Growing up with an alcoholic father can be a very confusing, frightening, and sorrowful experience for children. There are many potential negative effects on children’s mental, emotional, and physical health from living with an alcoholic parent. Here is some essential information about the shocking impacts on children from living with an alcoholic father.
Effects of an Alcoholic Father On a Child
Being raised in a home with an alcoholic father can adversely impact children in many ways. (The effects of alcohol on children in cases of alcoholic mothers can be even more profound.) For example, children of alcoholic parents can experience:
- Increasing and continuing emotional difficulties
- Problems coping, for example:
- Difficulty connecting with people
- Behavioral issues, for example:
- Social withdrawal
- Substance abuse
- Violent behavior
- Suicidal behavior
- Frequent physical symptoms, such as:
- Stomach aches
- Increased premature mortality:
- Violent death
Are Alcohol Abusers Likely to Abandon or Abuse Children?
Data indicates that alcohol abuse can damage a person’s brain, behavior, and relationships. There may be a higher probability of physical abuse or neglect, or sexual abuse. Alcoholics may repeatedly abandon their families, causing children repeated suffering throughout their formative years. For kids with alcoholic parents, the home may be disorganized or chaotic, creating an environment of instability, insecurity, neglect, violence, physical abuse, and exposure to incidents of abuse or violence inflicted on other family members.
Lasting Effects on Adult Children of Alcoholic Fathers
If you have looked back on growing up as a child with an alcoholic father, you may still suffer the serious impacts of that experience. You may recognize the effects that those early years have had on your life. Perhaps you have continuing psychological or emotional problems that are linked to your childhood circumstances. A first step to healing is to recognize that some effects that an alcoholic father can have on your life do not necessarily stop after childhood.
Adult children of alcoholic fathers can struggle with ongoing social and emotional problems. For example, anxiety, low self-esteem, resentment, communication difficulties, relationship problems, anger, and others. Alcoholism in a parent may account for a genetic component that amounts to about half of a person’s risk for alcohol addiction.
Getting Help Healing from the Effects of an Alcoholic Parent
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of mental or emotional effects from your childhood with an alcoholic parent, discuss your concerns with a professional. You and your loved ones may benefit significantly from your choice to get the right kind of help to overcome the often lasting severe effects on children in that situation.
Resources for Children of Alcoholic Parent
There are nationwide resources for children of alcoholic parents, including these, among numerous others:
- National Association for Children of Addiction
- Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA)/Dysfunctional Families
- The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
Best Alcohol Treatment – Renaissance Recovery Center, Gilbert AZ
Renaissance Recovery Center provides a free assessment for adult children of alcoholic parents who may be suffering from mental health effects from that early experience. Or, if you believe that you have developed an alcohol addiction, don’t wait. Call us for help today. Our team of professionals works with adults affected by childhood with an alcoholic parent to identify and overcome the often life-long impact of living in extreme conditions through their formative years.