When you have a difficult relationship with your parents, life can feel scary and unstable. TheHopeLine offers resources, help, and support to understand, navigate, and heal from difficult family and parent relationships.

You should reach out right away if:

  • You have been abandoned (or feel emotionally abandoned) by one or both of your parents.
  • One or both of your parents are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or other harmful substances and behavior.
  • You find it difficult or impossible to talk to one or both of your parents about circumstances or changes in your life (and how those situations make you feel).
  • You are feeling overwhelmed about your parents’ divorce or separation.
  • Your parents make you feel attacked or unsafe.
  • One or both of your parents are abusive.

Your family relationships should be safe, nurturing, and encouraging. If you don’t feel refreshed being around or thinking about your family, you can talk to someone who cares at TheHopeLine.

What is a Dysfunctional Family?

You may be wondering, “How did my relationship with my parents get this way?” No family is perfect, but many families have dysfunction that, when unaddressed, breaks down communication and hurts relationships. What makes a family dysfunctional?

A family becomes dysfunctional when conflict, abuse, cruelty, and other toxic behaviors become the norm. If you and your family fight constantly, and no one tries to improve their behavior or get help managing their emotions, you’re likely stuck in a pattern of family dysfunction.

It’s important to note that while outright cruelty and abuse are certainly part of what makes a dysfunctional family, those aren’t the only ways one can take shape. Families can also become dysfunctional if parents insist on perfection, have poor emotional boundaries, withhold affection, distance themselves from your life, or manipulate you into doing what they want.

What Can I Do to Heal Parent and Family Relationships?

As with any difficult relationship, how much it can change depends on how willing each person is to talk about the issues, acknowledge responsibility, and get help resolving the problems. If your parents are open to talking to a counselor, mentor, or therapist, you’ll soon be on the path to building a stronger relationship together.

If your parent is unwilling to get help, or if the issues in your relationship stem from having little to no contact with your parents, your path will be different. But it is still possible to let go of the pain and cultivate other meaningful connections with friends, family, and other people who make you feel safe.

TheHopeLine offers help with parent relationships through confidential email or live chat. We also offer prayer for family challenges anytime, day or night. Reach out to us today to get support and start on the journey to healing.

Want to learn more about family relationships? Search our library of resources (blogs, podcasts, ebooks, and more) for answers to questions like:

  • How Can I Stay Close to My Parent in the Military?
  • What Can I Do if My Parent Has a Mental Illness?
  • What if I’m Angry About My Parent’s Addiction?

Most Recent Blogs on Parent

Family Addiction: I’m Angry About My Parent’s Addiction

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Living with a parent who is addicted to drugs, alcohol, or other harmful substances and behaviors is hard – and it doesn’t get easier as we get older. If you’re one of the estimated 17 million people who has grown up with an addicted parent, you’re probably angry about their..Read more

My Parents Don’t Approve Of Who I’m Dating

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  What If My Parents Don’t Approve Of My BF/GF? Finding someone you love who loves you in return can be difficult. Then learning how to deal with conflicts within a relationship can be painful, as well. But there is an entire additional level of stress when, for some reason,..Read more

A Safe Place

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Troubles at home? Have a plan. If you have spent any time reading my blogs or listening to my radio show, I hope you know, beyond anything else, that I care deeply for teens and young adults. I have made it my life’s work to share the message that there..Read more

35 Emotions You Might Feel After Your Parents Divorce

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Are You Feeling Overwhelmed? It’s so hard to be honest with ourselves and others about the effects we feel when our parents break-up. That is because our parents’ divorce is devastating. We naturally put up walls of denial and silence and keep a certain distance between us and others. Yet,..Read more

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Depression and ADHD: The Saving of My Son

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Life Looked Good Our high school son was a high energy, 3 sport athlete, life of the party, good grades sort of kid.  His two younger brothers looked up to him.  Life appeared great. It all came crashing down One night, he was out with friends during his Junior year..Read more

Leah’s Story: My Parents Got Divorced

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My Parents Got Divorced When I was 10 years old, my parents got divorced. They were always arguing and fighting. My dad was cheating on my mom, with a woman named Lisa. He would always come home so late, and sometimes he didn’t come home at all. I was very..Read more

Inspired To Do What My Heart Wants

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Overprotective parents. 22 and living with parents. Don’t get to go out. Don’t get to meet the love of my life. Pressurized to be the best in studies and not caring about my dreams. I stopped self cutting 3 years ago. Started today because of fight with boyfriend. It was..Read more

Problems With My Step-Mom

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Tatyana Was Having Problems With Her Step-Mom Hi, my name is Tatyana. I chatted with a HopeCoach recently about how my parents separated before I was born and how I’ve had problems with my step-mom. She verbally abuses me and says things about my birth mom and lies to me about stuff. My HopeCoach helped me..Read more

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Verses of Hope

Free eBooks

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Free eBook: Understanding a Relationship with God

A guide to understanding the basics of Christianity and a meaningful relationship with God.  Do You Feel Like Life is Meaningless? Are you wondering what your purpose is? Do you have questions about what Christians believe or what it means to be a Christian? At TheHopeLine we believe real and lasting HOPE can only come […]

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