Parenting Under the Influence

Ways that drug and alcohol abuse affect children

Posted Jan 22, 2010

In this rapidly changing world, there's one thing that never changes: we all want to make sure that our kids grow up healthy, happy, and most of all, capable of dealing with life in the 21st century. How can we, as parents, educators and care-givers help them?

Early 2009 I took part in a webcast panel discussion on the ways that drug and alcohol abuse affect children., is a community resource for advice, news, interactive tools, and the latest educational research. It's all designed to help you help your kids succeed in learning, and in life. brings together parents, care-givers, and education experts in a welcoming, online community.

In "Parenting Under the Influence" myself and co-panelists Christine Sloss and Steve Hall discuss issues such as:

When does parental substance use become a problem?
How many substance abusers are parents?
What is life like for kids of substance abusers?
How does parental substance abuse affect kids' learning?

Visit the website to view the webcast

The following is a list of indications that a child may be living with family substance abuse.

  • Morning tardiness
  • Consistent concern with getting home on time
  • Improper clothing for the weather
  • Regression: thumb sucking, etc.
  • Scrupulous avoidance of arguments and conflict
  • Poor attendance
  • Frequent illness and need to visit nurse
  • Sudden temper and emotional outbursts
  • Exaggerated concern with achievement and satisfying authority
  • Fear about situations involving contact with parents
  • Significant change in mood and behaviors on Mondays and Fridays
  • Child acts differently than usual during discussions about substance abuse
  • Child has unrealistic expectations of other children