Skip to main content

Making small changes


Sometimes living with another person’s problem drinking can leave us feeling beaten down and powerless, as we spend energy on dealing with a problem we haven’t caused and can’t really control. 

We may not be able to change a person’s drinking behaviour, but we can make small changes to reduce the effect it has on us or on other family members.

What would you like to change?

Start with one thing. It could be:

    • Seeing your children happier
    • Reducing the number of fights
    • Feeling more in control
    • Dealing with stress or depression

What could you do to make this change happen?

    • Can you identify some simple steps to make this change?
    • What support or help do you need?
    • Do you have friends or family who could help?
    • Do you need professional advice or support?

If you want to try to feel less stressed or depressed, some simple steps could be:

    • Making time to get out of the house and take some exercise every day
    • Meeting a friend for coffee, Telling your GP or a friend how you are feeling
    • Finding out about local support services or online mental health support

If you want to help your children feel happier, you could:

    • Try to arrange a weekly activity such as watching a movie or playing a game together, going to the park.
    • Agreeing with the person drinking that they won’t get drunk in front of the children, if possible.
    • Arrange a sleepover with friends or family.
    • Learn about helpful messages to reassure children living with an alcohol problem
    • Find out about active listening techniques, which can help your children say how they are feeling.
    • Contact a family or young person’s support service.

Read more:

Building resilience

More coping tips

How to help children

service finder

Where to get help

Find your nearest support group, by selecting your county below