Dysfunctional Families: How Children Are Affected Essay

2433 Words Apr 25th, 2011 10 Pages
Abstract When a family decides to have a child, everything changes. That child becomes a number one priority. In order for a child to lead a healthy, functional life, a family needs to be strong and functional. When a family becomes dysfunctional, the most effected is the children. The children forget their children and act out which makes them difficult to live with. If a dysfunctional family, let alone the children, knew that therapy and help was available to them, more families would become healthy. In this paper, I will prove that children in dysfunctional families can self-diagnose and be encouraged to seek help and treatment so that their future can be affected by their own mistakes and not the mistakes of their families. …show more content…
The children assume roles within the family to make up for the deficiencies of parenting. Sharon Wegscheider referred in her book to these roles within the family as the “Hero,” the “Scapegoat,” the “Lost Child,” and the “Mascot.”
The child in the dysfunctional family that becomes like another parent is the eldest child. This child is referred to as the Hero Child or the Responsible Child. This child takes over the parent role at a very young age, becoming very responsible and self-sufficient. They give the family self-worth because the child looks good on the outside. This child becomes the good student, the sports star, the prom queen. The parents look to this child to prove that they are good parents and good people. As an adult, the Family Hero is rigid, controlling, and extremely judgmental of others and secretly of themselves. They achieve "success" on the outside and get lots of positive attention, but are cut off from their inner emotional life. They are compulsive and driven as adults because deep inside they feel inadequate and insecure. The family hero is often the child in the family who as an adult has the hardest time even admitting that there is anything within them that needs to be healed (Burney 2008.)
The second role that a child can be is the Scapegoat role. This is the
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