Signs your child may not be coping
Children don't always have the words to express their feelings. If they are suffering or struggling to cope with the effects of someone's problem drinking, they may show it in other ways.
Physical symptoms of stress
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent stomach pain or headaches
- Nightmares or trouble sleeping
- Poor self-esteem
- Getting upset easily
- Acting childishly, bedwetting or speech disorders
- Not wanting to leave the house or mix with other people
- Being aggressive
- Getting into trouble
- Overly well-behaved and obedient
- Looking for approval all the time
- Difficulty making friends
- Taking risks
If you recognise any of these signs, it may help to:
- Learn ways to listen to your child so that they can express their feelings more easily
- Read more about How children might feel and How to help children.
- Protecting your child from the drinking behaviour and its effects, like arguments
- Get involved with a family support service like Al-Anon Family Groups or Alateen
- Tell your GP - He or she may refer you to the Child & Adult Mental Health Service, if necessary
We have a section especially for young people affected by a family member's drinking. Click here to go to the young people's pages.