by Cheryl Jackson Monday February 2, 2009

I like to have a glass of wine with dinner.  Not every night, but definitely on the weekend.  I also like to share a beer with my friends after a day skiing.    According to the statistics, this is quite normal and not a problem.  But when does drinking become a problem, for you and for your kids?   How does an parent addicted to alcohol or drugs parent?

People who study this tell us that kids who grow up in homes with addicted parents walk on eggshells every day. They never know what state their parent will be in, whether he or she will be in a good mood or a bad mood, whether there will be breakfast in the morning or dinner at night, whether their parent will even be home.  Their world is unpredictable.  As a result, they can grow up mistrusting others, unsure of their own worth, anxious, secretive, and unable to forge lasting relationships.   They can be sad, angry, closed.

Not all kids suffer in the same way.  Some are more resilient than others.  Some have sober adults in their lives who can mitigate the effects of the alcoholic parent.  This is where school can play a big role and provide the validation and consistency they need.  

Join me on Your Voice for Parenting Under the Influence.  We'll talk with three experts, including the son of an alcoholic,  about parenting under the influence.