Parent Relationships

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.
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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.


Dealing with various parent issues can increase your overall stress level and lead to feeling physically drained. There's been research studies that show teens/adolescents will often turn to food for the comfort they aren't getting from their parents. It's important to be mindful of this as comfort eating can often lead to the development of eating disorders. If you are feeling physically unsafe or neglected in your home, seek help from a school counselor or by chatting with a Hope Coach.


One of the most common and challenging emotions when struggling with a parent relationship is resentment. You will often have an image in your mind of how you feel the relationship with your parents should be and when this image gets shattered, it's emotionally painful. When your expectations for love, support, encouragement, safety, etc., are not met, resentment starts, and your emotions can begin to snowball into feelings of anger, extreme sadness, frustration, and shame.


If you're struggling in your relationship with your parent(s), you are likely feeling unrest in your spirit, especially if there is regular tension in your home. It is normal for your spirit to crave a sense of peace, but all you feel is conflict. This can make it difficult to find a balance for spiritual health.

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You aren't alone.

Check out these stories of hope from others who have struggled with this issue.

It's ok to ask for help.

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.
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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.


If you're struggling in your relationship with your parent(s) or with a parental guardian, you may feel burdened with anxiety, especially if there is a lot of arguing and yelling. It may feel as though peace is unattainable. It's important to know that peace isn't found within our circumstances, like getting along with our parents, but instead peace can be found in Jesus. God tells us in the Bible, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33(NLT)

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