Do you or someone you know struggle with alcoholism?
According to the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, there are 18 million alcoholics in the United States.
Alcoholism is a disease that affects not only the individual, but also the individual’s family, and especially their children.
Read on to learn how having an alcoholic parent can affect a child:
1. The Child Can Blame Themselves
When a child sees a parent constantly abuse alcohol, they can start to blame themselves. They think to themselves that if they were different, their parents wouldn’t be drinking.
2. The Child Can Develop Mental Health Issues
The mental health trauma of being the child of an alcoholic parent is so severe that it’s equal to the trauma soldiers face on the battlefield.
Children of alcoholics constantly feel like they must suppress their emotions and thoughts in order to not anger their volatile parent. They are trained to be quiet and bury emotions which can lead to a whole host of mental health issues.
Being the child of an alcoholic puts you at a higher risk for anxiety, depression, OCD, and even PTSD.
3. The Child Can Have Difficulty Forming Close Relationships
Constantly seeing their alcoholic parent disappoint them can cause children to have trust issues when meeting other people. These trust issues result in children of alcoholics finding difficulty forming close relationships. Which is sad because what these children need are relationships with people they can count on.
Alcoholic parents often forget their children’s birthdays and neglect to show their child that the child is valued. This lack of attention the child receives makes it difficult for them to express affection to others.
4. The Child Has a Higher Risk of Becoming an Alcoholic
Children who have alcoholic parents are three to four times more likely than children who do not to become alcoholics.
Children with an alcoholic parent are also more likely to marry an alcoholic because they become accustomed to their behavior.
5. The Child Has a Lower Self Esteem
Children of alcoholics are more likely to underestimate their talents and abilities. This feeling of low self-esteem seeps its way into all aspects of their child’s life.
When a child is not confident in their abilities they’re less likely to try out for sports teams, do well on tests, and join clubs they’re interested in.
Think of the children…
Understanding that alcoholism affects not only a parent but also their children should be enough to make parents want to get help.
There are plenty of resources out there to help alcoholics get on the road to recovery.
One of the most popular among these is Alcoholics Anonymous where you go and earn an aa chip as you progress through the program.
Recovering from alcoholism is absolutely essential for functional homes and mentally healthy children.
Please let us know in the comments if you have any questions or any information you think may be useful to our readers.