What’s Wrong With My Family?


Mom hugging teenage daughter

On the inside, parents are often full of worry and concern for their children, their relationships and their own well-being.

Sometimes we compare these emotions that we feel inside to how we see other families on the outside. We always seem to look worse. We engage in negative thinking, hold ourselves to unrealistic standards and assume the worst about our parenting.

Don’t Compare Your Insides to Everyone Else’s Outsides

It may look like other parents have it all together — they have the perfect house, the perfect marriage, the perfect well-behaved kids — but inside their homes, a lot goes on that you don’t see. There’s a good chance that the so-called perfect family is going through many of the same internal struggles as you.

At those times it feels like what James Lehman in The Total Transformation® describes as “comparing my insides to everyone’s outsides.” You know that feeling that everyone else has it together but you?

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Parenting is tough for everyone. Every family is at a different point in their journey to becoming a well-functioning, healthy family system. Some parents have learned more effective skills for managing behavior, and have worked hard to develop what James calls a culture of accountability in their homes. Some parents are just starting out, beginning to learn these new tools. The fact is every single family is a work in progress.

We’re All Human

The truth is, we’re human, and our kids are human. We struggle, they struggle. There is no fully functional family, with no conflict and no stress. Our kids will mess up because that’s how kids learn. We’ll make effective choices in response, and we’ll make less than ideal choices, too. We all bring our pasts into our parenting, and we all falter sometimes.

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The best we can do is to give our kids tools to manage their lives effectively, helping them navigate the difficulties they encounter. And along the way, we face our own limits, responding to them, as best we can, with our own effective choices. That’s how functional families are born.

Everyone can use some help in creating healthy, functional family systems. No matter how dysfunctional you think your family might be, we’re always here to help. Here at Empowering Parents, we’re thankful to be a part of your parenting journey.

All the best,

Darlene, Empowering Parents Coach

Related content: The Trap of the Dysfunctional Family: How to Get Out of It Now


Darlene Beaulieu is a parent to two teenage daughters. She has been an Empowering Parents Coach since 2009 and has helped thousands of families in that time. She earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling and has worked in school and community settings helping children and families with academic, social, and behavioral issues.

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