If you have children in the home, you must protect them from alcohol abuse. These means that they have to be protected form the alcohol and the alcoholic that may be abusive. Kids are very impressionable and learn from what they see or what is done to them. You have to be the one to break the cycle. If you do not protect the children from the abuse no matter if it is physical or because they see a parent drinking, they could grow up with the same tendencies. As a parent or even a friend, you must step in and prevent any problems before they start.
Kids will follow in the footsteps of a parent if they do not understand the consequences. This is not always true, but in most cases, it is what happens. Even if a child does not take after the parent, they may grow up to accept this type of behavior and put their own lives in danger or have nothing but heartache. You have to protect the children so that they know that this is not the way to live. However, sometimes this can be hard to do if you want to remain in the home.
If there is abuse in the home because of alcohol, you need to shield the kids from this abuse. If the abuse is physical, mental or verbal, kids should not have to live with it. it the abuse is watching their parent drink themselves into a drunken state, they need to know that this is not how people should live. As a parent, you have to make a decision whether to stay or take you children somewhere else where they will not be subjected to the abusive behavior or have to watch mom or dad drink themselves to death.
Never tell the kids that drinking is just something you do. It is not something that you just do. They need to understand that alcoholism is a disease that can have devastating affects on the person the family. This is important for children to understand. This does not mean that telling them that their parent is a loser or a bad person. You have to be truthful without being demeaning to the parent with the problem. Children are smart and will know that other families do live as you do.
You may need to leave the home for a while if the drinking leads to abusive behavior. This is the only way to protect the children and make sure that they do not grow up thinking that this is acceptable behavior. You also do not want to keep them in an abusive home. Not all alcoholics drink all the time, but even so, the kids should not be subjected to any abusive behavior from a parent. They also should be told that drinking is all right. As they grow up, they would stand a good chance of following in the footsteps of the alcoholic parent.
Take the kids to Al-Anon so that they have someone other than you to talk with. This is very important so that the kids have someone to talk to and listen to other kids in the same situation. If they have somewhere to go with others their age, it could help them understand what is happening and how to cope with their home life. It can also help them understand if you have to leave the home.
Talk with the kids if they have questions. You have to be honest without being judgmental. The kids will understand more if you talk to them instead of trying to hide the problem. Kids today, know more than what parents knew when they were kids and they see and hear things that they probably should not. This is the reason that you must be honest. Never badmouth the alcoholic parent because the kids could resent you.
When you are talking to the kids, ask them if they have questions and try to answer them the best you can. You can also expect to be asked why mom or dad yells at them or why the person has to do the things that he or she does. Answer honestly and try to help them understand.