Comments for Children living with addict?

Talk to the Kids

by: Ned Wicker

Sharing this kind of serious information needs to be tempered and age-appropriate.

Small children do not necessarily understand the nature of addiction, but they can understand what it is to be ill.

Older children can understand that an illness causes problems.

Teenagers can understand that their parent does not intend to be abusive, but the addiction causes them to act that way.

These are generalities, of course, but I believe children need to be told that their parent is sick.

The addict/alcoholic has a disease, so if they are abusive when they otherwise would be gentle and loving, there is a reason.

Children might internalize the situation and believe it is their fault. “My mommy is sick because I was bad.” The children need treatment just like the addicted parent.

Talking to them is good. Depending on the situation, you may consider consulting a pastor or counselor.

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