Make a Difference: Talk to Your Child About Alcohol Parents National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

This approach may help your child better understand that youthful alcohol use does have negative consequences. In fact, you’re likely to have a greater impact on your child’s decisions about drinking by having a number of talks about alcohol use throughout his or her adolescence. Think of this talk with your child as the first part of an ongoing conversation. Early adolescence is a time of immense and often confusing changes for your son or daughter, which makes it a challenging time for both your youngster and you. Understanding what it’s like to be a teen can help you stay closer to your child and have more influence on the choices he or she makes—including decisions about using alcohol. Bredehoft, D. J., Mennicke, S. A., Potter, A. M., & Clarke, J. I.

  • Even though the parents with less severe alcohol abuse encountered less problems than parents with severe alcohol abuse, their children had similar risks of mental and behavioural disorders.
  • An alcoholic parent can influence a child’s development in various ways.
  • This accumulation of problems can be one explanation for the higher risk of mental and behavioural disorders in the children of alcohol abusing mothers compared with children of fathers with these problems.
  • We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals.
  • There are so many things that alcoholic families don’t talk about – to each other and especially to the outside world.
  • There may be trust issues, lying, deceit, broken promises and other such issues that may make it difficult for a child to trust easily.
  • Because as a child life felt out of control and unpredictable, as an adult you try to control everyone and everything that feels out of control (which is a lot).

These “parentified” children often end up taking care of the alcoholic parent, the household, neglected siblings and themselves. Unfortunately, these children often end up having trouble setting healthy boundaries in relationships and can end up struggling with issues of codependence for years to come. If your child’s friends use alcohol, your child is more likely to drink too. So it makes sense to try to encourage your young teen to develop friendships with kids who do not drink and who are otherwise healthy influences on your child. A good first step is to simply get to know your child’s friends better.

Is it Okay to Drink in Front of My Child?

This is because the child may have undergone negative emotions, which may make him think that most people may behave in a similar way and thus he may be hesitant to be in any meaningful relationships. Children who come from such households often find it difficult to know their true potential. They may be too harsh of themselves and may see themselves as worthless or incapable of doing how alcoholic parents affect their children things which other kids can do with ease. They may also feel that they are different from other children or they may feel they are not good enough. They may stay isolated and also may find it difficult to make friends. The adult may also be a high-functioning alcoholic, making it harder for the child to accept that their parent has a problem because it may not be as obvious.

The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. Children of alcoholic parents often harbor anger, whether at the alcoholic in their life or other adults for failing to notice or act.

What are the Effects of an Alcoholic Mother on Children?

After growing up in an atmosphere where denial, lying, and keeping secrets may have been the norm, adult children can develop serious trust problems. Broken promises of the past tell them that trusting someone will backfire on them in the future. If you grew up in an alcoholic or addicted family, chances are that it had a profound impact on you. You don’t outgrow the effects of an alcoholic family when you leave home.

In addition, if both parents have drinking problems, then the potential stress-buffering or moderating influences of a nondrinking parent are not present in the family. In summary, children with alcohol-abusing parents have a higher risk of mental and behavioural disorders regardless of the severity of parental alcohol abuse. Our results indicate that the early recognition of the family’s situation is crucial in preventing later problems in children’s lives.

Helping an Alcoholic Parent Seek Treatment

Bear in mind, the manner in which you approach this conversation is also important. So you might want to peruse information on how to talk to an alcoholic before you broach the topic. Most importantly, the person with the AUD should consider treatment, as rehab can aid not only the individual but also the family as a whole. However, the way you speak and interact with children also may lessen the impact of a parent with a SUD.

how alcoholic parents affect their children

If you’re the child of a parent who has or had an alcohol use disorder or other substance use problems, seek out support, especially if you suspect it’s causing issues for you. Healthcare providers who work with those who have alcoholic parents can help. Coping with the challenges of growing up with alcoholic parents requires adopting healthy strategies to navigate the emotional complexities of such an environment. Learning to cope healthily equips individuals with the tools to manage their emotions, build resilience, and develop positive interpersonal relationships. Children of parents with alcohol addiction may struggle to form secure attachments due to inconsistent caregiving and emotional neglect. This can result in difficulties trusting others and developing healthy relationships later in life.