Families are a complex system of multiple relationships (parent and child, couple, and the individual) that form even more complex interactions. Now add the unique stressors of each of those relationships and you can understand why the idea of the perfect family does not actually exist. It is common for conflict between parent and child, or between parents, to affect every single person in the family. More often than not, a child that is displaying behavioral issues is acting out their way of dealing with some sort of conflict within the family unit.
In family therapy, I work with the entire family to figure out the root of the issues. I work collaboratively with each member to create new and positive interaction patterns with one another and re-establish a sense of safety and security between each other in order to foster a closer connection within the family. Once these positive and caring qualities are established, children feel safe turning to their parents for security and comfort in order to deal with stress rather than acting out in negative ways as a cry for attention.
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