It All Begins In Childhood

Children in Healthy and Dysfunctional Alcoholic Families

The journey to adulthood begins here
This brief introduction applies to all Children (all of us)

Children do not grow up in a vacuum: they grow up in environments in
which they acquire information, knowledge, skills, their sense of
personhood, as well as the
cultural norms of the society they live in. The
family is the primary environment: it is virtually a micro-culture.

Acquiring culture means, learning that society's "rules", ways, and belief
structure: it's value structure. There are two ways that families influence
values and expectations of their children: directly, and indirectly. Parents
teach their children values directly. "Directly" includes teaching right and
wrong, religious education, about interacting with people, and rules
and expectations.

Indirectly, parents
indoctrinate, train and socialize their children by example.
And Children also learn indirectly by watching their parents interact with
others, make choices and determine right and wrong for themselves,
and this impacts how they develop their moral self.

NOTE: On the site, "family" refers to: family of birth, adoptive family,
step-family, single-parent family, foster family, institutional family
(orphanage, and until recently, such things as "Residential
Schools in Canada ->

Children's (human) brains/minds are continually developing and are open
to new experiences and situations that can either positively or
negatively affect them/us.

It is during childhood, in the family/home, that we learn such things as:
*such magic words as hello, please, you’re welcome, I’m sorry, and thank
you. * as well as learning such things as: to be honest, to be on time, to be
diligent, to show friends our sympathy, as well as show utmost respect for
our elders, and for all people's rights, etc.

* Home is where we learn to be clean, not talk with our mouths full,
and how/where to properly dispose of garbage, for example. * Home is also
where we learn to be organized, to take good care of our belongings,
and that it’s not O.K. to touch others.

“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real
war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”
- Mohandas Gandhi
You may wish to read further on this: See

This is just a basic overview one form of childhood in general: the
"functional" side. There is also that opposite side: how it's different
for children who grow up in
dysfunctional environments.
Children From Toxic Dysfunctional Backgrounds. through "roles"
and behaviour patterns, which began as a coping strategies
and became a way of life.
* Life for those who actually grew up in alcoholic or other types of dysfunctional
and toxic homes was totally unpleasant: - it was their
reality, not just
their reading material, movie or a TV series.

*If you grew up in such an environment or under such conditions, some of the
stuff below will trigger unpleasant memories: and I apologize for that, but you
will find that in that momentary pain that you may also experience
a tremendous
sense of relief
- by discovering that somebody understands - that you were/are
not the only one, and that you haven't been crazy all along.

* Growing up in a sick, abusive, dysfunctional or alcoholic has devastating
effects on the children that usually affect them for the rest of their lives.
* On the "
Roles" and "Adaptive Strategies" pages, you my discover in which way
you were affected, and the degree to which it has controlled
and ruined your life.

* For these adult Children, one of the biggest consequences immediately was
that they would have a life-time problem with nurturing and being nurtured,
because that was totally missing in their childhoods. A major consequence of
that is discussed elsewhere under "Dysfunction"
on the
"Lost Child Role/Syndrome" Page.
All children who grew up in alcoholic families or families with other addictions
or negative Dysfunctional Families (or both) are known as Adult Children of
Alcoholics or from Dysfunctional Families (or both).

* They are called are
"children" not because they are still children: but because
they are someone's offspring - ones who are deeply emotionally undeveloped;
they have never "grown up" emotionally, mentally and spiritually, and are like
children in an adult's body, in a manner of speaking.

* The negative consequences of growing up in sick, toxic family environments,
on these victims are numerous: both at the time they were growing up, and
subsequently later in life (perhaps this is why you are reading
this page at the moment).

* Dysfunction means "does not work" (or sick). A dysfunctional family/
relationship is, or was, one where the real actual physical, emotional, mental
and spiritual needs of its members are not met.

* It is also one where there often is/was physical, mental, sexual, emotional,
verbal and spiritual abuse.
Dawn Cove Abbey
"Roadside Assistance" For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman M.A © 2007-2019

Questions and comments welcomed.
Your family can/will define who you are to a very large extent; how you relate to
people, how they relate to you and influence every aspect of your life. People
who are able to identify the role they played in their family have a
powerful tool for changing and transforming their lives and improving their

Family roles can be as varied and as individual as families are. A family may
have "the sick one", "the peacekeeper", "the athlete", "the gifted one", "the
victim", "the genius", or any other role you can think of - this page introduces
Lost Child Role/Syndrome/Spectrum (it has a full page to itself) - the
"roles" are discussed on a separate page.

The first step toward change is awareness.
The second step is acceptance.
~Nathaniel Branden