Alcoholism, substance abuse, domestic violence and divorce are among some of the major problems families face everyday. These problems negatively affects the home and the development of a positive character among family members.
Many homes find themselves dealing with family members involved with highly addictive substances. Loved ones encounter one another in a state of dependency upon alcohol or drugs. An addiction is the overwhelming desire to do something, in this case it is the overwhelming desire to abuse alcohol or take drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. A person who is addicted will put the need for more drugs or alcohol above everything else in their life. The danger in being addicted is that it clouds one’s ability to think clearly and rationally.
The presence of alcoholism and substance abuse within a family often leads to neglect and child abuse in all its various forms, as well as domestic violence. Domestic violence is the use of physical force to injure or abuse another within a family. In these homes there is so much fear and violence, it is very difficult to grow and develop in a positive way.
In many cases, the family must also deal with the negative effects of divorce within the home. Children who watch their parents go through a divorce suffer tremendous feelings of guilt and frustration. They frequently blame themselves for their parents’ decisions and feel powerless to change their parents’ choices. Divorce has been found to negatively effect children in many ways. Sixty-three percent of children from divorced homes suffer from anxiety, sadness, moodiness, phobias and depression. Fifty-six percent of the children’s grades dropped in school or have grades below their ability. Forty-three percent display aggression towards parents.
If you have had to deal with separation or divorce in your family, remember it is your parents’ decision. Although it affects you and your siblings, there is very little you can do about it. Being sad or angry is a normal emotion to feel at this time, so talk about the way you feel to a close friend or a trusted adult. Even though that is a time of emotional upheaval, continue to focus on building your positive character. Allowing yourself to become angry, hostile and disrespectful will not bring your parents back together. Be determined to avoid this trap yourself when you become an adult.
Here are some cold hard facts to consider regarding the problems many families face in the home everyday. Long term effects of child abuse include fear, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, inappropriate sexual behavior, a poor concept of themselves and difficulty forming relationships. Adults who viewed domestic violence in the home as children have greater difficulty staying employed and are more likely to have mental problems. Every year over 1,400 children die due to abuse–that’s over 4 children a day. The United States Advisory Board reported that due to abuse, there are over 18,000 children permanently disabled every year. Tens of thousands of victims deal with psychological trauma. As adults, many turn to domestic violence or become abusers themselves. Girls, as well as boys, are sexually molested. Children whose parents abuse drugs or alcohol have a greater opportunity of being emotionally, physically and sexually abused.