Argument, abuse, and misconduct comprise a dysfunctional family. Any of these elements cause a family member to suffer. The suffering will gradually be transmitted to other family members until the time that the whole family is devastated. This will start the dysfunctional family pattern at home. Most of the time, alcoholism, addiction, and substance abuse result in a dysfunctional family. Some also claim that immature parents cause a dysfunctional family. If you are in the cycle of a dysfunctional family, here are some ways to break it:
- Determine the cause. The most helpful way to stop something is by dealing with its roots. Open your eyes. Here are some angles to deal with. Look into the rigidity of family rules. Are the rules too strict? Take note of the arguing level inside your home. Is the tension higher than normal? See if there is communication between parents and children. Do parents talk with and trust their children and vice versa? Observe the family. Once you see the roots of having a dysfunctional family, pull them right away. You can do this alone but it will be easier if you will seek the help of your family members.
- Trigger the process of change. Most of the time, people resist change. The same is true with individuals from a dysfunctional family. They find it difficult to deal with transitions. Keep in mind that you are not liable in fixing your family. You must remember that change should begin within your self, not with others. You are responsible for instituting the change that you want. Do not act as a paralyzed patient waiting for your family to change. Change cannot occur in a click. Be patient.
- Avoid the factors that cause a dysfunctional family. If you want to start the change, make sure that you avoid, if not, prevent family problems. Be the first to stop physical abuse of any or all of the family members. Prevent emotional abuse. Block the possibility of sexual misbehavior and abuse in the family. Help your family to cut obsessive dieting and/or eating. The family should also stop uncontrollable overwork, gambling, and chemical dependency.
- Self-monitor. You should monitor yourself first. For instance, even if you want it, you should not go home drunk. Being drunk raises the chance that you will lose control and you will abuse your children. The best way to self-monitor is to look at the possible signs of violence. Do not let violence break out and control you. If you will let violence slip once, the cycle will continue. You and your family will live in a house of violence.
- Look for a support system. Breaking free is difficult if you try to do it alone. Seek the help of a support group. This group should constitute a number of people who know how to value boundaries. Group therapies given for a dysfunctional family will aid in your breaking free process. If you want a more personal session, choose an individual therapy. Social events or clubs can be a good source of support system. Your religious membership may help. You may also consult government and non-government associations to assist you.
Breaking free takes courage. Be the one to start it. You still have time to save your family and your future children’s children from harm and violence. At the end, you will see that it is fulfilling to think that you have done a part in changing and making your family’s future better and brighter.