Is giving hope to my children the right thing?

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jaciecooke7778@gmail.com

Hello
I am struggling with which path to support my children 11 and 8, their father an alcoholic who does not live with us.
My son has recently become quite militant that no one should bad mouth his father, even when he’s hurting him emotionally.
I keep being told that I should encourage them to have hope and that it won’t always be like this. But I don’t think that’s realistic as their father is not anywhere near ready to change, and even tells me he intends to drink til it kills him:
What advice do people have for the children of drinkers in this phase? I don’t want to hurt my sons feelings but also want to acknowledge my daughter who feels really let down and exhausted by it all.
Many thanks and thoughts with everyone in this same or similar boat xxx

  • listener

    Hello,

    I'm so sorry to hear how much your children are struggling with their father's drinking. The feelings they are both experiencing are totally natural and valid. You're not alone in not knowing how best to help them - so many parents struggle with this. Remember that you're helping them so much by being a reliable, caring parent and it's only natural for you to struggle with this.

    Nacoa suggests being as open and honest as possible with children. It's understandable that your son doesn't want anyone bad mouthing his father, but being open about what's going on can be done in a way that isn't 'bad mouthing' him. The following links might help you feel prepared for those conversations -

    >https://nacoa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Information-for-Parents.pdf

    >https://nacoa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Jaspers-Wish.pdf

    >https://nacoa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Some-mums-and-dads-drink-too-much.pdf

    Hopefully they can be used as a guide, but of course you know your children best and you will know what's most appropriate for each of them.

    I hope you also have support for yourself. It's an incredibly hard situation to navigate and you are important too.

    Take care,
    Listener x

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