There is no such thing as a perfect mother or father. Even the best parents make mistakes sometimes. But one thing is for sure, and that is that addiction has no place in parenting. Addiction should not have a place anywhere, but it can be especially detrimental to children. Growing up with an addicted parent is extremely difficult, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Getting help for this particular issue starts with understanding how it has affected you. If you grew up in a home where one or both of your parents were addicts, you may have gotten back on your feet as an adult yourself. You may think that it did not affect you, but it is likely that you were affected in many ways. This is not to say that you can’t get out from underneath this emotional load, but it is good to address the issue and face it head-on.
Hidden Chaos in the Home
You should start by looking at how your home life was. Homes that have parents who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are often in constant chaos. Unlike other more stable homes, the overall mood in these homes can change at the drop of a hat. Children who grow up in these homes often don’t know what to expect when they walk in the door after school, and this creates an unstable mentality for the rest of their lives in which they don’t know what to expect from any given situation.
Kids Have To Grow Up Too Fast with an Addicted Parent
Another serious issue that kids of addictive parents have to face is growing up too fast. Parents who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are obviously not being responsible, so it often falls upon children to do the responsible thing in various situations. The roles become essentially reversed, and this can have long-term detrimental effects on children as they get older.
The Most Common Struggles for Kids With an Addicted Parent
Many children who grow up in homes with an addicted parent share common struggles. Not all of these apply to everyone, but they include some of the most common issues that children with an addicted parent faces in adulthood.
- A tendency to lie
- A lack of discipline in themselves
- A lack of self-confidence and self-respect
- An innate mistrust of authority figures
- Constant trouble in relationships of any kind
- Difficulty enjoying anything
- An inability to understand what is normal
A Return To Normal
It is possible to return to normal after growing up in a household where addiction was present. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great way to start looking at your past and realizing how it is affecting you today with the help of a therapist.
If you have an addicted parent or know someone else who is struggling with drugs, you can help them get help as well. You might even find that you need help with addiction yourself, as this is quite common. The best place to go is to an inpatient rehab facility where temptations will be gone, and real recovery can begin.