Christmas is here, which means family gatherings. We thought this would be a good week to re-post our blog from last year about family roles. Take a look around this season and see if you can catch any of these to be true in your own family. I bet it will be easier than you think! I’ve been a people watcher since I was a little girl. I even remember sitting in church as a young girl watching the non-verbals of family members who were upset with each other and put on their “happy church face”. I’ll admit my family was one of them! One thing I have noticed in all my studies of people (through formal education and life experience) is that we tend to fall into roles- especially in our families as a child. This week Imagine Hope wants to help you see 4 roles we see many clients adapting into in their family of origin. As you read these roles, we hope you’ll examine yourself and your siblings to see what your role was.
The Family Hero The Family Hero (aka: “good kid”) is a high achiever. They rarely get into trouble because they follow the rules. The hero is responsible and often put in charge of keeping things afloat. They are often the “parent” of their siblings, which tends to fall on the oldest child- but not in all families. The downfall is that they are seeking their family’s approval and feel the need to please. This often comes with guilt and negative self-talk for falling short and not doing enough. They become hurt that the family doesn’t acknowledge all their efforts and feel that people are taking advantage of them. Heros are often perfectionists, which means they commonly feel inadequate and like a failure, even though they look successful on the outside. Their quiet insecurities haunt them.
Each family has dysfunctional traits- afterall no family is perfect!! These roles are part of a child’s internal way to cope with the dysfunction. Keep reading this week to see 3 other common roles children fall into.
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.