What to do when you find out your child is an alcoholic.
There are some things that you might not want to think about as a parent; one of those things is that your child may be an alcoholic. From young children in middle school who want to try alcohol to those who are close to graduating high school, alcoholism is a real possibility. If you suspect that your child might be an alcoholic, there are some things that you can do to help them stop the addiction.
Talk, Don’t Yell
No matter how mad you might be at your child, don’t yell at him or her. He doesn’t need to hear you raising your voice, especially if there are underlying situations at school or home that are making him drink in the first place. Don’t accuse your child of being an alcoholic, or even drinking, before you have solid proof. If you accuse him of doing something, then it might make him go ahead and do the activity. Sit down with your child and display any kind of proof that you have that he/she is drinking and talk with him/her about why it might be happening or how long it’s been going on so that you know how to approach the next step.
You are of no use to your child if you know nothing about alcoholism or what an alcoholic may be going through. Read books, watch videos and talk to doctors about alcoholism and what drinking can do to the body. This will give you a way to tell your child about the dangers he/she faces so that he/she can make an informed decision on whether to drink or not if he is over 21.
If your child knows that the family supports him/her and cares about his/her wellbeing, then he/she will be more receptive to getting resources to help stop drinking. When you encourage your child to lead a healthy life, the child will start to realize that there are people who love him/her; this could be just what he/she needs to stop drinking. Offer support as a family by gathering as a group or having each person offer their own kind of support individually to the alcoholic.
Evaluate any friends who might be getting the alcohol for your child or who might be drinking around him/her. These friends are likely to be bad influences and you need to keep your child away from them as much as possible. You can’t control who he/she talks to at school and if your child is over 18, then you can’t really do much about who he/she talks to. A way around this is simply offering your advice without sounding forceful. If your child is under 18, then you can try to not allow your child to go over to other’s houses that drink and also not allow these friends are not allowed at your home.
If you see that your child is on a downward spiral and endangering his life by drinking, then you need to get help from a professional. There are support groups available for your alcoholic child and there are doctors who can talk with your child to determine why he might be drinking so much. It will ultimately be his choice to receive the help, but you need to be there to provide the support and the means to get to the help.