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Children Growing Up With An Alcoholic Parent

Updated on May 5, 2012

From the beginning of our lives when we were born, we as children looked up to our parents for guidance and love from the very start of our life.

Many of us where brought up in a safe and loving environment and then there are those children that went through their childhood years in fear and sadness. This could be for many different reason, but one of the most damaging ones are children growing up with an alcoholic parent.

My sister and I grew up in a household that nether my Mother or Father drank alcohol or smoked, so I often wondered how I got myself in the mess I was in being addicted to alcohol. I sure didn't inherent my addiction to alcohol from them.

I guess we were very fortunate being able to feel safe and sound in our house knowing that every night there would be peace in our home, not like some of our friends that hated to even go home for fear of what they would be faced with by their alcoholic parents.

There were some families that only one spouse was addicted to alcohol and then there some that unfortunately had two parents that were addicted to alcohol and that is a recipe for disaster.



Finding Our Way Out Of Our Addiction

For myself, now living the clean life and living it sober, I look back in my past and really feel a shamed of myself and very mad about what I put my family through all those years I drank alcohol.

I can't not believe that I had no willpower to stay away from my alcohol demons that took complete control of my life, body and mind. They say, we all learn by our mistakes and that is so true, but I wish I knew then what I know now, and now look at me, writing everyday trying to help those that are addicted to alcohol and possibly putting their innocent children through hell in plain words.

My children and yours are too young to understand what you are doing, and by them seeing you do the same thing day in and day out they think to themselves, it must be the normal thing to do. It saddens me to no end that I exposed my children to this horrible addiction we call alcohol and their Father was an alcoholic and will hold this title forever more.

This title will be something I will never forget or my family will not forget, but the good news is that all that is behind us and we are starting to re-build our lives and get closer to each other, love each other more and have the respect for each other. No more quilt or embarrassment in this family anymore.

If you are an alcoholic and have small children you should really take a good look at your life and how your life is effecting the ones that love and look up to you. It is never too late to make that change my friends and be the parent that your children will look up to, respect and be proud of. Lets try to change our lives if not for yourself, do it for the innocent children involved in your life. They deserve more than seeing their parent drinking alcohol and not acting like the parent our children want to have.

Learn to live without your crutch and learn to be the parent your children want to have and be proud of.

There are a couple of different types of alcoholics, one being the type that drink so much they just pass out and never bother a soul. They keep to there self, but are totally useless to their family and really to them self. They only have one thing to live for and that's the addiction to alcohol which is a terrible shame.

Then we have the alcoholic that drinks to get drunk as the first one mentioned , but the difference is that this alcoholic get violent, starts unnecessary arguments, verbally abuse the children and spouse and unfortunate physical violence does occur.

Our children that witness these acts of verbal and physical violence will remember them for the rest of their lives and in some cases these innocent children will be scarred forever.

Think about it, "How can we possibly, as adults, expose these innocent children that love and adore us and look up to us as parents witness these acts of violence and furthermore, we as the parent expect these children to grow up and be well respected people to our society. Many of these children will be ruined inside form our actions they witnessed as they we young."

Think Before You Drink

As I have said so many times in other hubs and articles I have written, is to "Think Before You Drink." Before you decide to tilt that bottle up again, look around at your family and young children and ask yourself is my drinking alcohol really worth the harm it will cause my children and spouse?"

Anyone can stop drinking alcohol, but the big question is, " Are you willing to surrender to your addiction?"

Try out sobriety, you might just fall in love with it and when you do, you will be asking yourself why couldn't I have done this years ago. Sobriety is a wonderful thing and I am here say it, live it, and explain to others that it is totally possible for anyone, you just have to want it!


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    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      5 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      cat tales 1-10- Thank you for your comment. I feel so bad that you had to go through that horrible thing in your life. It sure does leave scars to the children. I am always thinking even to this day how I scared my wife and children with all the drinking I did over the years.

      Thank God I saw the light in 2009 and have been sober ever since . God Bless you and your family and I will head over and read your hub as well.

    • cat tales 1-10 profile image

      cat tales 1-10 

      5 years ago from St. Paul, Minnesota

      I am one of those children and as you may notice by my stories (if you get a chance to check them out) you will see how my life was affected by dysfunction. Not only from an alcoholic father but from my mentally ill mother. I like you.. am a survivor and have made it through but not without scars. Keep writing as it helps others and yourself.

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      7 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      cardelean - Thanks again for your comment. Yes I do understand now how someone that is addicted to any type of drug harms our innocent children. I never realized that when I drank, but now I am here to put that very point across to the parents of young children. I hope they listen and think about what they are doing. That's all I pray for.

      God Bless you and yours Dear:)

    • cardelean profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Awareness is such an important thing to understand how your actions affect the people around you. Unfortunately with most addictions, the addicted person is very selfish as a result of the addiction. I have had my own experiences as a child of a substance abuser, and unfortunately I see it in my students as well. I know that there are many kids in my class that experience the very things that you express in your hub. Thanks for your candor and keep up the great work.

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      7 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Denise - I am always so glad to hear from you. I think we both have gone through some tough times in our lives before and now, but we are very strong people and we can get through anything and having friends like you, (with your kind words always) makes problems just a bit easier. Thanks for always being there Denise.

      We just need to keep that Positive Attitude and keep marching forward.

      And Some BIG HUGS 2 U 2 :):):):)

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      7 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      bayoulady You are so right. I have walked in those shoes and have much experience in just how an addiction could ruin your life and others as well. Thank you for your comment and nice to hear from you again also!! :)

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      7 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Annie - Thank you so much Annie!!

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      7 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Mighty Mom - It is so nice to hear from you and just want to say thank you so much for commenting on this hub. Means a lot to me and thanks for your kind words!!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Marky-this one was a tough one to face, wasn't it...but, facing it without recrimanation to yourself is healthy and important. Thanks for sharing an intimate truth about the effects of alcohol on the family. Well written, as usual. I voted it up and useful.

      (((Hugs to you)))

      Two more to go !! :)

    • bayoulady profile image


      7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Your articles always speak truth, because you have walked way more than a mile in "those shoes". keep on telling it like it is!

    • annmackiemiller profile image


      7 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      another briliant hub Mark -

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hello The Clean Life. I just happened to log in and your hub came up so I thought I'd stop by.

      I believe both types of alcoholic parent you identify are dangerous and harmful their children. It's scary and embarrassing to find you mom or dad passed out. Especially if it's on the lawn or somewhere public!

      But there are infinite numbers of ways alcoholic drinking impacts families.

      It's such a horrible situation for all. And the worst part is the kids suffer and when the parent is really, really in their addiction, they can't even hear their own kids begging them to stop. Real alcoholics cannot stop for anyone except themselves. It's harsh, but true.

      I'm so glad you are putting your life and family back together.

      We can't undo our pasts. But we can make living amends to our families every day we live sober.

      Great hub. Voting up and helpful! MM

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      7 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      My Stories - Thank you so much. I have a lot of experience unfortunately with drinking and this is why I want to share with the world that it is never too late to change your life. As I sad in the hub, we learn by our mistakes and I have certainly learned. I am glad that alcohol has turned you off. Believe me, you don't want that addiction to take hold of you, trust me, because if it does, it will be the hardest thing you will ever have to do to get back to sobriety.

      Thank you again for you kind comment and keep writing. I see you score climbing up each day. Good Job!!

    • My Stories profile image

      My Stories 

      7 years ago

      Thank you the clean life. That was such a wonderful story. I really enjoy reading your hubs. It reminds of watching "Intervention" and how those people with addictions mess up their families and they don't even realize it. I wasn't an alcoholic, but when I would drink (usually for an occassion) it was a disaster. The last time did it. You don't realize how embarrassing your actions are until someone tells you what you did. I have a different view of alcohol now. Let's just say, I am completely turned off by it. I will continue to read your stories and learn from them.

      Voted up, useful and awesome. :)

    • the clean life profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Bruno 

      7 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      spsingh, Thanks for your comment. I really hope these articles help many people surrender to their addictions.

    • spsingh profile image


      7 years ago from

      You are really helpful to addicted persons !thanks for being on hubpages


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