Helping Children of Alcoholics

Helping Children of Alcoholics

If you are a parent, grandparent, counselor, teacher, or caregiver you can help children break out of their limiting roles. Once you know of these patterns of behavior, you can help them to choose new responses.

If you are engaged with a Hero Child, it is important to realize their perfectionism is more dangerous than attractive. Acknowledge them when they are not performing. Try not to tie their achievements to their positive recognition. Let them know it’s okay to make mistakes.

The Scapegoat child needs some acknowledgment for taking responsibility. One can have empathy for this child, yet avoid feeling sorry for them. This child wants and needs limits. Make clear consequences and make sure you follow through on those consequences. Idle threats do more damage than good. Be generous with positive attention.

The Lost Child needs to feel included in decisions. They need their strengths and talents noticed. If they have opportunities to get their creativity recognized this is helpful. Encourage them to work in small groups with others. Do not let others answer for him or her.

The Mascot needs the opportunity to perform responsible jobs. Encourage appropriate humor and disapprove of inappropriate behavior. Try not to laugh as a response. This may confuse them and send a mixed message about what is acceptable.

Each child is a unique configuration of traits. I would refrain from seeing them through the label of a role. I see it more like an informed filter that may be helpful when engaging with them.

Never underestimate your value. Each of us, in small measure or great, can help break the patterns which limit the authenticity of children. You may be just the help they need.



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