The home life of alcoholics is rarely organized and in order. The children of alcoholics and addicts typically take on the role of caretaker for the family, it starts with small tasks, maybe packing lunches once in a while or severe cases where the child can forge a check to the power company to keep the heat on. These children pick up their parent’s slack and cover for them by making excuses to teachers or doctors if a situation requires it. In short, these children are frequently robbed of their childhood and forced to act perfectly normal even during times of great stress for to draw attention might have undue consequences for their family. Your adult children, if you have struggled with alcoholism, may experience the same.
Alcoholism’s Impact on Your Adult Children
Sadly these habits are frequently learned and reinforced during a child’s formative years and result in difficulty forming and maintaining relationships due to the negative habits they were forced to endure. From years of never showing any emotion at all, these children never learn how to react to a scene publicly or in the company of another person. They celebrated silently if at all, and it became that voice that they sought and only times they heard that voice were when they pulled off a cover-up well, so they seek people like their parents for their most intimate relationships where they can provide excuses. They allow themselves to be walked on rather than standing resolute in the face of adversity and possibly inviting any type of scrutiny into their life.
Adult children of alcoholics are forced to worry constantly about things like paying the bills on time, having food in the pantry and even the safety of their parents once they find them passed out in a car on their way to school. That affects a person, instead of a typical childhood spent living in the moment without a care other than being home by dark, the children of alcoholics must walk a tightrope between worrying about the house’s bills and acting in a way to take charge and oversee those bills. This places an insane amount of stress on a young mind and this creates a sense of constant worry in a child that as an adult may make them feel so guilty about enjoying themselves they refuse to engage in “fun” activities out of guilt.
The debate that rages about addiction being a disease or not can be answered with genetics which actually play a significant role determining whether children of alcoholics grow up to become alcoholics themselves. If a child is male and grows up in a home with one alcoholic parent, and the alcoholic is male, they have a 90% greater chance of developing their own problem with alcohol and the same goes for females. Any child of an alcoholic has 4 times greater odds of developing a problem with alcohol themselves while other figures are as high as 50-60%. None of these figures can be blamed on their environment either, the same rate of alcoholism is found in cases where the child was separated from its biological parents at birth.
Many of the children who grew up in severe instances of alcoholism will go on to engage in far riskier behaviors like abusing hard drugs or engage in criminal acts based on the level of dysfunction in their childhood home. The more dysfunctional the home environment was the more abuse a child suffered, obviously the greater damage it did to the child. The child may develop a victim mentality, one where they seek out similar harmful relationships in love, work or in the home, they feel comfortable in that type of situation.
Parents strive to provide their children with more than they had growing up, or they do normally, but alcoholics rob themselves of the most basic emotion how can they actively provide for their offspring? If they did, they would not ever place a child in this situation but sadly, especially right now in the midst of COVID-19 which is now affecting 2021 and will continue for the foreseeable future, the rates of alcohol abuse across America have skyrocketed due to normal triggers like loss of work or home but also from the cabin-fever associated with enforced lockdowns.
Horror stories of drunken parents accidentally interacting with their child’s virtual ZOOM school class are so prevalent that school boards across the nation had to send letters to parents addressing the behavior of the parents. Many have been caught in the background of the screen acting bizarrely, or nude, or swigging from a bottle of booze all in the obvious presence of their child while the child is in a virtual classroom and is on camera.
If your adult children are continuing to experience these and other impacts, reaching out for help right now is critical.
Alcohol Rehab in Texas
If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol or any type of substance abuse issue, call Casa Colina at (844) 974-CASA or click here to email them. The effects of lockdowns and socially distanced events, the reduction of school-sponsored activities like sports games or dances are all negatively affecting America’s children these days and there have been a rash of suicides attributed to COVID-19. So please speak up if someone you know has a substance abuse issue as these are times when children need a healthy home more than ever and call Casa Colina today.