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Solution: Family History of Alcoholism

by Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil | August 24th, 2012 | Parenting Predicament

When talking to my teens about drinking, should I let them know that two of their grandparents (now deceased) were alcoholics and that this caused problems for all of us?

Absolutely tell your teens there is alcoholism in the family. It is hereditary so they need to know this predisposition so they will be careful, since they have a propensity towards alcoholism. A family tree of the generations of alcoholism will help them to visually see this as an inherited disease. If they understand it and are alerted to the dangers and warning signs, there is less chance of repeating the pattern or picking an alcoholic partner. The more secretive, the more chance of repeating the pattern. Teach them it is an illness not a character flaw!

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