Advice for Teens with Alcoholic Parents

Advice for Teens with Alcoholic Parents

It can be a tough situation for a teen to watch their parents lose control of their drinking. They feel like they need to take care of their parents instead of the other way around. Instead of ignoring the problem, it is important to take care of yourself; especially if you feel like you are in danger as a result of your parent’s drinking.

Having an alcoholic parent can mean they are showing unpredictable behaviors, making their kids try to figure out what mood they are in or what their parents want. Teens feel like they have to walk on eggshells around them to avoid an outburst like forgetting to do chores. After the outburst, your parent can comfort you and tell you that things will get better. You know deep down that they will not be if nothing changes in their parent’s drinking. You also might feel that your parents have become an embarrassment which means not inviting your friends over or dreading when they come to your school. You feel like you have to take over the role of the parent and no one is taking care of you.

Instead of ignoring the problem at home or trying to hide it, admit to yourself that your parents have a problem. Speak to your friend, teacher, counselor, or coach about what you are going through at home and that you do not know what to do. Alateen is another organization to call as they help young people who live with parents who are alcoholics who may currently be in treatment or recovery. It is important to remember that you are not responsible for your parent’s drinking or that you can stop them on your own. Educate your parents on what you know about alcoholism and the right people to call.

You should not keep your feelings bottled up as you can take after your parents in self-medicating your stress with alcohol. Either talk to someone or write them down. If you cannot look up to your parents anymore, use your coaches, aunts, uncles, teachers, or parents of friends to teach you what to do to handle disappointment or frustration. If it is not safe anymore at home, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or the police. Stop the cycle by making healthy choices in regard to what to do to help yourself deal with your parent’s alcoholism.

Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 888-570-7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.