The Effects of Parental Alcoholism

It’s no surprise that alcoholism can have an adverse effect on parenting. A parent cannot be the best parent they want to be if they are constantly under the influence. Parents sometimes trick themselves into thinking their alcohol abuse only is affecting them. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse is detrimental to everyone around you. In fact, people you love or who love you are the ones who are hurt the most.

Children need a lot of care and attention as they grow up. If they are told too early that they don’t deserve that attention, it becomes tough for them to believe that there are positive moments in life.

What Parenting with Alcoholism Looks Like

Children cannot pick their parents even if their parents are unhealthy and refuse to get help. Therefore, alcoholic parenting exists, and we have to face that. These are some of the things that are involved in parental alcoholism:

  • Depression – parents will constantly exhibit depressive symptoms that the child will have to face
  • Little Conversation – parents will not talk as much with their child
  • Lack of Attention – parents will not know what their child is up to or how they are growing up
  • Little Positive Emotions – parents will rarely show when they are happy with their children
  • Negative Emotions – parents will visibly show when they are upset with their children
  • Easily Annoyed of Frustrated – parents will be more annoyed by any of their children’s actions.

All of these actions have very extreme consequences. The child will change their behavior extremely early on.

They Think Everyone Drinks

A lot of times, children who live in alcoholic families have lives outside of theirs. They will visit other families but will be confused and conflicted especially if the family does not commonly abuse alcohol. The child has learned that a normal setting means alcohol is in place. They will not understand how to act in a family where it is not.

Problems with Trust

Many alcoholic parents lie and cheat. They may promise their child they will go with them somewhere but get too drunk and fail. The child will start to treat betrayal as something that always happens. They will not trust anyone. A child can also develop a habit of avoiding people because they do not trust people. They might be too scared of forming relationships with people because they do not trust the other person not to hurt them.

A Self Criticizing Voice

There is a high chance the child will blame themselves for everything. They will not be able to forgive themselves whenever something goes wrong. As a child, they are given a lot of responsibility because their parents have decided not to take it. Then, when something does go wrong the parents will blame them for it.

Listening to verbal abuse while growing up really hurts your self-esteem. The child may compare themselves to everyone around them all the time. They might feel different and think their differences mean they are not as good. When someone is always harsh on themselves, this can damage their mental health and lead to depression and isolation.

Desire for Approval

Children who live with alcoholics will find when they only feel safe and comfortable when they have received approval. When an alcoholic parent is nice to them, they do not have to feel scared. This means that a child will develop a habit to find this approval because they know if they do not get it, it could spell danger.

This behavior has many adverse effects. First, a lot of people in society hate people who constantly are seeking approval. They think they are weak. It will make your child feel even worse and repeat the same pattern. Your child may also become a perfectionist or a workaholic. They may be very meek in their relationships with others because they want to make sure everyone around them is happy.

Words of Wisdom

As you can see, alcoholism in a parent is very harmful to children. Children do not get to choose who their parent is so the least you can do for them is sober up and be a good one. A lot of alcoholics have a difficult time getting better when they have no one to care for. Children can help change that. Suddenly, there is someone you love and want to protect. As long as you remember that, you can use that as a drive to get better. Getting better is never easy but protecting your children should be very important for you too.

On the other hand, if you are a child who has gone through parental alcoholism, you should consider getting help too. There are many subconscious emotional scars you have suffered that you don’t even know about. One of the big issues with abuse is that to survive, your brain has told you being abused is normal. Therefore, you might not realize the symptoms you carry.