How does alcohol affect parenting?

How does alcohol affect parenting? It’s fairly uncommon for children to grow up in a home where one or both parents are alcoholics. According to a survey by the Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 1 in 8, or 8.7 million, children aged 17 and under have lived in a home with a parent who has a substance abuse disorder in the previous year. That truth is not without ramifications.

 

Children are affected by their parents’ alcohol usage from the moment they are conceived. For example, infants born to moms who drink while pregnant might develop foetal alcohol syndrome, which is a life-long disease. Even alcoholic dads, though, can have an effect on a child’s development at the time of conception.

 

According to one study, kids whose dads consume high quantities of alcohol before conception may have brain development problems. Furthermore, male newborns appear to have these problems more commonly than female neonates.

 

How does alcohol affect parenting? Affects Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Development

It’s common knowledge that a mother’s alcoholism has a significant impact on her children’s early development, but it’s less generally recognised that the father’s alcoholism can have an impact as well.

 

Even individuals who maintain that their drinking has no effect on anybody except themselves may be startled to learn that their alcoholism, depression, and other emotional disorders can have an impact on their children well before they reach the age of twelve months.

 

The social, emotional, and cognitive development of children with alcoholic dads was researched by researchers at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA). Kenneth Leonard, Ph.D. and his colleagues at the RIA studied the development of children with alcoholic dads compared to a control group at the ages of 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months.

 

Guilt

Children of alcoholic parents frequently blame themselves for their parents’ drinking. They may feel that if they were different, their father would stop drinking. Despite the fact that this is never the case, it is not difficult for youngsters to reach these judgments.

 

Anxiety

When children live with a father who drinks heavily, they may be concerned about what the day holds. Living with a substance abuser brings with it a lot of uncertainty and unpredictability. And, if a youngster is subjected to physical or mental abuse in addition to drinking, the degree of worry he or she experiences might be amplified.

 

Embarrassment

Excessive drinking is frequently accompanied with concealment. As a result, youngsters may feel unable to share their family lives. They may also be apprehensive about inviting friends around since they don’t know how their father would react. In certain situations, dads will arrive at school functions or athletic events while inebriated, causing shame.

 

Anger

Being furious becomes a protective strategy for children who live with a father who consumes alcohol. It seems more empowered to be enraged at the world than to face their own dread and bewilderment. Furthermore, children may be enraged not only by their father, but also by their non-alcoholic parents for failing to do more to safeguard them.

 

How does alcohol affect parenting? Confusion

To thrive, children require structure in their lives. It’s also unpredictably difficult to live with someone who consumes alcohol. As a result, children are frequently perplexed since no two days in their lives are the same. Due to alcohol addiction, mealtimes and bedtimes are always shifting.

 

Depression

Even if they have siblings, children whose fathers drink alcohol typically feel quite alone and alienated. They are frequently convinced that no one understands or cares about their plight. A child’s early sorrow and worry may develop into serious depression.

 

In fact, children of drinkers are more prone to suffer sadness and anxiety, according to one research. They’re also more prone to have low self-esteem and suffer from social phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, physical injuries, and separation anxiety.

 

Having a Hard Time Forming Close Relationships

Because alcoholic dads aren’t usually trustworthy, children think that everyone in their life will be the same. Because they’ve been let down so many times, it’s understandable that they expect everyone to behave the same way.

 

As a result, they are generally hesitant to develop relationships with others, and even when they do, they have difficulty trusting the people they do let in.

 

Read also: What Should You Do If You’re Being Gaslighted?

Read also: Gaslighting at Work: How to Stop Gaslighting at Work