The Mental Health Troll of the 'Perfect Family' Myth

Perfect family myth

“We have imperfect families because each family consists of imperfect people. We are all sinners in need of a Savior.” - Matthew

We all have fantasies about our ideal family life.

When you realize that your family does not match what you see, do you ever feel the pressure to compare it to others?

These may be sparked by images of 'model' families we've seen or by our own fantasies about how our own family should be.

There once was a family who lived there. This family represented harmony and peace. 'All their ducks were in a row' for them. Their children never disagreed with one another and were always submissive. There was never a conflict between the parents about anything. Every child dealt with every situation in the right way. At all times, their home was a haven of happiness and order. The fact that they were, in fact, a Perfect Family was evident to everyone who saw them.

Or did they not?

According to counselling psychology, it takes the same amount of time to resolve an issue as it did to develop into one. The same holds true for family disagreements and misunderstandings. The amount of time it will take to unpack all of the baggage between family members will be determined by the amount of time that issues were put off and not addressed.

Family members' apprehension of mental health issues can prevent them from seeking assistance. Cultural beliefs, a lack of understanding, or a fear of being judged by others can all contribute to family stigma. It may have a significant effect on recovery, engagement in treatment, and outcomes.

In order to create a supportive and accepting environment that encourages seeking assistance, it is essential to reduce stigma within families. Breaking down barriers and promoting health in families can be accomplished through education, encouraging open dialogue, and cultivating empathy.

Self-esteem and body image are significantly influenced by family life. Self-esteem can be raised and a healthy body image can be supported and encouraged through positive dynamics. Conversely, low self-esteem and a negative body image can be exacerbated by negative dynamics, criticism, or unrealistic body expectations.

Positive well-being in relation to self-esteem and body image can be facilitated by fostering a nurturing and accepting environment, encouraging discussions about positive body image, and focusing on inner qualities and strengths.

In the field of psychology, the influence of family dynamics on mental health is a topic of increasing interest and significance. Our experiences, beliefs, and actions are shaped by our families, which are the foundation of our lives. It shocks no one, then, at that point, that relational peculiarities assume a huge part in our psychological prosperity.

“Understand the reality of family. There is no “perfect” family out there. According to one study, 89% of children are raised in homes with some type of major disruption — like abuse, divorce, death, mental illness, addiction, etc” (Behere, Basnet & Campbell, 2017).

“Let’s take the movie ‘Parasite’ for example. What’s interesting about the movie is how Kitaek’s (Kangho Song) family is more honest with each other than Mr. Park’s (Seongyoon Park). Kiteak’s family have suffered numerous failures which has resulted in them living in a sub-basement home without the means to even pay their phone bills. But what’s ironic is that they don’t harbor any resentment or ill feelings towards each other despite their external circumstances. They probably had their fair share of conflict. One of them has pipe dreams while the other makes the family lose money because of shoddy work as they fold pizza boxes, so you can imagine how many things they probably didn’t see eye to eye on. But they were able to get along and be honest to each other because they didn’t push aside or try to hide any anger or resentment and expressed them on the spot. Kiteak’s family trusted each other enough to face their conflicts.

On the other hand, Mr. Park’s family looks perfect from the outside. They live comfortably in a gorgeous house enjoying all the luxuries that money can buy and there doesn’t seem to be any conflict. However, the seemingly lack of conflict is not because it doesn’t exist, but because they hide it so well. And it all stems from a lack of trust. The little secrets they keep from each other begin to chip away at their trust in each other. These cracks are what enabled Kiteak’s family to latch onto Mr. Park’s family in the first place.”

The assistance it offers is one of the most significant ways that life affects us. Maintaining a positive mental state necessitates family members providing emotional support, encouragement, and validation. Family members have a greater sense of self-worth and belonging when they are loved, understood, and heard, lowering their risk of mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

Additionally, families' practical support and resources can be very helpful in assisting individuals with challenges in obtaining appropriate treatment and coping with the stresses of daily life . It has been demonstrated that family support has a positive effect on treatment outcomes and recovery, highlighting the significance of a robust support system in promoting well-being.

Family conflict is inevitable, but how it is handled and resolved has a significant impact on mental health. Individuals can experience profound psychological and emotional effects as a result of ongoing or unresolved family conflict. A hostile and tense environment that is harmful to mental health can be created by marital disputes, rivalry between siblings, or parent-child disputes. Chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and strained relationships are all possible outcomes. The key to managing and resolving conflicts and ultimately fostering better mental health for all family members is developing effective conflict resolution skills and encouraging healthy communication.

Additionally assessing and treating mental health issues, encouraging resilience, and supporting family recovery all require an understanding of these factors. Families can play a crucial role in promoting positive health outcomes for all family members by fostering healthy family relationships, providing support, and reducing stigma.

Numerous people I know watched these shows and were influenced by them. Several of these people were close friends and family. After I became a therapist, some of the people who said these programs had an effect on them were patients in individual or family and marital therapy. Practically every one of them communicated trouble that their over a wide span of time family encounters didn't in any way shape or form look like what they had seen. There are numerous social mores, values, and myths regarding what constitutes a healthy family life, even if attitudes about family life were not influenced by the media.

The following are some myths:

  1. Parents who do not argue are the foundation of happy families.
  2. Healthy siblings are always willing to assist one another and cooperate with their parents.
  3. Conflict-free and harmonious families exist.r
  4. Children are completely under the control of their parents, including where they go and what they do.
  5. The father works and the mother stays home to raise the children in a healthy family.
  6. Everyone is a member of a single family. The members of a nuclear family are the father, mother, and children.

Many of the myths about the nuclear family were the result of Post World War II American life. It was assumed that the ideal nuclear family would reside in suburban homes with neat lawns and lovely neighbors. This model of family life can be seen in the Dick Van Dyke Show, which was very funny and entertaining. Mary Tyler Moore played the wife and mother on the Dick Van Dyke Show, who happily took care of the household, shopping, cooking, and raising her child while the father worked in Manhattan. This was the case even for Lucy in the comedy I Love Lucy. Ricky, the husband and professional entertainer, worked and was a responsible member of society; Lucy, on the other hand, was a red-headed, scattered-brained wife who was always in trouble. Ricky was also a working entertainer. Lucy and Ricky eventually left New York City for the inevitable suburbs, where they had started their marriage. While these projects were fun and engaging, they were absolutely wrong about what day to day life is truly similar to.

Let's now examine the facts surrounding a few of the aforementioned myths:

  1. Even happily married couples admit to having disagreements. Marriage is difficult because it comes with a time of adjustment immediately after marriage and continued work as the couple's circumstances shift. The issue lies not in how parents argue, but rather in how they argue. Couples who argue and resolve their conflicts proceed with their family lives.
  2. Most siblings argue as children, according to surveys and studies of families. However long guardians don't reach out and permit the youths to resolve it themselves goals are found. Naturally, if the argument is getting out of hand and getting loud, parents may need to intervene. As a matter of fact, a few examinations show that kin who contended while growing up become companions as grown-ups.
  3. What it means to have a happy family is hard to define. Continuous change and the need to adapt to new circumstances are part of life. Adapting to changes that represent great success for the family can be stressful. The fact of the matter is that all families suffer from illness, tragedy, and the death of elderly family members. Additionally, many families face financial difficulties.
  4. Parents must prepare their children for greater independence and autonomy as they grow, even though they do not have complete control over their children. When children become adolescents, they start dating people of a different sex, socialize with peers, participate in sports competitions, and prepare for the final move away by considering college, the military, or employment. Additionally, because most parents work, it is often impossible to completely monitor their children's whereabouts after school.
  5. In mark of reality, the historical backdrop of the family shows that moms worked well before the modern unrest. Women worked at home in cottage industries, usually supervised by contractors, sewing clothing for sale while their husbands farmed the land. Women collected a lot of food for the winter and preserved and stored food for the entire family long before cottage industries existed.
  6. This essay will go on to discuss the brief history of the nuclear family. In fact, the majority of people lived in extended families consisting of grandparents, great grandparents, and aunts and uncles from multiple generations.
  7. Today, a lot of people either put off getting married or decide not to.

Today's Family Situation:

There are families with only one parent, usually as a result of a divorce, death, or one of the following:

  1. Many single-parent families are the result of women choosing to have children outside of marriage because standards for sexual behavior have changed so much over time.
  2. The existence of gay families is something that was unthinkable a few years ago. These are families in which gay couples choose one of two ways to have children: In the event that there are two women, one of them might decide to be artificially inseminated with donated sperm, ensuring that the child will be raised by both of them. Adoption is another option for gay couples to have children and raise them together.
  3. Two people who have been divorced decide to marry and raise their children together, creating blended families.
  4. It is true that there are still nuclear and extended families in the modern world, and it would be a mistake to believe that they have vanished.

However, with a divorce rate of more than 50%, family life has undergone significant transformations.

Therefore, if you have concerns regarding your upbringing, try not to let them get the better of you. Conflict is an inevitable part of family life, and many children know what it's like to grow up without seeing one of their parents, particularly their father. There are no ideal families.

In addition, it is essential to keep in mind that you are not alone if you are experiencing difficulties with your children's behavior or marriage. In part, it is the responsibility of children to push the boundaries with their parents as they discover more about who they are and begin to assert their individuality by expressing tastes and opinions that parents might not agree with.

Naturally, it's time to get professional help if problems in your marriage or managing children become too much. Psychologists and social workers who specialize in marriage and family issues can provide this. Therefore, keep in mind that there are neither perfect families nor relationships.

In conclusion, mental health outcomes are significantly influenced by family life. Individuals' well-being is influenced by a variety of factors, including support, communication patterns, conflict resolution, parental influence, family history, nurturing environments, social support, and various stressors.

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