For the harmonious development of children, a healthy atmosphere in the home, upbringing and care are necessary. A dysfunctional family has a negative impact on the psychological and physical development of the child. For this reason, social services must monitor such cells of society in order to respond in time to emerging problems.
What is a dysfunctional family?
In the public view, this concept is closely related to alcoholism, drug addiction and lack of material resources. In a broad sense, a dysfunctional family is one that does not cope with its functions of raising a child. Children experience developmental difficulties, face a decrease in mental and physical abilities. A family with a low social status is not necessarily poor. She may not experience material problems, but due to an unhealthy climate, physical or psychological abuse of a child, have a disadvantaged status.
Types of dysfunctional families
Classification is carried out according to the types of destructive factors affecting children. Dysfunctional families include the following types:
- Families with addictions to alcohol or drugs. If at least one of the parents abuses substances that cause addiction, this affects the condition of the child. Such a dysfunctional family cannot provide for all the needs of children. Under the influence of alcohol, quarrels, fights, conflicts occur, because of which the child grows up with mental development disorders.
- conflict families. The lack of moral support, the inability to negotiate and find a common language are factors that negatively affect the upbringing of children. In such a dysfunctional family, the child receives moral trauma, grows up socially vulnerable. Frequent quarrels lead to fear of communication and inability to establish contacts with other people.
- Financially disadvantaged families. The lack of quality nutrition, medical care, education and other necessary things does not have the best effect on the development of the child. Families with an income below the subsistence level that do not provide for the basic needs of children are classified as materially disadvantaged.
- Families where parents abuse their rights. Child abuse, physical abuse and corporal punishment are the reasons for recognizing a cell of society as socially disadvantaged.
Features of dysfunctional families
It is not always possible to determine the exact social status of a cell of society by external signs. To understand what a dysfunctional family means and how to identify it, social workers use several criteria. These include both the appearance of the child and his psychological state. A number of features and characteristics help to identify dysfunctional families that are subject to registration and monitoring by social services.
Signs of a dysfunctional family
It is possible to determine the social status of a cell of society by external manifestations. The characteristics of a dysfunctional family include one or more of the following:
- The child is untidy, often wears worn, torn or dirty clothes.
- Parents do not educate, do not devote time to the child.
- One or both parents are substance abusers, often under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The child has developmental disorders, incoherent speech and inhibition of actions are observed.
- The body of the child has traces of beatings and physical abuse.
- Parents do not work anywhere or have irregular and unstable sources of income.
Causes of dysfunctional families
Various factors can serve as a source of deterioration in the situation of the child and his parents. Socially disadvantaged families arise for the following reasons:
- Difficult financial situation. The lack of money leads not only to the fact that the child is left without normal food, clothing and entertainment. Chronic lack of money can become a source of quarrels and conflicts between parents. A dysfunctional family can result from the loss of a home or job, a serious illness, or a crisis situation in the country.
- Remarriage of one of the parents. In a new family, there is not always a child-friendly atmosphere. Conflicts with a stepfather, stepmother or stepbrothers and sisters have a negative impact on the psychological state.
- Mental illness of parents. Failure to comply with their duties towards the child is often one of the manifestations of the disease. In this case, social services should reveal this fact and remove the children.
- Large family. A large number of children is often a source of problems, parents do not have time to pay attention to everyone. As a result, the child may feel left out. For this reason, families with many children are under special control of social services.
- Addiction to illegal substances. As a result of abuse, the parent does not fulfill their obligations towards the child. Social services may recognize the family as dysfunctional and deprive parental rights.
Problems of dysfunctional families
The conflict situation in the house, the lack of care, care and upbringing lead to numerous violations in the development of the child. A dysfunctional family is a source of physical and psychological trauma:
- The child is experiencing developmental delays. Due to lack of attention, parents cannot teach him the most necessary things. As a result, speech, fine motor skills and social adaptation suffer.
- Due to lack of money, the child is not always provided with the necessary clothes, food, books, medicines.
- Conflicts in the family and misunderstanding lead to the fact that the child grows up closed. It is difficult for him to establish social contacts, he suffers from distrust of other people.
- A child who grew up in a dysfunctional family often finds himself in a criminal environment.
- A negative family environment can provoke the early development of mental illness and cause a child to become dependent on alcohol and drugs, especially if parents are prone to abuse.
Who takes care of dysfunctional families?
Responsibilities for identifying and carrying out work are assigned to the guardianship and guardianship authorities. They should regularly check socially disadvantaged and conflict families. If cases of child abuse or neglect of parental responsibilities are established, the guardianship authorities are obliged to take the children to a boarding school. To help minors who have suffered from abuse, special social and rehabilitation institutions operate.
Methods for identifying dysfunctional families
To determine social status, guardianship workers use several methods:
- Collection and analysis of information. Signals about the presence of a dysfunctional family come from neighbors, teachers, kindergarten teachers. Employees of guardianship and guardianship bodies respond to all complaints about cases of violence and abuse of a child. Close relatives and family friends often become the source of information.
- Tour of apartments and control of living conditions. Asocial families are subject to regular checks by guardianship services. Employees study living conditions, the physical condition of children, the availability of food and clothing.
- Questionnaires and surveys. To determine the psychological climate in the family, tests are regularly conducted in schools and kindergartens. With their help, child psychologists study the needs and needs of the child. A high level of anxiety, lack of attention and care serve as a signal for the guardianship authorities, which must conduct an inspection.
Forms of work with disadvantaged families
To correct the situation and improve relations between parents and children, social workers use different methods:
- Preventive conversations. If a dysfunctional family is identified, at the first stage, the social worker must determine the reasons for the low social status and explain to the parents the consequences of their actions in relation to the child.
- Individual trainings and consultations. Not all parents are able to independently determine the optimal tactics for raising a child. Social work with disadvantaged families includes consultations, which describe in detail the methods and rules for dealing with children.
- Systematic control. The guardianship and guardianship authorities establish requirements for the family, the fulfillment of which is regularly checked. For this purpose, service employees make rounds of apartments.
- Representation and protection of the interests of the child in court. If work with dysfunctional families does not bring results, social service employees file a lawsuit for deprivation of parental rights.
Help for disadvantaged families
For support, various types of activities aimed at increasing social status are used:
- Psychological help. A dysfunctional and complex family can count on the advice of a teacher who specializes in working with problem children.
- economic aid. If the difficult situation of a dysfunctional family is associated with a low level of income, the state provides benefits, benefits and subsidies.
- Social help. In order for children from a dysfunctional family to be able to adapt to society, special events are organized for them, including educational and entertainment programs.
Advice for dysfunctional families
Educators and psychologists give several recommendations for maintaining a healthy atmosphere in the home:
- Pay more attention to the child. A psychologically dysfunctional family is often characterized by a lack of parental interest in the needs and desires of children.
- spend time together. In order to get closer and better understand each other, parents and children should communicate and exchange opinions more.
- Seek help in a timely manner. If parents cannot cope with the upbringing of children on their own, it is better to ask for support from social workers. Professional psychologists will help to establish relationships with the child.
Where are children from dysfunctional families taken?
If employees of social services have established that the conditions of detention pose a danger to the life and health of the child, he is taken away for temporary detention by the guardianship and guardianship authorities. Then the case is transferred to the court, where a decision is made on the deprivation of parental rights. Children from disadvantaged families end up in orphanages or are placed in the care of the closest relatives who can provide care.
Celebrities from dysfunctional families
Many famous people spent their childhood in bad conditions, which did not prevent them from achieving success:
- Charlize Theron. The famous actress grew up in a dysfunctional family with a drinking father who repeatedly raised his hand to his wife and children.
- Tom Cruise. The actor grew up in a large and poor family, which, in search of work, changed their place of residence all the time. Because of this, he could not get a normal secondary education — he had to change more than 15 schools during his childhood.
- Demmy Moor. The actress grew up without a father, who left before the birth of her daughter. The stepfather and mother abused alcohol, so the troubled family lived in poverty and debt.
Films about dysfunctional families
The problem of raising children is reflected in the cinema. The concept of a “dysfunctional family” is revealed in many films:
- “This Guy’s Life”. The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, tells the story of a family whose father left. The mother brought her stepfather into the house, who turned out to be a sadist and a tyrant.
- “Winter Bone”. The film is about a 17-year-old girl whose father is in prison for drug trafficking, and whose mother is seriously ill. A teenager has to take care not only of himself, but also of his younger brothers and sisters.
- “Take My Eyes”. The film reveals the problem of domestic violence and tyranny on the part of the father.