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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Ten Tips for Teens and Young Adults to Survive a Dysfunctional Family

Uploaded: Dec 13, 2018
Steve Simpson is the author of four books for teens and young adults. In each book he includes The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook.

I asked Steve to provide you with 10 tips to survive your dysfunctional family as we head into the holidays. The holidays are so often portrayed by loving families enjoying one another, even though that is often not the case—even here in wealthy Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. Dysfunctional families exist in every culture, ethnicity and economic state.

Here are Steve’s tips:

1. Remember it’s not your fault that there are problems at home.

2. You are not the cause of your abuse.

3. If you are being abused tell a teacher or counselor at school.

4. You can’t change the people in your household but you can get help yourself to make things better.

5. Before you run away from home, try calling the National Runaway Safeline (1-800-RUNAWAY) for other ideas and help.

6. Anybody I know who thought of suicide was glad that they did not do it because things always got better! And call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK for help.

7. Whatever your religion try to go to your house of worship during the holidays for strength to deal with the problems in the house. Try to get others to go with you.

8. All problems are temporary. You will in the future be in control of your own holidays and happiness.

9. Don’t focus on other people’s addictions or problems and things that are wrong that you can’t change. Think about things that you can change and what the holidays are really about.

10. If it’s possible, spend time with positive friends who can encourage you. Do not spend time with anyone who is drinking or using drugs.

The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook can be found in any of Steve Simpson’s four young adult fiction novels, Who Am I?, Child’s Island, The World is Wrong and Runaway. If you were to just try to give the Handbook to a young person they would most likely reject it and say they don’t need any help.

Because The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook is an insert in the novels, the premise is that you’re giving the fiction book to the young person to read and while they have it you hope they turn to the Handbook and see the lifesaving information in there. This way the young person is not embarrassed or put on the spot and it allows a considered adult or peer to try to help the teen or young adult without conflict.

If you’re an adult and know of a teen or young adult in a dysfunctional family, reach out. Do something fun with him/her. Use affirmative words about the young person; offer realistic and constructive hope for the future. Show him/her different options in life.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by BerangariaM, a resident of Atherton: other,
on Dec 16, 2018 at 9:28 pm

BerangariaM is a registered user.

Many people go into depression because of this and also start having anxiety. It is important that they are also given care. They have a lot of mental stress and feel very because of it. If not given proper attention they can also have bipolar depression. One my my friend has also gone through this phase and was facing very stress. The tips given in this article are very useful and nice. Because of this people suffer from the various problem of depression, stress, anxiety that can affect the mental health. Many people take the help of exercise, yoga, and additional sources for overcoming from depression. These natural methods can be very helpful to fight the problem of anxiety and keep the mind healthy.

Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Dec 17, 2018 at 8:59 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

There are many online resources and downloadable meditations. Adolescent Counseling Services as well as many of the graduate schools in the Bay Area have low fee counseling centers (Sophia University, John F. Kennedy University, Notre Dame, etc.). If a person had a broken leg or cancer they would seek treatment. Depression or anxiety, or stress from living in a dysfunctional family are not your fault and you don't need to worry about reaching out for help. People are available and want to help.

Posted by samjones, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jan 8, 2019 at 3:20 pm

samjones is a registered user.

I work with teenagers all the time who come from a dysfunctional family and it saddens me to see them go through so much turmoil. Its as if their life is being taken away. That being said, I also believe its gives them an opportunity to rise above it and become a stronger human being which is why I provide therapy for teenagers to help them learn the tools they need to grow.

Posted by adamschule85, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Jan 17, 2019 at 10:38 pm

adamschule85 is a registered user.

Common problem here in our area. It will help a lot, especially for those who currently undergo in this situation.

Posted by impress family, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Mar 13, 2019 at 8:33 am

impress family is a registered user.

It can and for some has dissapeared in the blink of an eye. "AZZMAN" your keen sence of foresight is slightly off the mark. Not every choice in life is that of your own, even if you THINK it should be. Case in point....

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