When you have a parent who struggles with alcoholism, it can be difficult to navigate the situation and know how to have a relationship with them as the child. Although you may not have planned to be the parent, there are still a few steps you can take to approach the situation in the best way possible while providing support to your loved one.
Signs of Alcoholism
Although it can be hard to accept the fact that a parent may be dealing with alcoholism, there are a few signs to look for to confirm if they’re suffering from addiction. If you live in the same household as your parents, you may notice they can start to have small accidents or make frequent mistakes. They may also start to experience health problems as a result of drinking but fail to cut back or reduce their consumption even with ailments that develop.
It can be easy to feel alone when you don’t have the love or care of a parent who is suffering from alcoholism. It’s important to obtain support from other adults who can understand your situation and offer their sympathy and advice. Having someone to talk to can allow you to have a place where you feel safe and can talk freely about what you’re going through. In some cases, it can help to talk to a professional therapist to process your feelings and obtain proper guidance.
Support groups are also available where you can relate to other individuals who are in the same situation and can relate to your feelings and emotions.
Communicating with your parents is one of the best ways to approach the situation and help them to understand the severity of the situation. In many cases, the child may be one of the only people they listen to and can motivate them to seek the help they need to recover. Approach the parent when they’re not intoxicated to ensure it’s easier to talk and get your point across. Instead of making accusations, make it clear that you’re concerned about their well-being, and want the best for them. If they deny there’s an issue, agree to have another conversation about it in the future.
Understand You’re Not Responsible
It can be easy to assume that your parent’s addiction is your fault, which can lead to a lot of guilt and shame. Understand that you can’t blame yourself for your parent’s actions and decisions and are not in control of their behavior. There may have been times when you caused trouble in the home or were involved in conflict with your parents, but it’s not the cause of an alcohol addiction.
Knowing how to parent a parent with alcoholism can make it easier to handle the situation and separate yourself from it to protect your feelings and emotions. It can also be easier to help your parents get the help they need with the support and care that you show them.