Alcoholism & Your Child
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Alcoholism & Your Child

The child gets a lot of negative feedback about you, both from you and others, and internalises it within himself.

health and fitness Updated: Jun 24, 2003 21:34 IST

Your child:

Lacks a role model: The school may teach honesty and integrity. But the child sees anger, violence, irresponsibility and dishonesty at home. The conflicting values leave the child confused. It may slip quite easily into lying or may get cynical about the right values.

Loses self-esteem: The child gets a lot of negative feedback about you, both from you and others. The child internalises it all and feels a little ashamed of you.

Is afraid and anxious: Infants and young children need to be cuddled and hugged as an expression of love and care. When there is tension in the household, the child tries to cling to someone. It cannot cling to you because it is never sure of how you might react. The child may cling to its mother but this sometimes vexes her and she shows it. So the child ends up being depressed. A child may not be able to deal with this feeling. It may begin to be afraid - of the future, tense situations, other people’s anger and so on. This affects the way the child handles situations as an adult too.

Becomes preoccupied: Due to the disturbances at home or due to the fact little attention is paid to the child, it is unable to concentrate on studies.

Is unable to have fun: This simple joy of childhood is not possible for children of some alcoholics. They are burdened by the angry, serious business of life as witnessed at home. They never see much joy in the house. They are not able to let go and have good fun that children should normally have.

Is unable to communicate or trust: The best way the child can handle you is to keep away from you. It cannot confide in you or trust you to respond in any particular way. For instance, if the child won a prize, you might laud the child if you were sober. If you were drunk, the news might not have any impact or worse you might mock the child!


First Published: Jun 24, 2003 21:34 IST