The rise of “wine mom culture” has led to the idea that alcohol is a good, and possibly even a charming or humorous, way to ease the stress of being a parent. Unfortunately, this trend can open the doors to parental addiction, which can negatively impact children and families. Read on to learn more about the benefits of sober parenting and what you can do to address issues related to addiction and parenting.
The Impact of Parental Addiction on Child Development
Extensive research has been done on the negative effects of being raised by a parent who’s struggling with addiction. Children of people with substance abuse issues may suffer from:
*Health problems and developmental delays: Abusing alcohol and drugs while pregnant or nursing can impair normal growth and development, setting babies up for delays that could affect their long-term health.
*Emotional problems: Parents who lack healthy coping mechanisms may not be able to meet their children’s psychological and emotional needs. This could contribute to behavioral problems, depression, and other emotional problems in children.
*Trauma: Studies show that children are more likely to experience traumatic events and adverse childhood experiences that can leave scars that last into adulthood if their parents abuse drugs and/or alcohol.
*Accidents: Intoxicated parents may not be able to keep kids safe at home or in the community.
*Addiction later in life: Children of people with substance use disorders are more likely to develop problems with addiction later in life.
The Positive Impact of Parenting While Sober
A sober lifestyle offers many benefits for children. Some of the top reasons for sobriety are listed below.
Be More Present in the Morning
Dealing with the effects of a hangover can make the morning routine incredibly difficult. As a sober parent, you can wake up ready to get the kids and yourself ready for the day ahead.
More Opportunity for Bonding and Fun
A lack of energy often follows drug and alcohol use. When you’re sober, you’ll likely have more energy to play with your children, go on outings and plan activities that can strengthen the family bond and provide great memories for all.
Have More Pocket Money
No matter your income, drugs and alcohol use up a portion of your financial resources. Breaking free from addiction can give you more money to pay bills, enjoy luxuries and save for your children’s future.
Be a Better Role Model
Being a role model is part of being a parent. Children look to their parents and mirror the behavior that they see. Sober parenting teaches your children to deal with stress and difficulties in positive ways, so they’re less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol in the future. The feeling of knowing that you’re setting a good example is something that you can take pride in.
The Household May Be More Peaceful
Drugs and alcohol can put you in a bad mood for no reason. Irritability and mood swings can strain relationships between you and your partner and you and your children. Sober parenting won’t erase all conflict from the home, but it can help you make compromises and deal with issues in a more productive manner.
Be More in Control of Yourself
Drugs and alcohol can make you say and do things that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. In some cases, you may not even remember doing or saying something that your children won’t be able to forget. Staying sober will allow you to remain in control of yourself and have more positive interactions with your children.
Be Around to Parent Them for Longer
Drugs and alcohol can put you at risk for several health conditions that could lead to premature death. Getting sober is an investment in your physical health that can pay off by allowing your children to have more time with you.
Embracing Sobriety as a Parent
Parents who misuse drugs and alcohol may mistakenly believe that the damage has already been done and that there is no point in getting help for the addiction at this point. However, the truth is that it’s never too late to seek addiction recovery support. Entering treatment itself is setting a good example for kids. While you can’t change the past, it is possible to head into the future while being drug and alcohol-free, so that you can be the best parent possible.
The Dunes East Hampton can help you start on your sober parenting journey. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment options.