Families are important units that help us learn skills that we use in our everyday lives. However, sometimes parents or other management figures in the unit may be unhealthy in how to direct the family.
Some adults may want to control the flow of communication between other family members thus separating members vs encouraging everyone to work toward the best and healthiest outcome for all. That member may attempt to separate out certain people and “get them on their side” by gossiping about other members.
That is a form of control and passive-aggressive behavior. Often the manipulative member will attempt to use triangulation to put a third member between themselves and someone with whom they are in usual conflict. This behavior creates severe distancing for members of a family. In other words, family members turn on each other in a negative and maladaptive way which diminishes the strength of the family (in all ways). A manipulative person will usually attempt to pull the children over to their side; it is easier to manipulate a child because they want to please parents.
The dysfunctional family dynamics with children usually have the classic golden child and scapegoat. The unhealthy parent/caregiver splits their own good self-image and bad self-image into two distinct parts and then projects them onto their children. The golden child is idealized and the scapegoat child is devalued. If there is only one child, then both devalued and valued may be projected on the child – not usually at the same time.
Adults in the family unit are avoiding their responsibilities of being honest and direct about their own issues. They are misplacing their childhood and current difficulties onto the children who have no way out. It is the adults’ responsibility to communicate with each other and resolve their separate and combined issues vs dragging the children into something they have no control over.
Health communication is about openness and genuineness as you move forward resolving conflicts rather than creating them. Take a step back and objectively evaluate what is really happening and then create a plan to resolve the issues.
Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to: