Alcoholic Parent: Its Effects on Kids

3 minutes

“The nights that year were so difficult for Sareena. Her father was struggling with instability at work. As a result of the stress, he had started drinking every night. For a 15 years old, who had been so close to her parents, these daily fights at home between her parents and hearing the bottles crashing on the floor was nothing less than a nightmare.”

Alcoholic Parent: Its Effects on Kids

Alcohol is just another drink consumed by people all over the world. But when it comes to alcoholism, excessive intake of it, its been an inflammable liquid that has burnt so many homes. Many of us have parents or one or the other member in the family who is an alcoholic. Kids with parents who are alcoholic, have varied emotions ranging from stress, anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness, and helplessness.

A few of the many ways in which alcoholic parents affect kids are:

Emotional health

Environment at home contributes a lot to the mental and emotional health of a child. A child becomes emotionally weak and longs for the protective feeling that only parents can offer. Even when they become adults, a small scene or fight shakes them from inside because the fears that were deeply buried come to surface.

Sense of responsibility

Children have to act far beyond their age. They start hiding their feelings. Who must have been carefree and enjoying, spending time in finding ways how to help their parents. Unable to control the situations, they feel helpless and even start blaming themselves for the deteriorating health of their parents. If they have younger siblings, then they consider themselves as guardians and sacrifice their own happiness for their siblings’ comforts.


It becomes difficult for kids to take their parents to gatherings. The kids feel embarrassed if their parent drinks too much at a public place. This in turn affects the parent child relationship too because its not the person who consumes drinks is bad. Its the alcohol. The confidence of the parent gets broken seeing the child’s retreat. Also, kids don’t call their friends at home neither, they feel comfortable sharing the problems with others. Whats left is only a desire to have a normal happy family like their friends.

Nor a child can prevent his parents from falling prey to alcoholism, neither can he solely make them sober. The person himself needs to be ready to change. Being ignorant is fatal in these cases. Family is a support system of a person. If any member falls, others must be ready to help him and so is the duty of kids to help their parents if they are struggling with alcoholism. In dire situations, kids must keep the betterment and the health of their parents above their own personal goals and ambitions. Needless to say, seeing a recovering and sober parent reconciling with the society and living a joyful life is the greatest fulfilment for the kids as well.


Sonali Gupta is a B-Tech student from The LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur and a member of the Literary Committee of her institution. She believes in the words that, "Whenever there are tough times and one needs to find magic, all they need to look into is the mirror." She likes to call herself an explorer in the journey of self-discovery and she considers being able to rightly define herself, would be her destination in life. For her YourDOST is a platform to help herself, in the process of helping others.