Alcoholism and Raising Children

Old 08-16-2007, 08:45 PM
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Alcoholism and Raising Children

Hi all.....Wanted to get some thoughts from my conrads in recovery on this. My wife and I are beginning to discuss bringing a child into the world. She has all the pre-natal books and reads them non-stop and I'm doing everything I can to get my sh!t together. She just went off the pill so we're gonna wait atleast three months before we even start trying.

Here is my dilemma......Although she herself isn't an addict or alkie both run in her family. I myself am an Alkie and both sides of my family have been devastated by drugs and alcohol. Now considering the hereditary factor in this are we going to bring a child into this world with the deck stacked against him or her?

My hope is that my wife never became an addict because she was never around that lifestyle. Like I said, it runs in her family but the people in her immediate family cleaned up their acts before she ever got to see it. I on the other hand was raised watching my Dad drink all the time. He never went a day without a drink(actually several drinks). And their were also stretches where him and my stepmom were all hopped up on hard drugs.

Sorry for the long winded backround but here is my question. Assuming I keep my life in order and stay sober and my wife does the same and we do all the right things as far as bringing the kid up in a healthy household does that somewhat negate the hereditary factor? Does it give the kid more of an even playing field? Thanks for listening, I look foward to your thoughts.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:06 PM
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Hi Ruch,
I will only comment on my life as I don't feel qualified to give you advice on this matter.

As an alcoholic myself, I've often worried about passing it on to my kids. Getting sober and living in recovery is important to me for many reasons. One of those reasons is to do a good job as a father. By the grace of God, I hope my children never see me drink again.

For me, it goes back to the serenity prayer. I can't change hereditary factors, but I can have a good measure of control over my behaviour. At the end of the day, I must accept that I cannot play "god", and what will be shall be. I really don't have any control over my children's pre-disposition to alcoholism. I can stay away from the first drink, and not expose my children to MY active alcoholism.

The best I can do for my kids is to stay sober for me. Another thing I can do is not create an enviornment where the kids will want to "rebel" in an extreme fashion.

I am thankful to be a father, and my children are a precious gift. I hope raising them well will help them prepare for their lives outside the home when they grow up.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:17 PM
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same planet...different world
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Some of the coolest kids I've ever met were raised in and around the Program.

I met an old Hopi woman one time who was talking to me about children. It was in something she said that changed me as a parent. During WWII, she fostered a girl who still lived with them in the late eighties when I was there. She said the parents were drunks and didn't take care of their children, so some elder women from the clan came in and took some of them into their own homes. She said she went to the Elder women and chose a particular girl she'd dreamed about. She told them, "I will take this girl and raise her for The People."

Something about the way she said that hit me like a wet dishrag.

I was a guest in that daughter's house - a successful archaeologist working in south america at the time. And not a drunk, though the daughter of drunks.

Kahlil Gibran (-sp) wrote in The Prophet:

"Parents are the bows from which their children, as living arrows are sent forth unto the world."

When you bring a kid here ... you can't be responsible for that kid's adult choices, or their earth experience beyond a certain point. How's your trust in your HP for guidance? We are not earthly beings seeking a spiritual experience here. We are instead spiritual beings, manifest here for an earthly experience.

So is every child.
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:56 AM
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In my appears to have no correlation.

My 4 Grandparents ...3 abstained...1 drank/quit.
My y non drinking parents only 2 children became alcoholics in AA recovery.
Of our 5...2 have addictions.
Both are mine and never saw me drink.
5 Grandchildren...1 is too young...1 in AA... 3 abstain.

My daughter did drink /drug during her 2 older kids early
life. One is in I mentioned.

When trying to figure genetics...the recessive gene factor
as far as I know...can not be pin pointed.

When trying to figure genetics...the recessive gene factor
as far as I know...can not be pin pointed.

Sooo... darned if I have a definate answer.

Blessings to you and your wife
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Old 08-17-2007, 06:28 AM
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Smile My family is riddled with alcoholism.

But I’m sober now thanks to AA. So are many of my siblings and cousins. So, I say have the kid and enjoy if that’s what you want. If you're supposed to have an alcoholic child, you’ll get one. Nothing to worry about.
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Old 08-17-2007, 03:16 PM
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Don't know.

I am an alcoholic but my sister is not.

At least if the child is raised alcohol free that should be a good thing.

This topic is discussed in "The Recovery Book" and also "Beyond the Influence".

You might wish to read them..


Both books are avail on amazon.

Last edited by GrouchoTheCat; 08-17-2007 at 03:17 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 08-17-2007, 03:26 PM
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Alcoholics in my family - both sides, all the way back (and out... cousins, etc.).

Mr. Big - lots of A's of many flavors.

We both cleaned up before having kids - no drinks, no smokes, no drugs... nada.

Both our kids are addicts/alcoholic.


I wouldn't trade my kids for ANY THING IN THE WORLD.

I wouldn't trade my grandkid (both parents addicts) for ANY THING IN THE WORLD.

I am glad my alcoholic parents met, married and decided to have me and my sibs.

And yes... I would do it all again.

There are more problems in this world than alcoholism. Each challenge I've faced has made me more and more who I am today. I like me. I like Mr. Big. We are who we are.

If you love children. If you think you'd be a pretty great dad. If your wife wants a family... then I think you should trust yourself and the universe.

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Old 08-17-2007, 04:07 PM
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Nature vs. Nurture? Big question, no real ironclad answer.

I was raised in Salt Lake City and am the oldest of 6 kids. My mother is still at 70 years old a tour guide at the Mormon Temple in SLC. No coffee, tea, or certainly booze in the home. I, a younger brother and a younger sister all are alcoholics. AA has kept me sober some years now, my brother fell down the stairs drunk two years ago and broke his neck and is so paralyzed and pain ridden that Oxy keeps him happy, by prescription, so he doesn't need to drink. Little sister is still a "functioning" alcoholic, for now at least.

I have 4 kids, all grown and successful in their own rights, and only one did the booze and drugs to excess and he is 7 years sober by the grace of AA. All the others are just fine, no substance problems

The moral of this tale is that "roll the dice, do the best job of being a parent that you can, and be grateful if the outcome is what you want." They are a lot of fun regardless.

"If they made mountains smooth, we wouldn't be able to climb them." -Anon-

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Old 08-17-2007, 04:26 PM
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Thanks to everybody for you replies. Sometimes it's just comforting to here the viewpoints of people who are or were in similar situations as I. Seems to me like this is something that is impossible to predict. For me the key is gonna be keeping myself straight. Afterall that is all I have full control over. And alothough I can't control the child's decisions once he or she reaches a certain age, providing an alcohol free home can't hurt.
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:19 AM
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Hi Ruch,
I'm Mike, an alcoholic in Boston. Both my wife and I are recovering alcoholics. We have two beautiful children who will be raised in a loving home by parents who have an acute awareness of the many causes and conditions that brought about our escapes into the bottle. We will raise our children with kindness, understanding, and do our best to create a loving home in which they will always feel valued and loved. We will strive to boost their self-esteem, let them know that they can do and be anything they want, and appreciate and celebrate who and what they are. This is important to us as we both feel that we didn't always get that as kids. We want the world for our children. We'll do our best to make them happy. Go for it.
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:24 AM
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Just a sidebar but Jameson kicked my butt too. I drank that stuff like water. I loved it. Got a little expensive, though.
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by mikel60 View Post
Just a sidebar but Jameson kicked my butt too. I drank that stuff like water. I loved it. Got a little expensive, though.

Quite expensive. And Yes, I couldn't get enough of it. I no longer wonder why I was running out of money between paychecks. During my last binge it lasted 4 days and I drank a liter of Jamison per night on friday, saturday, and sunday(it was on sale for something like $23 per liter) and I finished the binge off on Monday with two pints of 100 proof Smirnoff Vodka.

Roughly $80 in one long weekend......
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:50 AM
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Here is where I go when my thinking gets out of the moment.

"God, I offer myself to Thee -- to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"

Best to you.
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Old 08-18-2007, 07:54 AM
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Chip said a mouthful along with the others, I will share my experience.

My father was an alcoholic who quit drinking the day I came home from the hospital and went to his grave sober. I was raised in a wonderful alcohol free home, but I began a 40 year drinking career at the age of 12, I have not had a drop in 11 months today.

I can tell you that my drinking did impact my children.

I can also tell you that my recovery has had a bigger impact on them, my son is an alcoholic and due to my alcoholism and my recovery he was able to determine he was an alcoholic as well and called me for guidance when he came to this realization.

My oldest daughter told me the reason she does not drink is due to my drinking, my other children I will just have to wait and see.

The only advise I will give is to make sure your children know from an early age that you are an alcoholic, share your ESH with them, and STAY SOBER!!!!! They may or may not need a sober dad one day if they develop a problem of thier own.
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