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The Effects Alcoholic Parents Have on Their Kids

The Effects Alcoholic Parents Have on Their Kids

Alcoholics at times do not comprehend the ramifications they have on their own lives, so recognizing the effects on those around them often goes unnoticed. Having the understanding to recognize patterns that destabilize normalcy can stop a vicious cycle from occurring. There are multiple routes to the formation of negative cycles in people’s lives, recognizing these prior to falling into their traps will ensure a more balanced life. If one is objective about the outcome of their actions, it would be easy for anyone to recognize the importance of changing their actions.

The effects of alcoholism on children can be subtle, obvious, or even remain dormant for years. Knowing what some of these situations are can allow people to start earlier to help mitigate the negative effects. Children are very influential, it is important to have a proper place for their development to be channeled along the most positive path.

Cycles of Neglect

Alcoholics often neglect the important responsibilities in their lives, children included. The ramifications of this neglect can develop into many different physical or psychological issues. Neglect is not just underfeeding or not providing essentials for children, not that this doesn’t happen, but can be psychological as well.

Those who are chained by the use of alcohol can be present in many aspects of a child’s life, but unavailable in other important matters. When parents are unable to be the necessary positive role model children often fall to the wayside.

This can lead to psychological issues such as feeling unwanted or a sense of not being enough. Children with these patterns of thought will continue to hold onto these paradigms well into adulthood, and inevitably create negative ripples within their own life.

Creation of Negative Habits

Having alcoholic parents can form negative habits for children to emulate. The creation of these habits can create a vicious cycle in which children that witness parents drinking will normalize this behavior.

After negative patterns are normalized, it is very easy for these children to fall into similar patterns. As children become stuck in these cycles of confusion, they develop negative patterns of their own. As children become teens, it is far more likely that they will fall down similar patterns as their parents, creating potential negativity for themselves and others in their lives.

While the continuation of a negative paradigm is tragic, other ramifications can occur which have different, yet also negative results. Some children that watch these negative results occur create habits that are on the other end of the spectrum.

Some become workaholics, others can develop psychological issues such as constantly seeking approval from people, or judging themselves to unrealistic standards. Putting an end to these cycles of behavior before they are formed into habits is incredibly important.

The Effects Alcoholic Parents Have on Their Kids

Violence Towards or Around Children

Judgment is often skewed when drinking, which can progress to the misdirection of emotion, and potentially lead to violence against innocent people. When children are brought into this situation, the effects can be significantly damaging. A physical altercation would of course be traumatizing to children, but verbal violence can cause significant damage in its own right.

Children that live in these violent environments are often placed in a state of fight or flight and often remain in this state for extended periods of time. This chemical condition occurs when under stress, and physically shuts down certain functions of the body, when this occurs disproportionately to the parasympathetic response (the relaxing mode of the body) physical problems can potentially develop.

Any violence in a household is terrible, but violence resulting from alcohol abuse can be especially vicious. It is important to know there are resources that can help if this is happening in your environment. Just knowing that an option exists can help motivate people to find the help they need to escape negative paradigms.

Acceptance of Negative Role Models

Children who have alcoholic parents often lack a positive role model in their lives. The more time that is spent with these negative examples, the more likely it is that young individuals will find this behavior normal and actually begin to seek it in other relationships. Accepting others that have negative habits will only encourage the development of those habits in children.

Having a positive role model for children is vital, and when one is not available children will latch on to anyone that is around, even if they are also producing disproportionately negative energy. This is because the negative paradigm is so familiar to the children that grow up with it, that it is difficult to comprehend the negativity these people create.

Trust Issues Can Develop

There are so many issues that result from an upbringing by alcoholic parents. A diminished ability to trust can potentially lead to strained relationships with other people. The normalization of their alcoholic family members can instill the thought that every adult is untrustworthy and unstable.

For example, if in the past a child’s parents were angered easily, it could be very easy for children to believe everyone has a short fuse, and that walking on eggshells is a must. These patterns can manifest in many different ways, and lacking the ability to trust others can lead to even more negativity.

When people lack the ability to trust in other people, their own lives are significantly affected. Relationships lack intimacy, potential positive paths can be missed, leading to life feeling less than it should, which can lead to a lack of motivation and the potential to lead a shell of a life.

Trust is essential for life to blossom beautifully. It is unfortunate that such negativity can impact children’s lives. That is why it is imperative to look at life and change what is not creating positivity.

No Sense of Normalcy

Alcoholics are sporadic and uncertain people. Those that spend time around them are often put in a position of trying to react to their unpredictable nature. Children need proper examples of stable adults to emulate in their lives.

When the normal provider is unstable, there is no foundation to fall back upon, and this leads to children being lost in life. When children get lost early enough in life, it is very difficult to get back on a positive path throughout the rest of their lives.

The issues that arise in everyday family life can be stressful, when this is mixed with alcohol the stress can be significantly more. Even when a child spends time away from their chaotic environment stress can be created because noticing how non-alcoholic families interact can create shame in their psyche, further destabilizing their mental sphere.


The solution to ending children growing up with alcoholic parents is to shed light on the devastating issue. There are many negative issues associated with being an alcoholic, the worst has to be the effect which transmits to the alcoholic’s family, especially children. Discussing what truly happens when a child grows with alcoholic providers is the only way to begin to change the issue itself.

The normalization of alcohol use is a problem within our society. There are far better ways to spend time and energy. Having open discussions within communities would only strengthen bonds and create more positive effects emanating from these ripples.

While it can seem like a daunting task to try and tackle, putting an end to the negativity caused by alcoholic parents is essential. Look at your life with true honesty, if there are negative results from your drinking, perhaps it is time to change. The importance of a positive environment for children to grow in can not be overstated. The best way to start toward a path of positivity is to first release the negative which does nothing to serve you.

More people need to see the reality of their choices and make the choices that are best for not only themselves but those in their lives. If Alcohol is a problem in your life, really think about the ramifications it has on those around you. The best motivator for many to change their habits is because of how it affects loved ones. The first step to this is authentic honesty. Truly look at oneself, notice the negative, and have the courage to change if necessary.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and doesn’t know where to turn, reach out to us at ecosoberhouse.com. We have the materials you need to help you get started on your path to sobriety.

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