If you are a parent in an alcohol affected home…

If you are a parent in an alcohol affected home:

  • Be flexible regarding the demands you make on yourself and your children, remembering that problematic situations call for adaptable measures
  • Try not to isolate yourself and your family from outside interaction or from interaction within your home
  • Do not blame your children for wanting to get help
  • The alcoholic is not to be excused from parenting
  • Avoid pressuring your children either verbally or with your actions, to take sides in conflicts you have with your spouse
  • Avoid using the opinions of your children about the use of alcohol or the alcoholic parent to get at the alcoholic
  • When the home situation is excessively disruptive or verbally abusive and your children go off to be alone, seek them out and comfort them
  • Avoid placing your oldest child in the position of being a confidant or surrogate parent to replace your spouse as a parent.
  • Encourage and support your children to become involved in school and community activities
  • Try to arrange times for your children to have their friends visit regularly
  • Avoid exacting promises from your children that they will never drink
  • Avoid constantly asking your children if you should leave your spouse
  • Educate yourself about alcoholism and community resources
  • Become involved in community resources or self help groups for family members of alcoholics
  • If you alcoholic spouse seeks help, try to become involved as a family in the treatment process
  • Do not dwell on the past, learn from it
  • Use alternatives and new endeavours, not old habits
  • Stop doing what you do not do (start being a positive parent)
  • Take care of yourself and get help NOW.

From: Robert Ackerman, 1987, Children of alcoholics – a guide for parents, educators, and therapists, Fireside, Simon & Schuster

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