All families have certain aspects that may be unhealthy because no one is perfect all the time. However, some behaviors can become endemic and cross the line, developing into daily dysfunctional family roles. In fact, an unstable family environment was listed as a contributing factor for an estimated 97% of currently incarcerated individuals in the United States.
These family problems can cause a massive ripple effect, leading to misbehavior and delinquency in the young members of the family.
Even worse, some family issues are considered criminal or can lead to legal issues in the future. If you are concerned for a family member or you have witnessed family problems, read on to learn about four specific types of dysfunctional roles that can be problematic in a family setting.
1. The Narcissistic Parent
Have you ever been around someone who makes every problem in the family all about themselves? You may be witnessing behaviors of parents with narcissistic traits.
Narcissistic parents can harm the family dynamic by not showing enough empathy or attention to the others in the home, favoring instead to place their needs above everyone else’s – even their children.
In extreme cases, these parents can make choices that may be illegal, like child neglect. If you are a part of a family with such a person, it is urgent that you contact a trusted group of family lawyers.
While it is not a universal result, this can inherently teach children how to manipulate situations even at the peril of others to make sure that they get their needs fulfilled.
2. The Golden Boy (Or Girl)
Sometimes, parents have a tendency to inadvertently put one of their children or their child on an unnecessarily high pedestal. This is usually apparent during the adolescent years, especially.
While encouragement is important to a child’s self-esteem and development, placing the accomplishments of one child over another can have consequences that may develop into something not unlike the above example of dysfunctional family roles.
3. The Do-er
Not all dysfunctional family roles affect children. If one parent or guardian is seen as the one who “gets things done” or is the go-to person to fulfill the needs of all the other family members, this can begin to alienate the other adults or contributors to the family. This can ultimately lead to resentment and anger.
4. The Black Sheep
This is often the person that everyone describes as “marching to the beat of their own drum.” That’s an incredible personality trait to have, but it often comes with a stigma that is hurtful to the person being labeled.
When a family member feels different from others, that can be healthy through conversation. However, if they’re left feeling like they’re “on the outside of the circle,” it can present many problems for that person and their family.
Legal Issues and Dysfunctional Family Roles
It is impossible to predict the behavior of any one specific person, but you can use this as a guide of things to watch out for when it comes to dysfunctional family roles. We have many other helpful articles if you’d like to learn more, so please feel free to check them out.
Care and understanding are often the best courses of action, but if it comes to it, contacting a group of family lawyers is always an option.