A study released in the summer of 2017 revealed that one in every eight Americans is an alcoholic. Further, the study seemed to suggest that alcoholism is on the rise and that more people are expected to fall into the alcoholic category in the near future.
But it isn’t only alcoholics who are suffering from their debilitating disease right now. There are also many children of alcoholic parents who are being forced to deal with the side effects of having a mom or dad who abuses alcohol.
Some of those side effects become apparent when the children are still young. Others become more prevalent once the children grow up.
But there is no denying that the kids of alcoholic parents are definitely suffering right alongside their parents. Here are some issues they are being subjected to due to their parents’ drinking problems.
Children of Alcoholic Parents Don’t Get to Experience “Normal” Family Life
You could make the argument that there is no such thing as a “normal” family life. All families have issues they need to deal with accordingly.
But children of alcoholic parents don’t usually get the chance to see how parents are supposed to interact with their kids. They also don’t have a strong sense of what a good role model is supposed to be since their parents have proven to be anything but.
When kids with alcoholic parents grow up, they often struggle to put together a normal family life of their own because they have never seen one in the past. This can obviously be detrimental to the success of their romantic relationships, and it can harm the relationships they have with their kids.
They Feel Inadequate and Judge Themselves Harshly
The children of alcoholic parents don’t usually receive a lot of positive reinforcement at home. As a result, they have lower self-esteem than most other kids and are always left to question if they’re “good enough.”
Kids can often blame themselves for their parents’ drinking. And when they spend years and years doing this, it can really come back to bite them later.
They will sometimes blame themselves for other things that go wrong in their lives. They will also put everything they do under a microscope and judge it more harshly than they would if they had grown up with a parent who was offering them encouragement along the way.
They Deal With Anxiety and Depression at Higher Rates
Studies have shown that the children of alcoholic parents are more likely to deal with symptoms of anxiety and depression than kids who grow up in a household that doesn’t have any alcoholics in it.
These kids demonstrate anti-social behavior at times as well as other behavioral problems. There are also many kids with alcoholic parents who grow up to abuse alcohol just like their mom or dad did.
They Struggle to Maintain Intimate Relationships
Many young kids learn how to maintain intimate relationships by forming strong bonds with their parents from a young age. They learn how to be there for someone, how to forgive someone, and so much more through familial relationships.
Children of alcoholic parents aren’t able to learn those same valuable lessons. Because of that, they usually struggle to get into intimate relationships and sustain them for long periods of time.
They Constantly Worry About Being Abandoned
One reason the children of alcoholic parents can’t form close bonds with other people very often is that they’re always worried about being abandoned.
It makes perfect sense, too. They probably spent most of their childhood dealing with a parent who let them down all the time and didn’t show up when they said they would.
That can really take a toll on a child. When it happens frequently enough, they lose faith in other people and automatically assume they will be abandoned by friends and family.
They Seek Approval From Other People Too Often
Many people tend to seek approval from others before they take action on something. But the children of alcoholic parents do it even more often than others because of the lack of approval they received when they were younger.
Kids who have alcoholic parents aren’t always taught right from wrong and other basic life lessons. Therefore, they’re forced to fend for themselves in the world while looking to others for approval.
If that approval comes from the wrong places, it can lead kids down the wrong path.
They Scare Easily Around People Who Are Angry
There are a lot of people who get very angry when they’re intoxicated. If the alcoholic parent of a child is this way and directs his or her anger at the child while drinking, it can instill an unhealthy fear in the kid.
Many times, children of alcoholic parents spook very easily when they’re around angry people because it reminds them of their parents. This can prove to be problematic since dealing with the anger of others is a part of life.
It can make it hard for kids to communicate with those who are angry. It can also cause them to have their own anger issues that can come out in ways that are destructive to themselves and others.
They Become Too Responsible for Their Own Good
One of the few positives associated with being the child of an alcoholic parent is that they often tend to grow up to be very responsible.
Since kids with alcoholic parents are often forced to do things like feed themselves and take care of their homework on their own, they are often more responsible than others their age.
But in some instances, this can actually hurt them. Some of these kids end up turning into perfectionists and even workaholics when they grow up because it’s the only approach to life that they’ve ever know.
So as you can see, even the positives turn into negatives for kids with alcoholic parents. It’s a hard life for these kids and it is through absolutely no fault of their own.
Help Your Children by Getting Help for Yourself Today
Do you have a drinking problem? It could be taking a huge toll on your kids. By getting help with your alcohol addiction, you can make their lives a lot better and turn yourself into a much better parent at the same time.
Contact us today to learn more about the issues children of alcoholic parents face.