Living with an alcoholic is even more difficult when you have kids that are seeing this display. It is hard to explain to kids why one parent has to drink and not do anything with the family. In many cases, kids ask questions that need to be answered and you have a hard time doing it. You do not want them to hate the parent that drinks, but you also do not wan them to follow in the same footsteps. They also might not want to have friends over because of the drinking. As a parent, you have to talk to the kids so that they understand.
Be honest with the kids. If they have questions, you have to give them truthful answers. You do not have to say that the parent is a drunk, but you do have to explain that drinking is a disease and the parent needs help, but is not getting it. Explaining and answering their questions can be hard. Sometimes you just want to tell them that you do not know why the person drinks, but then you are not helping them understand anything. You need to be truthful, but you also have to shield them from some things about the alcoholic.
They have friends and they do not want their friends to see a drunken parent. This can be very hard for kids to understand. This is especially hard on the kids if the other kid’s parents are the ones forbidding the kids to come to your house. Many parents do not want their kids subjected to the problems or the alcohol abuse. They are afraid of what might happen. This hard for the kids and when the other kids cannot come and play at their house, they can become lonely and depressed.
You have to be strong for the kids, but you also need to make sure that they have a good life. This can be done by being there fro them and taking them to places where they will have fun with other kids. Sometimes it is easier to let the kids play at the neighbor’s house so they are not around the drinking, but then they are not getting the attention they need from the non-drinking parent. It is hard to have kids in a home where an alcoholic resides.
Ask them how they feel and listen. You need to understand how the kids feel. They have no one to talk to but you. It is not like they can discuss their feelings with their friends. You have to be there for them and listen to how they feel. It is not uncommon for children of alcoholic parents to grow up to drink. They are learning at a young age that drinking is acceptable unless you tell them differently.
Make sure that the kids understand that this is not how people should live. You have to stress the unhealthiness of drinking. You are the teacher and you have to make sure that the kids do not grow up thinking that this way of living is all there is for them. If you need help talking to a child, support groups and even a church minister can help. Children of alcoholic parents need to have some structure in their life outside of the home. You have to make sure that the kids are happy and well cared for so that they grow up to be well-adjusted adults even if you live with an alcoholic.