Within dysfunctional families resides the problem child. Are you the problem child in your dysfunctional family?

You would be surprised by how many people grew up in a dysfunctional family. These people may have been neglected or even the problem child in this situation, depending on their actions and role in the family. I think I was a combination of both, to be honest, which is quite possible.

The definition of the problem child

There are a few ways to look at the problem child. The most common definition of the problem child is a member of the family which always stays in trouble.

Since they are children, the parents are always responsible for the actions of this child, making it even more difficult to control the negative issues. Since there is no control when dealing with this child, they are especially difficult to educate.

Were you the problem child when growing up?

Now that you understand the basic definition of the problem child, let me ask you a question. Were you a problem child? Of course, you want to say no, but take a moment and pick through a few indicators that may have been present during your childhood.

1. Mood swings

While most everyone has mood swings from time to time, troubled children have them much more often. Growing up in a dysfunctional family can sometimes cause a drastic increase in these mood changes.

Now, it’s normal for teens to have mood swings, as they are entering puberty, but younger children only have extreme mood swings when something is terribly wrong.

Unfortunately, although you’re an adult now, these mood swings may have been so often that they have become a part of your character. The good news is, if you face this fact, you can get to the root of your mood changes and learn how to change them.

2. Misbehavior at school

A true problem child will misbehave more than usual at school. Their grades will also drop unexpectantly. Bad behavior, no matter what it consists of, usually reflects something happening at home.

Dysfunctional families that include abuse and neglect are environments which can turn children into bullies or cause them to be uncontrollable in the classroom.

It may not be easy to remember your childhood in school, and it may not be pleasurable to dredge up these memories, but It is important. You must come to terms with the things that happened to you both good and bad.

3. Deception

A problem child may be one who often hides things. These things could be secret activities, bad grades or even friends they know you will not approve. Coming from a dysfunctional family, children immolate what their parents do, and they also use measures of protection to keep from being punished. This is especially true for those who endure physical abuse.

If you remember hiding things as a child and a teenager, which hiding some things as a child is common, you should search for the reason why you did this. Maybe you were afraid of something that you’ve blocked from your mind on the journey to adulthood.

Always keep in mind that being a problem child doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of the same love and respect that others receive. It just means that you may have had an unhealthy upbringing.

Do you tend to hide things from your loved ones now? Ah, this could be a big indicator that you need to look into the past.

4. Instigators

The problem child can sometimes be labeled such because of their desire to stir up mischief. For example: as a child, I loved to instigate fights between other children. I’m not entirely sure where the desire came from, but I gained great pleasure from causing chaos. I do know that somehow it originated from a dysfunctional family dynamic, just not sure which actions led to this maniacal desire of mine.

If you still have this uncontrollable urge to enjoy conflict, then you were probably a problem child as well. After all, your character today was formed in your early years and has deep roots in who you are today.

Although being an instigator is a hard trait to eliminate, it can be done by working on self-control. Just wanted to leave some hope from my experience in healing.

5. Promiscuous behavior

One pattern of behavior that points toward a problem child is promiscuous behavior. There are so many risks involved in early sexual conduct, and children of dysfunctional families have a higher chance of indulging in these actions.

If you were a promiscuous teenager, then you were probably a problem child. It was probably difficult for your parents or for counselors when they tried to help you. While some parents chose to use religion or spiritual influence to fix these problems, sometimes it’s only made worse by causing rebellion.

Addressing the problem childhood

Although you might be an adult now, you can still continue healing from your past. You may have been a problem child, but you can end the negative pattern that you were raised in.

I was a problem child myself, rebelling and even once running away from home. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to look back and face the truth of what I was before. With this new knowledge, I can make better decisions for today.chi

If you were a problem child, you don’t have to be a problem in adulthood. All it takes if learning and continual growth.


  1. https://www.verywellfamily.com
  2. https://www.brown.edu

Copyright © 2012-2024 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

power of misfits book banner mobile

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new thought-provoking articles!

Leave a Reply