Kids and Addiction in the Family – What’s Happening to Them
Kids and addiction in the family tend to be a bit lost and a lot damaged. It doesn’t matter if the addict is a sibling or a parent, when families are affected by an addiction, so are the kids in the group. As adults, we often think that the younger members of the family unit don’t understand what’s happening and need to be sheltered, but too often, this can backfire and leave the younger members of the family struggling, too.
So, if you’re not supposed to shelter them, what are you supposed to do? What are the effects of addiction on the kids in the family? How do you fix it?
Kids and addiction in the family – they know what’s happening
Here’s the problem, kids know what’s happening. They hear things like those softly whispered talks about their mother, brother or sister. When you’re trying to shelter them from what’s happening, they chalk bad behavior up to something being “wrong” with the addicted family member. It often makes them afraid and wary.
Kids and addiction in the family can actually be a very volatile mix, especially if there are significant personality changes or the family is going through a lot of trauma. Kids know what’s happening, and choosing not to tell them in the name of protection can cause some significant problems like anger, frustration, and sadness.
Addiction affects everyone
When it comes to kids and addiction in the family, it’s not uncommon for them to struggle with the situation just like the rest of you. In many cases, the kids who aren’t using or drinking are often ignored. It is common for anger and frustration to be left unacknowledged by the rest of the family, and this can cause them to lash out in other ways.
There is no denying that addiction has a negative effect on whole families. Kids and addiction in the family are a really delicate mix, because caring for the younger kids and keeping them from becoming high risk for developing the same tendencies is essential. Experts feel that the best thing parents can do is to be age-appropriately honest and encourage communication among all family members.
Kids and addiction in the family are often a worrisome mix. Making sure that children are safe, happy and well-adjusted should always be the priority. So, even when your addicted loved one is struggling, remember that the kids in your family are, too, and they can’t control what happens.