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Help, my parents are drunk

Parents - are you a good role model for your kids or are you programming them to drink?

Alcohol is part of the British culture but with home drinking becoming so popular is it time to reevaluate what affects it could be having on children who are seeing parents drunk.

Busy lifestyles make it easy to slip into the habit of having a glass of wine or beer after a hard day but recent reports by Drinkaware suggest that 46% of 10-14-year-olds have seen at least one of their parents drunk. It is indicated that children who see their parents drunk are twice as likely to get drunk themselves.  It is also estimated that one in three children live with an adult binge drinker.

Wine O'clock

I  have found over the years that many of my clients drink alcohol when they’re getting the kids ready for bed or at bath time.  For some, it is easy to pour a glass of wine to unwind after a days work or to reward yourself for looking after the children. However, it is important to remember that everything a child experiences becomes part of who they are. A young person's subconscious mind absorbs information around them forming their core belief system. We are being hypnotised by the world around us.

Whatever is normal to a child will feel normal to them as an adult so parents who drink could be programming children to drink themselves. Even if you don’t drink in front your children they will still pick up on alcohol habits by seeing the bottles of alcohol in the supermarket trolley or the empties the morning after in the recycling bin. Everything has an imprint on your child's mind so be careful as to what you are surrounding them with.

I have treated hundreds of clients for reducing alcohol with hypnosis and many of them do drink in front of their children. I have also helped many teenagers with all sorts of issues from exam results and sports improvement to releasing stress and worries. My teenage clients often tell me that it can be upsetting or stressful to see their parents drunk.

Regular drinking

Alcohol is a drug but it is accepted as legally part of our society which gives people the green light to drink too much. Pubs and clubs are social hubs which should be there for occasional drinks but often lure people into a culture of drinking regularly. As it is cheap and easily available to drink at home over recent years it has become a daily ritual rather than something for the weekend.

In everyday life, if someone doesn’t drink they are considered a bit of a “fuddy-duddy”. If you say you don't drink then people may think you are a recovering alcoholic. For this reason, many people can't imagine life without a drink as they want to be socially accepted by friends and family. Many peoples activities and lives may revolve around drinking. I tend to work with clients to help them reduce down although those who do want to stop altogether do so successfully. Here are some client stories to help you assess whether drinking in front of your children is a good thing or not?

Hugos story (age 14)

"My Mum thinks she is handling the drink really well but I notice she sways, slurs her words and is quite irrational when she has had a drink. In the morning she is more grumpy if she has had a lot of alcohol the night before. I hope I won't be like this with my children when I grow up. I am sure our Dad left us because of Mums drinking. It is hard to get any sense out of a parent who has had a few glasses of wine. I can see it in her eyes that she just switches off as she stops caring. She slumps on the couch with a glass of wine in her hand with the bottle on the coffee table. She tops up her glass until she finishes the bottle. I usually go to my bedroom before she starts saying silly things. Sometimes she wakes me up to tell me something because she doesn't realise it is late as she loses all sense of reality. One time she broke something I had made for a project at school. In the morning she didn't remember because she asked me why my model was broken which really irritated me. She thinks I am a typical moody teenager but actually it is her behaviour that makes me slam doors from frustration. She has no respect for herself or for me. How can I respect her if she is drunk?"

Susans story (age 48)

"I used to drink in my 20’s and 30’s, as a busy professional, it was just part of the job, everyone drank. My parents both drank so it felt perfectly normal that I would drink in front of my children. Although I never liked my parents when they were drinking as it made me feel on edge not sure which way to take them. I remember my son, aged about 5 at the time, saw me throwing up after I had mixed my cocktails. I was recently in a relationship with an alcoholic, and my son, now an impressionable 17-year-old, was witness to this mans extreme and drunken behaviour. When I later saw my son having spells of getting drunk, it was difficult for me to reprimand him as I was seen to have double standards.  It was much harder for me to assert ground rules. Teenagers have enormous peer pressure to drink neat spirits, it is seen as the norm. My son’s response was “Well Mum, you did it when you were my age.” what could I say to that? I would however in hindsight wished I had seen the damage I was doing by drinking in front of him when he was young. As a parent, I want to protect my son. If I could turn the clock back I would have drunk more sensibly and perhaps I would have a better relationship with my son.”

Carolyn's story (age 42)

"My drinking has caused a lot of tension between me and my husband which filters out to the whole family. It was only when I reduced my drinking, by listening to the "Take Control of Alcohol" hypnosis recording, that I realised my drinking was having a bad effect on my daughter's behaviour. She has been excluded from school before now which I suppose made me drink more. It became a vicious cycle of my drinking and her behaviour issues. I suppose I am not a very good role model for her when I crash out drunk because I finish a whole bottle of wine on a weekday. As I reined back my drinking with the hypnosis I found I was seeing the problems more clearly with my daughter. Once I was sober she began to listen to me as she had more respect for me. Taking back control of my drinking has enhanced not only my own well being, sleep, clarity but my families quality of life has improved too. The thought of wanting to stop drinking alcohol hung over me like a big black cloud for so long. Do I miss drinking? The answer is no way, I actually feel as if I have been handed a second chance and I have my life back. I don't miss drinking one bit. I just wish I had found the hypnosis downloads earlier. I don't want my children to see their parents drunk ever again."

Chloe's story (age 18)

"I just want to say my Dad reeks of booze sitting watching TV. He becomes really annoying when he tells us what to do. His head hangs down and sometimes he dribbles, it is disgusting. Mum and dad argue over his drinking which upsets me and my sister. I find it hard to take authority from someone who I have little respect for. He 's not an alcoholic, he goes to work and only drinks in the evenings but I don't think he should drink on a work night. I don't think it is fair to see your parents drunk. I worry about his health as he may get ill from drinking too much alcohol. I do drink as everybody does."

Interested to curb your drinking?

If you are interested to take back control of your drinking try my hypnosis downloads ‘Take control of alcohol recording to break daily drinking habits OR 'Stop binge drinking' for bouts of excessive alcohol drinking.  By reprogramming the mind the recordings will help break the bad habit of drinking and restore healthy sleep. It is easy to listen as with short tracks they can fit into your busy schedule either after work or at bedtime.  Just put the volume down low and let the messages wash over you whilst you sleep.  You will begin to see differences in your drinking such as pouring the dregs of wine away, leaving wine in the bottle for another day, having alcohol free nights, feeling like a herbal tea instead. You will find your mind makes different choices putting you back in control.

Take Control of Alcohol - Click here
Stop Binge Drinking for Women - Click here
Stop Binge Drinking for Men - Click here

Chapter 13 of my book "Cut The Crap and Feel AMAZING" by Hay House covers addictions and obsessions and will help you get back in control of your drinking


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