Drinking is normal in almost every family nowadays, especially in celebrations or social events. It’s okay to have the occasional drink every now and then, but it can become a problem for your children when you start drinking regularly. Growing up with an alcoholic parent can be a very destructive experience.
Being exposed to alcoholism or any other addiction from a young age can have serious effects on a child’s development, and it may cause a series of social and health issues. Parents’ are the biggest influence in their children, therefore, how children see the world, is determined by their experiences with their parents’ alcoholism. This can impact the way they relate to other people and how they deal with their emotions, resulting in problems such as antisocial behavior, depression, and anxiety. Besides research has shown that children of alcoholics have a greater probability of becoming alcoholics themselves.
Here are three examples of how alcoholism may affect your children:
1. They don’t know what normal is
A parent is always a model and example for their children, but alcoholic parents are unpredictable: one day they can be loving and tender, the next day indifferent or violent. Children don’t know what to expect from them, therefore they may have trouble figuring out what is normal.
They will have no criteria over what they should or shouldn’t do and doubt themselves all the time. This will begin a path of low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and anxious behaviors
2. They judge themselves without mercy
Children of alcoholics grow up thinking they’re never good enough. They tend to demerit their achievements as an alcoholic parent is never 100% present to provide proper guidance and motivation, in addition, children of alcoholic parents tend to develop deep feelings of inadequacy.
3. They develop trust issues
Growing up in an environment of denial, lies, secrecy and broken promises can lead children to develop trust issues. Not knowing any different, their instincts will tell them that trusting another person will backfire on them in the future. Because of this, they may struggle with romantic relationships, friendships, or even avoid getting close to people in general, isolating themselves as a result. Deep fear of commitment may be another consequence of an alcoholic parent.
These emotional and psychological scars can last well into adulthood. If you are a parent and have a problem with alcohol, please seek help before it’s too late, in order to avoid causing many long-term damages to your children.
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