Family life can be a place of refuge and security but for some it is a source of pain and disappointment. Our families absorb many of the stresses and strains from the outside world – and the pressures can boil over. Sometimes a personal problem, particularly in a young person, can overwhelm a family and there seems to be no clear way forward. At other times changes within the family leave other members confused and angry or hurt.
When a crisis or disappointment happens for one member the family absorbs the impact, sometimes helping and sometimes hindering.
All families are different, and the ups and downs of family life have a huge effect on children and young people. The love and support children feel from parents and relatives will give them the strength to grow and develop. But all families go through difficult times and some children and young people can find it hard to get on with parents or siblings.
This can be for a variety of reasons including:
- Different personalities clashing and disagreements over ways of doing things
- Jealousy or fighting between brothers and sisters
- Parents arguing
- Divorce or separation
- New step-parents or step-brothers and sisters
- A parent or relative having mental health problems, disabilities or illness
- A parent or relative having alcohol or drug problems
- Stresses due to unemployment, money or housing problems.
- Domestic violence
- Cultural or generational differences
- The effects of bereavement
- Abuse or neglect
Children and young people often think family problems are their fault, even if nobody has told them this. Changes in the family can unsettle and upset and make children feel insecure and bad about themselves. They may feel angry, anxious or depressed. These feelings can affect other areas of their lives such as school and friendships.
If you feel you have been affected by family issues, Youthline is a safe place where you can talk through your thoughts. Call us on 01344 311200 or contact us via the form on the contact page.
Speaking with my Youthline counsellor has helped me understand myself better