5 Tips to Deal With an Alcoholic Parent
A number of children and adolescents in the United States live with a parent battling alcohol addiction. In fact, according to a 2012 study done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over 10 percent of American children live with a parent with alcohol problems. Compared to other children, the majority of such kids are at a greater risk of developing emotional problems.
Drinking on a regular basis affects an individual’s health, personal relationships and several other aspects of life. Besides the above problems, one can also be at the receiving end of emotional and physical abuse and even financial problems.
It is not easy to deal with a parent who abuses alcohol. Besides developing psychological problems, children living with an alcoholic parent are likely to turn to drinking themselves. Further, due to the absence of appropriate support and guidance, the overall situation of such children becomes quite conflicting and stressful.
However, one can help his or her alcoholic parent recover. In order to spread awareness about alcoholism, the current article enlists five simple tips to deal with an alcoholic parent:
1. Understand the cause
Children should try and understand the cause of alcoholism in their parents. It can be a stressful situation, a mental health condition or addiction. One should make sure that the condition is carefully scrutinized and understood so that the appropriate help is provided.
2. Strike a conversation
Children should look for a suitable time to discuss the problem with their parent. It is important to talk to an alcoholic parent when he or she is sober. By expressing their own emotions and describing the problems that have arisen due to the drinking habit, they can help the person understand the effect alcohol is having on their health and relationships.
It is possible that children might not be able to completely dissuade their parents from drinking, but they might help them in understanding the importance of being a responsible drinker.
3. Avoid arguments
Children should avoid discussing anything with their parents when they are drunk. This is because it might end up in a heated argument. In fact, it might make the drunk parent lose his or her temper or control, thereby increasing the chances of injuries for both parent and children. It is also likely to worsen their relationship with their parents.
4. Remain consistent
It is important for children to stick to their words. For instance, if they have warned their parents that they might do certain things if they get drunk again, they should ensure that they do them. If children fail to stay consistent, parents may begin to take their words lightly and might never come out of their alcohol addiction. Such as, children should never support the parent’s drinking habit, i.e., not “enable” it by purchasing alcohol for them or giving them money to do so. Once children decide to see their parent sober, they have to stick to that resolution and not become weak.
5. Express emotions
Children should never bottle up their emotions and express them instead. This will help minimize the risk of bursting out all at once. They can look for some interesting ways to express their feelings, such as maintaining a diary or writing a blog whether they make their writings public or not. The important part is expressing the emotions.
It is also a way to take care of oneself by processing any guilt, anger etc. that one may feel due to the parent’s behavior. It helps for such children to join support groups or distract themselves from the situation at home by participating in hobbies, meeting friends or even staying with a trusted relative or friend.
Seek support for speedy recovery
It is important to extend support to a parent trying to recover from alcohol addiction. If a parent decides to become sober, children should get help. If children are in an abusive situation they must get out of it and talk to someone they trust.
If you or someone you know is dealing with alcoholism and is looking for details about the best and comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment centers in Colorado, contact the Colorado Alcohol Addiction Help. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866–592–9261 to get the complete information about the facilities offering alcohol addiction treatment in Colorado.