Dealing With an Alcoholic Dad
Parents have a big impact on how your children turn out and how they feel about themselves. While many parents think that what they do has nothing to do with their children, they are very wrong. Anything that you do as a parent can have a big impact upon your child’s life now and in the future. Dealing with an alcoholic dad can cause many issues for your children now and in the future, but it does not mean that they cannot grow into an independent and well-balanced adult. It may just take a little more effort and self-discipline for them. What can you do to support them?
Be there. Many times these children just need someone to listen to them and be there for them. Encourage them to get their feelings out by talking to you, talking to a professional, or by journaling. This can give them the outlet that they need to be able to deal with the feelings that they are having. Whether you are their mom, another family member, or just a friend, you want to give them the comfort and space to express their feelings.
Offer them help. Getting them involved with a support group may be another way to give them some support. This can also lead to their dad getting help as well. A reputable support group for children of alcoholics can be invaluable in giving children resources and support that just cannot be done by someone that does not have professional experience with alcoholics. This can lead them to the professional help and assistance that they need, as well as giving them the support of other children of alcoholics.
Give them opportunities to do things for themselves. Children of alcoholics need time away from the situation and this includes doing fun activities and more. Other things include encouraging them with after school activities and hanging out with friends. You want to encourage them to have as normal of a life as possible and this includes doing activities with their friends and with their school.
Watch for signs of abuse. Whether physical, verbal, or mental abuse, you want to be sure that you keep an eye out for signs that a child is being abused. Depression, bruises, changes in grades, and other behavioral issues can be signs that there is some sort of abuse going on. Don’t be afraid to take action if you suspect abuse of any kind by talking to their school counselor or going to the proper authorities.
Having an alcoholic dad can make life more stressful and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to mean that a child’s life cannot be as normal as possible. By offering them support by listening, getting them professional help, encouraging them to do activities, and watching for abuse, you can better aid them in dealing with the situation. While getting the dad help is important, the physical and mental health of a child living with an alcoholic dad is just as important, if not more so.