How To Get Support For Poor Parent & Family Relationships

When you have a difficult relationship with your parents, life can feel scary, frustrating, 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 significant signs of a dysfunctional family, those aren’t the only indications your family may be dysfunctional. 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?

FAQ on Parent:

How Do You Cope With Fighting Parents?

-As kindly as you can, let your parents know that the tension between them is affecting you. Talk about how their fighting makes you feel, and how it is hurting you. -After you explain your experience to them, tell them you need a change. Ask them to find some help, like couples counseling or family therapy. -If they push back, do not engage. It will escalate the situation. Set clear boundaries to protect yourself, your emotions, and your mental health.

Learn more

See More

Most Recent Blogs on Parent

Why Are My Parents Fighting More Now?


Stress and Parents Fighting  It’s been a tough year for everyone, especially parents. The stress of this pandemic has put extra pressure on their responsibilities to care for you and communicate with each other, so if they’re fighting more than usual… that’s not abnormal! No matter the reason, though, when your..Read more

Why Do Mothers Fight So Much with Their Daughters?


The relationship between a mom and daughter can be famously fraught with complications, full of fun and wonderful memories, or both. From Gilmore Girls to Sharp Objects to older classics like Golden Girls, the media is packed with examples of both loving and contentious mother-daughter relationships. The reason for that?..Read more

Am I a Bad Person If I Hate My New Stepparent?


What To Do If You Hate Your Stepparent Families are supposed to be a group of people we trust and feel safe with. Many people spend most of their lives having close relationships to their immediate family members, and “traditional family values” keep us bound together for better or for worse...Read more

How Do I Handle It When My Sibling Always Does Better Than I Do?


How to Deal with Family Pressure Between Siblings Having siblings can bring so much joy and fun to your life. Many siblings grow very close as they grow older and learn how to work through the ups and downs of life together. But sometimes, family pressures can creep into sibling relationships...Read more

View More >

Podcasts about Parent :

Videos on Parent:

eBooks on Parent :

Ask Dawson:

Stories on Parent :

Inspired To Do What My Heart Wants


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

Depressed: I Have No Meaning in My Life


Depressed at a Young Age I have felt depressed most of my life, since a very young age. I grew up in an incomplete family. I don’t remember my parents ever having a good relationship. I feel they did not do a good job as parents. My whole family consists..Read more

Living With An Anxiety Disorder


I Felt Alone I’ve been using this website for almost a year now, and honestly it’s like the little therapy I need. No prescriptions, no one is writing down anything or judging me on what I say, I just get to speak. Living with an anxiety disorder (and one as..Read more

Life as a Mother of an Addict and Felon


I am the mother of a 34-year-old son who is an addict and a felon. He has been in more rehabs and diversion programs than I can count. He has lived on the streets, been an absconder, and is presently incarcerated for the 9th time. My Story on Parenting a..Read more

View More >

Resources for Parent :

Spiritual Perspective :

Verses of Hope

Free eBooks


Free eBook: Understanding a Relationship with God

Free eBook: Understanding a 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 through a relationship with Jesus. And this […]

View More >

Additional Resources

View More >