In general, these children are at greater danger for having psychological problems than children whose parents are not alcoholics. Alcohol addiction runs in households, and children of alcoholics are four times more likely than other children to emerge as alcoholics themselves.
A child being raised by a parent or caretaker who is struggling with alcohol abuse might have a variety of conflicting feelings that need to be dealt with in order to avoid future problems. Because they can not go to their own parents for support, they are in a difficult position.
Some of the feelings can include the following:
Sense of guilt. The child may see himself or herself as the primary reason for the mother's or father's alcohol problem.
Anxiety. The child may fret perpetually regarding the situation at home. He or she may fear the alcoholic parent will emerge as sick or injured, and might likewise fear fights and violence between the parents.
Humiliation. Parents might give the child the message that there is a terrible secret in the home. The ashamed child does not invite friends home and is afraid to ask anybody for aid.
Inability to have close relationships. He or she typically does not trust others since the child has normally been disappointed by the drinking parent so many times.
Confusion. The alcoholic parent will change unexpectedly from being loving to upset, irrespective of the child's behavior. A consistent daily schedule, which is extremely important for a child, does not exist due to the fact that mealtimes and bedtimes are constantly shifting.
Anger. The child feels resentment at the alcoholic parent for drinking, and might be angry at the non-alcoholic parent for insufficience of support and protection.
Depression. The child feels lonesome and powerless to change the state of affairs.
The child attempts to keep the alcoholism a secret, instructors, relatives, other grownups, or close friends may sense that something is wrong. Teachers and caretakers should know that the following conducts may indicate a drinking or other problem at home:
Failing in school; truancy
Absence of close friends; alienation from schoolmates
Delinquent actions, like stealing or violence
Regular physical issues, such as headaches or stomachaches
Abuse of drugs or alcohol; or
Hostility to other children
Danger taking behaviors
Anxiety or self-destructive ideas or actions
Some children of alcoholics might cope by taking the role of responsible "parents" within the household and among buddies. They may turn into controlled, successful "overachievers" all through school, and at the same time be mentally isolated from other children and instructors. Their psychological problems might present only when they become adults.
It is very important for relatives, teachers and caregivers to recognize that whether the parents are receiving treatment for alcoholism, these children and adolescents can benefit from educational programs and mutual-help groups such as regimens for children of alcoholics, Al-Anon, and Alateen. Early professional assistance is likewise essential in avoiding more severe issues for the child, including lowering danger for future alcohol dependence. Child and teen psychiatrists can diagnose and address problems in children of alcoholics. They can also assist the child to comprehend they are not responsible for the alcohol abuse of their parents and that the child can be helped despite the fact that the parent remains in denial and refusing to look for assistance.
The treatment solution may include group therapy with other children, which reduces the isolation of being a child of an alcoholic. The child and adolescent psychiatrist will typically deal with the entire family, particularly when the alcohol dependent father and/or mother has quit drinking alcohol, to help them establish healthier methods of connecting to one another.
In general, these children are at greater threat for having emotional issues than children whose parents are not alcohol dependent. Alcoholism runs in family groups, and children of alcoholics are four times more likely than other children to emerge as alcoholics themselves. It is crucial for caregivers, teachers and family members to recognize that whether or not the parents are getting treatment for alcohol addiction, these children and adolescents can benefit from mutual-help groups and instructional programs such as solutions for Children of Alcoholics, Al-Anon, and Alateen. Child and adolescent psychiatrists can diagnose and treat issues in children of alcoholics. They can also help the child to understand they are not accountable for the drinking problems of their parents and that the child can be helped even if the parent is in denial and refusing to seek help.