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AC2022
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Seeking support: How to talk to kids about a parents alcoholism

Hi everyone. My husband struggles with depression and anxiety (potentially bipolar) and has an alcohol addiction. He is resisting support or even acknowledging the issue. 

 

I'm after some suggestions please on how to talk to my children about it, as it's impacting them (he's unreliable, inconsistent and we argue and he can be nasty to me when he drinks) and I don't want it to be the giant elephant in the room or accepted as 'normal' or 'ok'. They are 4 and 7. What worked or didn't work for you? Do you have any links you can share? 

 

Thank you

 

 

 

2 REPLIES 2

Re: Seeking support: How to talk to kids about a parents alcoholism

Hi AC2022,

 

Thank you for reaching out here on the Forums!

 

Mental health can be really challenging to cope with and having alcohol use as well can be difficult for others in their lives. I acknowledge that it must be hard for you and your children to cope and applaud you for supporting your husband to seek help. I have some links that might assist you in finding support in your local area and statewide contact numbers.

Your husband may benefit from some connections with crisis support services to help process the feelings and emotions he experiences with his mental health. If he wishes to please find some links below:

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Crisis Chat

  • Men's Helpline: 1300 789978

Sane Counsellors are available Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm at the moment, slightly reduced hours due to some training we are having until May. 

I'm also concerned about you and your children and how the behaviour might be affecting you. Please reach out to 1800 RESPECT for support around family issues. 

Please let us know here at the Forums if that information was helpful and if we can support you in any other way.

 

Take care

RiverSeal

 

Re: Seeking support: How to talk to kids about a parents alcoholism

Hi @AC2022  and welcome to SANE,

 

I am really sorry to hear what you are going through. When the people we love aren't ready or open to seeking support, it can leave us in a difficult position. I am hearing that your husband's mental health is something that you and your children are feeling the impact of, and having open conversations as a family or with your kids about how each person is coping can be a helpful step forward. 

 

Starting those conversations can be tricky, so I am glad you reached out here! 

When you are thinking about these conversations with your kids, what are some of the key points you would like to get across to them? Have your kids asked questions about it before? Have you thought about some of the differences in understandings between your eldest child (7) and youngest child (4)?

 

There are lots of great resources out there to support you, and one that comes to mind if ReachOut. Have you heard of them before? ReachOut have forums, one-to-one as well as resources for parents. Your kids are slightly under their age bracket, but there might be some applicable ideas around broaching this conversation. The other fantastic resource I have used a lot is the raising children's network. They have hundreds of articles that might be helpful about having age appropriate conversations, building trust and communication around difficult home situations, and building family resilience. 

 

You have mentioned that there are times when there has been arguments or nasty comments, do you have support for your wellbeing too? Are there friends or family who know what you are experiencing at home?

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