adult child

Lost Childhood The Effects of Dysfunctional Family

This article addresses something that impacts many of us— the lasting effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family. Growing up in a dysfunctional family can be lonely, scary, and confusing. And children in dysfunctional families don’t have typical childhoods. What is a dysfunctional family? Let’s start by defining what we mean by “dysfunctional family.” …

The Effects of Growing Up in a Dysfunctional Family Read More »

Setting boundaries in enmeshed relationships

Key points about boundaries and enmeshed relationships: What is an enmeshed relationship? An enmeshed relationship lacks boundaries. People in enmeshed relationships are so close that they lose their individual identities. Enmeshed relationships can be between parents and children, siblings, romantic partners, or friends. If you’re in an enmeshed relationship, you may: People in enmeshed relationships …

Setting Boundaries in Enmeshed Relationships Read More »

Adult Children Dysfunctional Families Need for Control

Feeling out of control is scary for most people, but even more so for adult children. The term adult children (or adult child) refers to individuals that grew up in dysfunctional families. This includes having parents, caregivers, or close family members who struggled with substance use, mental health issues, rage, narcissistic behaviors, or were abusive. …

Adult Children and the Need for Control Read More »

Understanding Family Enmeshment

Most people want to have close family relationships, if possible. However, family bonds can become too close, lacking boundaries and inhibiting individual identity development. This is a phenomenon known as family enmeshment—a dysfunctional dynamic that occurs when there is there isn’t enough emotional separation among family members. In this article, we’ll discuss: Definition of Enmeshment Enmeshment …

Family Enmeshment: What It Is and How to Overcome It Read More »

ending generational codependency parenting young adults

In this article, you’ll learn about: This article is for parents of teens and young adult children. Some of it may apply to parenting younger children. Additional information about how parents can break the codependent cycle with their children can be found in this article: Parenting When You’re Codependent: How to Break the Cycle. What …

Ending Generational Codependency: Parenting Young Adults Read More »

3 Characteristics of Dysfunctional Families

Unspoken Family Rules: Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust, Don’t Feel Rigid family rules and roles develop in dysfunctional families that help maintain the dysfunctional family system and allow family members to continue mistreating each other. Understanding some of the characteristics of dysfunctional families can help us break free of these patterns and rebuild our self-esteem and …

Characteristics of Dysfunctional Families Read More »

boy with head in arms. text reads: "shouldn't I be over my painful childhood by now?"

“Why is my childhood still affecting me? Shouldn’t I be over it by now?” Amy, aged 37, asked me at her first therapy session. “I feel like I’m complaining,” she said ashamedly. “I’m sure other people have bigger problems — real problems. I feel silly coming to therapy to talk about getting over painful childhood …

Shouldn’t I Be Over My Painful Childhood by Now? Read More »

frustrated woman

Note: This article is about adult children of alcoholics (commonly abbreviated as ACAs or ACOAs). However, the dynamics that are described apply to adults who grew up in an array of dysfunctional circumstances, including those with parents who were mentally ill, abusive, or addicted to other substances. Feeling out of control is scary for most …

Adult Children of Alcoholics and the Need to Feel in Control Read More »

Codependent Parent

Are you a codependent parent? Do you have an enmeshed relationship with your adult child? Codependency can be a problem in any type of relationship. However, it can be especially hard to spot in parent-child relationships. In this article, we’ll explore symptoms of a codependent parent-child relationship and ways to create a healthier relationship with …

5 Signs You’re a Codependent Parent Read More »

sad boy

Growing up in an alcoholic family can be lonely, scary, and confusing. Children in alcoholic or dysfunctional families don’t get a childhood. You Don’t Get a Childhood When You Grow Up in an Alcoholic Family Growing up in an alcoholic family has a different effect on different kids. Factors such as personality, internal and external …

Growing Up in an Alcoholic Family Read More »

Shopping Cart