Emotional Scars in Children of Alcoholic Parents

The emotional stability of adults is a process that begins in childhood. Many factors contribute to an adult's emotional state and are crucial for proper emotional development. One of those factors is family and family environment.

Children with negligent families or little to no family support are more likely to develop emotional disorders. Around the world, alcoholism, for example, is one of the diseases that cause damage both to the health of the person who suffers from it and to the lives of the people that surround them.

Unfortunately, this serious problem causes significant damage and is largely ignored or normalized. Society shouldn't normalize excessive consumption of alcohol or promote drinking alcohol in the home.

More often than not, children of alcoholics grow up in environments where chaos prevails, and their ways of being and seeing the world are affected by their parents. Alcoholism leaves emotional scars on these children. These are the most common emotional issues experienced by children of alcoholics.

Premature Maturity

All the circumstances these children live in make them maturate prematurely. Sometimes these children feel they have to take care of their alcoholic parents, and other times they mature too early because they have to take care of siblings or even just go into survival mode themselves. It also can be caused by a feeling of guilt when children feel responsible for their parent's addiction, which makes them judge themselves and feel that they aren't deserving of joy.

Difficulty Finishing Projects

Another common pattern in children of alcoholics is difficulty finishing projects. Due to the volatile nature of their family environment, they never know what to expect or what is coming next. They develop anxiety and emotional instability, which in turn increases the probability of them becoming an unstable person.

Unstable people find it difficult to make the necessary effort to complete their projects. They feel emotionally tired and taxed because of their constant efforts to cope with the extreme uncertainty in their lives.

Constant State of Alert

Children of alcoholics are also constantly in a state of alert. Children shouldn't be so concerned about what is happening around them. Their purpose is to learn and play and have fun. However, these children are always on alert to know if their parents are well or not, and constantly trying to perceive danger. They can't let their guard down when the alcoholic parent is in the house, and they develop a constant feeling of fear. When the body is constantly on alert, natural physiological processes occur, such as a racing heart, muscle tension, etc. These fear responses, when constantly occurring, can take a physical toll on the body.


With such an unstable environment and conditions, these children never learn to regulate their emotions properly and have no idea how to control them. This means that they can overreact to most any situation, as innocent or inoffensive as it may be.

Helping Children of Alcoholics

The best way to help these children is to provide them with counseling and positive role models in their lives.