The Impact That An Alcoholic Male May Have On His Child
We all know that addiction hurts. It hurts the person dealing with the disease, and it hurts the people who care about the individual suffering from it. It can turn into a cycle; and the key to breaking it is recognizing when the cycle begins.
Being in any kind of relationship with an alcoholic can be taxing. However, there is a unique impact that an alcoholic parent has on their child – more specifically, that an alcoholic father has on his daughter.
Alcohol’s Role In A Child’s Development
A parent who is an alcoholic has an impact on their child much sooner than they probably think they do. In fact, babies with an alcoholic parent can show certain tendencies when they’re as young as a few months old. For example, infants of alcoholics tend to be more stubborn and have more angry fits in response to either neglect or the behavior of the parent.
And, of course, being an alcoholic can affect your ability to parent from the beginning. Men with alcohol issues who become fathers, for instance, may speak less or engage in little positive involvement with their baby. This typically does not get better with age if the alcohol abuse continues.
Growing Up In A Home With Alcoholism
Children need a predictable and stable life; and unfortunately, you don’t usually get that when you have an alcoholic parent. The lives of alcoholics can be chaotic and unpredictable, which can conflict with the demanding schedules of young children. And ultimately, kids take in what they see and become affected by it later on.
A Different Kind of Father-Daughter Dynamic
One of the relationships that can be the most sensitive to alcoholism down the line is the father-daughter relationship. Daughters with alcoholic fathers are not only at a high risk for developing alcoholism themselves, but they are also more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.
Aside from the disorders that daughters of alcoholic dads are at risk for, they also have to carry around a lot of emotional baggage. These girls may crave acceptance from their fathers and always try to prove themselves, only to be possibly disappointed.
How Having An Alcoholic Dad Can Affect You As An Adult
Living with an alcoholic father can have a large impact on women as they grow up as well. Some traits or characteristics that the child of an alcoholic may experience include:
Inflexibility – starting to rely on your routine because it keeps you safe.
Loneliness & Shame – being affected from not receiving attention at a young age
Guilt & Self-Criticism – feeling like a parent’s behavior is somehow your fault
Trust Issues – feeling like everyone else will treat you poorly, too
Overachieving – feeling the need to be perfect & people-please
Hypersensitivity – being extremely sensitive over mild criticism
Obligation – thinking you always need to take care of others
Of course, having an alcoholic father is a different experience for every woman who goes through it. However, there is always hope for living a happy and fulfilling life while having an alcoholic parent.
Living Life With An Alcoholic Father
There’s no right or wrong way to handle having a father with alcoholism. But the most important thing to remember is that you need to put yourself first. He might try to put you down or make you feel guilty, so establishing and maintaining confidence is key.
To help manage the anxious feelings you get from having an alcoholic father, you could start by either communicating with him directly or consulting a therapist that specializes in cases like this. In your down time, be sure to implement beneficial habits and practice self-care.
To learn more about the effects of alcoholism on children, contact our team of substance abuse and addiction professionals by visiting us here or calling 267.719.8528.