I lost both my brothers to suicide (one in 1997 and the other in 2001). Both suffered from severe depression and my youngest brother also suffered from substance abuse (ETOH and all kinds of drugs).
While I have worked very hard over the years to recover from this double loss, I am scared to death about what might happen when my two sons grow up. (one is 9 the other 6) There is alcoholism on both sides of my husband's and my family. I have already talked to the boys about peer pressure and how I don't want them to drink. Am I being too cautious with them. I feel like I want to protect them from life sometimes and i know that I will be unable to do that as they grow older. any suggestions???
Jul 2, '04
It's hard to raise kids today with the peer pressures they will eventually endure. IMO, all we can do is stay close to them as they grow, talk with them openly and honestly when you have the opportunity to have a 'teachable moment" with them.
I grew up in an alcohol tainted family; all our family 'get togethers' were big drunkfests, and I heard and saw a lot of confused, mixed messages growing up. Both my parents were caught up in it, most of my Aunts and Uncles are alcoholics and or CD.
Those of us who have survived families of alcoholism and chemical abuse can use our insight to warn our children. There's never any promises but we do the best we can.
I likely broke my father's heart when I moved away and raised my family away from the drunkfests and binges...sometimes I regret the support of my family in their sober moments; but I do NOT miss the bad times. Your mention of your alcoholic family stirred up lots of emotions, and I empathize.
My condolences on the loss of your brothers. (((HUGS)))
Jul 2, '04
Having substance abusers on both sides of the family, I started telling my kids EARLY about cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.
As they got older, we talked about how you might get hooked the first time, or the tenth time, or never...but why take the chance? We also have talked many times about the consequences. Every time I saw a young smoker I'd comment, "Just think how black their lungs are inside!"
We also talked a lot about feelings and I think I generally have a pretty good idea on where they are emotionally.
They are now 19 and 15. The 19-year-old had to try cigarettes once and alcohol once...but didn't like either and from having been told it's always ok to say no and your friends will still like you...she said no thereafter. Now she's designated driver.
My 15-year-old has 0 interest in substances; he and his friends are too busy with games and reading at this point. But he's so proud of being a "nerd" that I don't think he's ever going to be interested much.
So I don't think you're overcautious, I think you're smart. The earlier the better.
Jul 8, '04
"So I don't think you're overcautious, I think you're smart. The earlier the better." diddo. and you ought to be congratulated for having such open dialog with your children and teaching them to have respect for their "genes". you are simply preparing them for the inevitable circumstances of young adulthood. if only more parents could be like you! good for you! :hatparty:
Jul 8, '04
I think the most effective teaching tool is to show them the lives of those who are alcoholics or drug addicts. Let them know exactly where it led your brothers (sorry for your loss). My father was an alcoholic (God rest his soul). I swore early on, just seeing him that I would never drink. I'm 27 and I have stuck to that like glue. I know where alcohol can lead you and I'm defnately headed in the opposite direction.
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