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  #1    
Old February 17th, 2014, 04:25 PM
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Whenever I hear the term "dysfunctional family," This pops into my head: a lazy father, an overprotective mother, a naïve son, and a rebellious daughter, and in pop media, are accompanied by a baby and/or a talking animal. Normally, their purpose in entertainment is to give us a good laugh, but are usually intended to poke fun of today's society and modern family. This has me thinking, if this is how families are nowadays, then why haven't we done something about this? We hear a lot of news stories regarding rape and murder on couples and friends, but not what's happening in families. Why haven't we take advice from our Lisa Simpsons to fix our world or put our Peter Griffons to jail for not raising their children correctly. Dysfunctional families in pop culture are more than just satire, they're messages to make better families if we don't want be stereotyped by most foreign countries. What are your thoughts on dysfunctional families in general?
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Old February 18th, 2014, 08:55 PM
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As for me, whenever I hear the term "dysfunctional family", I think of this premade family in The Sims 2. Not the best reference, but that family is an accurate representation of a dysfunctional family in the neighborhood they live in. :P So basically, the dad sleeps with the maid. The mom is a workaholic -- not spending any time with her family, which is the reason why the dad looks for love to others. The two twins are completely opposite from each other. The elder twin is better at everything, high grades, obedient, patient, dutiful, lots of friends and her family loves her (except for the other twin). However, she's dating some teenage delinquent trailer guy. The younger twin is rebellious, and the complete opposite of her other twin, rebellious, failing in school and she's dating some smart guy who's the son of a starving artist.

I can't say much about dysfunctional families. All I can say is that I agree that there should be something done to rebuild (or build) and to fix these families. They shouldn't refuse, because what they're doing isn't just affecting themselves. It's not "none of our business", because it is more than business. It's a responsibility, because what they are currently doing right now could possibly affect society due to children growing up in harsh environments. You don't need to visit some shrink or psychologist (unless if your family is dysfunctional to the point in which it's totally insane). Even a dinner meeting could help. They should pay attention to what everyone feels, what everyone wants and what everyone needs, especially for the isolated, the lost child of the family.

Just throwing my two cents.
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Old February 18th, 2014, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinkie-Dawn View Post
Whenever I hear the term "dysfunctional family," This pops into my head: a lazy father, an overprotective mother, a naïve son, and a rebellious daughter, and in pop media, are accompanied by a baby and/or a talking animal.
don't those archetypes seem a bit odd to you? i don't really know many examples of 'naive sons,' for one.

in terms of the whole trope, well, it has this kind of normalising effect. in terms of popular media, the idea of a family that "isn't perfect" is pretty much required for some amount of verisimilitude.

i mean, like, if you have a perfect family on television, it isn't going to be a hit. characters have to be easily relatable to the lowest common denominator if they're going to safely hook in money (the exceptions are all marketed to niche demographics). so we see more underdogs than any actual successful, dominant teams; we see people triumph to be led into believing we can triumph, that it is possible to triumph. and, like, the idea that families are 'dysfunctional' puts the idea into our heads that the people related to us can fail us constantly, can fight with us every day, and still love us...even if this same idea leads us to, for example, excuse emotional abuse from our parents. after all, the average family is dysfunctional, so my parents must be okay, even if they make me feel awful.
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Old February 18th, 2014, 10:44 PM
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When someone mentions a dysfunctional family, from my perspective, that means having problems within the household, not necessarily the social roles that the family members represent. In other words, there could be addiction, child neglect, domestic abuse or conflicts that are regular occurrences that are signs of a dysfunctional family. Would that mean every family is dysfunctional if they have conflicts from time-to-time? Not at all, like couples, there are occasional quarrels that are eventually resolved. On the other hand though, if these arguments are constant and occur everyday, then it becomes a problem.
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 04:34 PM
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my kind of dysfunctional family isn't a kind with small problems, such as general laziness of the father or whatnot. every family has its issues; however the dysfunctional ones are family's that have taken these issues to the extreme.

i for one consider myself as living in a dysfunctional family. my father has very bad anger issues, and tends to take out his anger on me in verbally abusive and even physically abusive ways. my mother works so much that i never see her besides on the weekends. my sister has always ignored me, convinced earlier on by her friends that i wasn't worth her time, even as a sibling. my friends are scared of coming over to my house, because my dad can start something up at any time, and is rather unpredictable with his emotions. if you say anything out of line, you're dead.

im constantly cooped up in my room because even i'm afraid of facing my family. every time i come out of my room i'm always insulted; told how much of a failure i am, how much of a horrible son i am. i remember when i told my dad once that i legitimately wanted to kill myself because i couldn't stand living in this family. he told me to go on ahead and kill myself and that he wouldn't care what i did.

now, im very sensitive to certain things that remind me of my family. a slam of the door can make me flinch because it reminds me of the beginnings of my dad's anger. certain words trigger me because it's what i've been told i was. if someone yells at me, i completely lose it and i cry instantly. it's rather embarrassing.

so yeah, i think something does need to be done about dysfunctional and abusive families. i know there's a lot of kids who are in such situations and don't even know. and when they do know, they don't know how to get out of it. it's a very important issue, especially to me who has been through crap like it.
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 05:54 PM
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I wouldn't consider Family Guy or The Simpsons to be truly dysfunctional. Dysfunctional families in real life tend to be much more depressing than the ones on TV. I've had a few friends who came from such families. One of my Turkish friends comes from a very nasty family. His father is very strict, conservative, and controlling and he always beats his wife and sons. My friend was the youngest and he got the worst of it. The father actually once grabbed my friend and slammed him against the wall. What's worse is that my friend gets yelled at for crying. I can't even go to his house anymore because of his father - the last time I went, the father was cursing at his wife. The mother outright does not care about her son's problems. I am deeply worried about him and want to help him.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinkie-Dawn View Post
This has me thinking, if this is how families are nowadays, then why haven't we done something about this? We hear a lot of news stories regarding rape and murder on couples and friends, but not what's happening in families.
Rape and murder are typically seen as things that happen to "other people" and isn't very personal. Family matters are just about as personal as you can get and can become a very touchy subject. News outlets probably don't touch upon in fear of upsetting audiences and losing viewership. It's also very subjective. For instance, what constitutes abuse? Some parents are all for spanking, some think that just raising your voice at a kid is abusive. Often abusive parents that are inflicting real abuse onto their child refuse to believe that they are in fact abusive. It's not something that can be easily discussed on a news network on a nation-wide scale.

But why haven't we done anything about it? From what I know, families have always been like this. The only difference between now and then is the social acceptance of divorce and communication. It's easier today to talk about family problems without repercussions because of the internet. Before, you could only talk to people you knew in person and there was a chance it could get back around to the family.

Education can help, but education mainly reaches the willing. Dysfunctional people tend to not be aware of their dysfunctions (or blame everyone else).
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Old February 25th, 2014, 05:05 AM
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When I hear that term this kind of family pops to my head -
A violent father who's abusing his son and his wife.
A scared mother [aka wife] who's too afraid from everything.
A son who's getting bullied because of rumors about his father / He is the bully.
And a talking fish.

What they show us in the media [like family guy or cleveland show] are completely NORMAL AND FUNCTIONING families~
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Old February 25th, 2014, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by zakisrage View Post
I wouldn't consider Family Guy or The Simpsons to be truly dysfunctional. Dysfunctional families in real life tend to be much more depressing than the ones on TV. I've had a few friends who came from such families. One of my Turkish friends comes from a very nasty family. His father is very strict, conservative, and controlling and he always beats his wife and sons. My friend was the youngest and he got the worst of it. The father actually once grabbed my friend and slammed him against the wall. What's worse is that my friend gets yelled at for crying. I can't even go to his house anymore because of his father - the last time I went, the father was cursing at his wife. The mother outright does not care about her son's problems. I am deeply worried about him and want to help him.
That's an unfortunate story; it's scary to imagine that this kind of behaviour from parents happen to teenagers and even young children. Regarding dysfunctional families, the dysfunction becomes a vicious cycle because most individuals learn their behaviours from their parents, who are generally looked up to as role models; I've mentioned that in the bullying thread as well. Unless they are taken from their abusive household(s), the potential for the cycle to continue throughout future generations. Also, abuse is not only physical, but there's also emotional abuse, which can be equally if not more painful and lasting than the former.
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  #10    
Old March 2nd, 2014, 07:28 AM
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That's an unfortunate story; it's scary to imagine that this kind of behaviour from parents happen to teenagers and even young children. Regarding dysfunctional families, the dysfunction becomes a vicious cycle because most individuals learn their behaviours from their parents, who are generally looked up to as role models; I've mentioned that in the bullying thread as well. Unless they are taken from their abusive household(s), the potential for the cycle to continue throughout future generations. Also, abuse is not only physical, but there's also emotional abuse, which can be equally if not more painful and lasting than the former.
Thankfully, my friend does not see his father as a role model - or his mother. If your parents are abusive, then you shouldn't look to them as role models. I tell him that he should try to be a better person than his parents. (He even vowed that one day he will never speak to his parents again.) Unfortunately, his oldest brother seems to be following in his parents' footsteps.
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Old March 5th, 2014, 03:05 AM
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Education can help, but education mainly reaches the willing. Dysfunctional people tend to not be aware of their dysfunctions (or blame everyone else).
This is so incredibly true. People in those situations just believe everything is normal and okay. I remember when I was about 14 talking to a friend who also was from a dysfunctional home about my family and asking her if it was normal for my father to insult me and to slap or knock me to the ground when I'd defend myself, and she said everyone's family is like that and not to worry so I didn't. I had no idea how truely dysfunctional my family was until I was an adult and would casually say stuff about my family with friends online and they would act like it was a pretty big deal. I still slip up occasionally; once I was pretty tired and talking about my childhood bedroom with the manager of the shop I volunteer at and I had said "Oh my uncle designed it, he was a pretty cool guy but I wasn't allowed to see him anymore after he threatened to kill me" and she was pretty shocked. I had forgotten legitimate death threats don't happen in "normal" families. The public needs more education on what is a healthy family relationship because any situation you're raised in can become "normal" to you.
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