Talking to a child about secondhand drinking | a parent’s drinking – HOW do you do it? How do you sooth a child whose mommy or daddy yells at them or belittles them when they’ve been drinking. How do you explain to a child their daddy and mommy still loves them when you don’t believe it yourself because you ask yourself, “How could any parent claim to love their child and continue the drinking that’s hurting them?” How do you help a child understand it’s not them [the child] that makes their parent act the way they do so that the child doesn’t grow up believing they weren’t good enough or smart enough or helpful enough or….?
As someone whose personal experiences with secondhand drinking and who has worked with hundreds of parents and children and adult children of alcoholics grappling with their own experiences, I decided to write a short, FREE booklet for adults – the parents, older siblings, grandparents, teachers and concerned family friends – the adults in a position to help a child understand.
Why Is It So Important to Talk to a Child About Secondhand Drinking | a Parent’s Drinking
Secondhand drinking will be part of the lives of the one in four children who will live with a family member’s alcohol abuse or alcoholism before the age of 18. It will also be part of the experiences of thousands more children whose lives intersect with these one in four. Please read “The Oprah Winfrey Show – [Beyond] The Diane Schuler Story” to better understand this statement.
The verbal, physical and emotional abuse or neglect that often occurs in families with alcohol misuse – just a few of the secondhand drinking impacts caused by a person’s drinking behaviors – often results in childhood trauma. Childhood trauma actually changes the way a child’s brain wires. It changes the very quality of that child’s life. And it is one of the five key risk factors contributing to a child developing their own alcohol misuse problem later in life. All of this is explained in the booklet.
About the Free Booklet, “Talking to a Child About Secondhand Drinking” | a Parent’s Drinking
Helping a child understand secondhand drinking – the impacts on the child and their other family members – can change that child’s life. This booklet is arranged in four sections and opens with Rachael’s story, “When Daddy Drinks” (ages 3 and up).
Through Rachel’s story, we get a sense of what happens to her daddy and everyone in her family when her daddy drinks too much. It is included to give you some places from which to start to help a child become better able to share his or her own story. Rachel’s story is followed by Key Concepts you will want that child to understand. These are followed by Key Facts to help you understand the latest research on alcohol misuse and secondhand drinking. And the concluding pages share Key Resources for further information.
The good news is that there has been some amazing research conducted in just the past 10-15 years – much in just this Century. This research is helping us better understand alcohol abuse, alcoholism and secondhand drinking. Much of this research is due in large part to new imaging technologies that allow scientists and medical professionals to study the living human brain in action and over time. They can actually see what alcohol misuse does to the brain and therefore why it affects a person’s behaviors. This research is shattering the misinformation, shame and denial that surround a loved one’s drinking problem and helping the family get the help that’s needed.
Reactions to the Booklet
“I think it’s brilliant!
“The first section spoken through the child’s voice I think is very powerful. I think as adults generally we don’t appreciate how much kids pick up on and what they understand. Even if we are aware of trying to protect them I still think they see, hear and know way more than we give them credit for. …Part II is very clearly explaining that the alcoholism is a disease and is something that affects the brain. I like this emphasis because it doesn’t put any blame on the alcoholic or make them out to be bad people. …Part III is just an excellent list of everything everyone should know about alcohol whether they are a problem drinker or not! …And I love the ‘Anonymous’ suggestion of Part IV because again I’m pretty sure that even if someone know deep down that their loved one has a drink problem, the drinker will be telling them otherwise so having a resource to go to anonymously is great.”
“Lisa Frederiksen has created a thorough and informative guide to help family members understand and discuss the effects of alcohol abuse or alcoholism. This booklet will be a great resource to any parent to better explain to their child what is really going on in their family when there is excessive drinking behaviors. Sharing Rachel’s story gives the reader a peak into the real life drama of the dysfunction that occurs on a daily basis because of a father’s drinking. The booklet goes on and shares the importance of understanding what happens to the brain when drinking occurs and five key facts about alcohol abuse that would be helpful for any family to know.
If you are struggling with a family member’s drinking problem, “Talking to a Child about Second Hand Drinking” will give you the essential information to understand your loved one’s drinking behavior. This booklet will help you and your child understand the unhealthy coping skills that family members can develop because of alcohol abuse.
~ Cathy Taughinbaugh, Recovery Coach specializing in work with parents and families, Founder of CathyTaughinbaugh.com
So, I invite you to download the free PDF booklet (linked to image above) and begin with Rachael’s story – you just might be able to help a child, to change a child’s life…