Addicted Parents and Their Children
There is no such thing as a ‘perfect household’. All families experience some level of dysfunction, although some dysfunction is extremely damaging and some is simply run-of-the-mill. The same goes for parenting – even the most loving, compassionate, and stable parental figures are liable to experience a few mishaps from time to time.
Even the parents with the best intentions are likely to make a few mistakes – mistakes that may unwittingly impact the lives of their children, just as their lives were impacted by the mistakes their parents made. However, this does not necessarily mean that children are destined (or even inclined) to make the same errors their parents made.
Cycles can be broken effectively and permanently, so long as professional therapeutic care is available.
Children of Addicted Parents Face many Obstacles
Growing up in a household with addicted parents is one of the most damaging and unfortunate experiences a young child or adolescent can potentially undergo. Children who grow up with one or multiple addicted guardians often take on the role of the caretaker themselves, adopting the parental responsibilities and looking after themselves as well as their siblings.
Safe home environments should be complete with a certain level of predictability and consistence. However, drug addicted parents typically experience severe and erratic mood swings, leaving young children in a constant state of anxiety.
Additionally, the beneficial structure of a stable household will typically lack in a home run by one or two addicted parental figures. Children and young adults will likely have fewer rules, leaving them to fend for themselves the majority of the time. Growing up in a home without guidelines or restrictions can affect the development of a child, and lead to unruly and destructive behavioral patterns later on in life.
Growing Up In an Addicted Household Leads to a Host of Issues
Growing up in an addiction-run household also frequently leads to significant emotional damage. In many instances, addicted parents will use their children as scapegoats, blaming them for their dependency issues and taking their anger and frustration out on them both verbally and physically.
It is not uncommon for children to internalize this abuse, believing that they are indeed responsible for their familial turmoil, and that they are, to their cores, bad people. In addition to this deep-seated self-blame, children are likely to begin harboring severe resentments against their parents. The confusion between self-hate and anger towards their parental figures will frequently lead to inner-conflict, leaving children confused, alone, and isolated.
Many young adults will regularly tell themselves that they will avoid growing up to be like their parents at all costs. However, addiction is genetic and hereditary, and grappling some sort of dependency (behavioral, chemical, or otherwise) is often an inevitability.
However, there is a way to break the cycle – if children of addicted parents get the help they need before addiction begins to manifest, their likelihood of living healthy and happy lives increases dramatically. For more information on children of addicted parents, please contact one of our representatives at Lighthouse today. We can provide the information, help, and support that you and your loved ones need. Call Lighthouse today at 1-866-308-2090.