need family therapy to get through the situation.
Help and Advice from Family Concerns
Family therapy is one of the most practical solutions to a whole lot of family concerns as it is designed to address a range of issues collaboratively. Therapy helps all members communicate more efficiently for better relations. Family matters need not be too severe to warrant family therapy. As soon as an issue arises, you need to seek advice or treatment to help nip it in the bud.
Do you need assistance with family issues? Talk to us today, and we will do our best to give you the resources you need to fight for the happiness of your family.