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 -> See)

    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
    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 © 2007-2020

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 relationships.

    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 the Lost Child Role/Syndrome/Spectrum (it has a full
    page to itself) - the other "roles" are discussed on a separate page.

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