How Growing Up With Alcoholic Parents Affects Children

There are many negative consequences and effects of alcoholic fathers on a daughter’s development and wellbeing. So, working with a therapist for adult children of alcoholics at Wisdom Within Counseling helps you gain self-worth tools. Therefore, the Wisdom Within Counseling team wants you to know that you are perfect just the way you are. Even if that may be hard to believe right now, holistic, Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Sober House creative, somatic therapies help resolve complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Experts highly recommend working with a therapist, particularly one who specializes in trauma or substance use disorders. According to Peifer, a mental health professional can help you connect deep-rooted fears and wounds stemming from childhood to behaviors, responses, and patterns showing up in your adult life.

  • Being an adult child of an alcoholic leaves the person reeling and looking for answers.
  • But it can make for traumatic childhoods in families with addiction and related issues.
  • The type of therapy you pursue may depend on the issues you’re most concerned about.
  • The term “adult child of an alcoholic” describing adults who grew up in alcoholic, or dysfunctional homes with addiction.

Children in households with alcohol addiction may have to mature at an accelerated pace. In these households, children may have to take on a caretaker role for their parents or siblings. Although assuming this type of family role at a young age can be a lot of pressure, some positive character traits can develop.


Although nobody asks to grow up living with alcoholic parents or has a choice in the matter, it is important to recognize these children’s resiliency. The findings from this study showed that the women described themselves as having difficulties with establishing relationships and generally lacking trust in others. In addition, the women saw themselves as having low self-worth and self-esteem, which decreased their confidence in communicating problems and concerns to their ANC providers.

  • Developing an open and comfortable conversation is essential to properly convey thoughts and concerns about a parent’s unhealthy drinking habits.
  • In counseling, we can help you believe in yourself again and let go of the negative memories of your childhood.
  • Also, your friends have say they remember your parents drunk and irresponsible.

As advocates of mental health and wellness, we take great pride in educating our readers on the various online therapy providers available. MentalHelp has partnered with several thought leaders in the mental health and wellness space, so we can help you make informed decisions on your wellness journey. MentalHelp may receive marketing compensation from these companies should you choose to use their services.

Health Complications from Alcohol Abuse

If you’re concerned about the habits of an alcoholic parent, start by learning the signs of alcohol use disorder. If these signs verify that you may be dealing with an alcoholic parent, approach them in a calm and non-judgmental manner to offer support while considering treatment options. Broaching the issue of alcoholism or poor drinking behavior is never easy. You can do it alone, or try setting up an intervention with other family members or friends they respect. An alcoholic parent may attempt to avoid the conversation, so picking the right time and words to address the issue is best. While it’s normal for many to drink on occasion, binge drinking or routine alcohol consumption can pose serious risks to your physical and mental health.

alcoholic parent trauma

Conversely, Peifer notes that some children who grow up in these environments may become more attention-seeking in order to fulfill the needs their parents couldn’t meet. They might eventually form unstable or unhealthy attachments to others, partially because these bonds feel familiar. Trauma, such as growing up in an alcoholic home, can leave the adult child of an alcoholic in isolation and at higher risk for depression. Growing up in an alcoholic home can also lead to poor self-care routines leaving the person open for disease.

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