Q. My father is an alcohol addict but he refuses to accept it. We see him suffering and all feel bad for him. My mother suffers and is sort of tired of caring for him. He behaves badly at times and many times loses sense and throws up and throws things too. He is a good person when not drunk, he talks nicely and is kind and fun too. But his habit is spoiling our life and his health as well. He wastes money and lends his friends money too. I have a younger sister who is attached to him and she starts crying when we speak bad about him. I am in college and the elder son. My mother started a part-time business to earn and keep herself busy. But every now and then she wants to end this nonsense. Please guide us.
Ans. I am sorry to hear about your father’s habit which is an addiction now and has to be treated as a disease. He needs medical /psychiatric treatment and psychological counselling as well along with medicines. It’s a complex disease and needs prolonged treatment. You can admit him in a rehabilitation center for three months and it is sure to help. If he does not agree for an admission, ask him for outpatient treatment in your city. If he does not agree for that, then the best way to motivate him is through a ‘threat’. Issue a threat that ‘all of you will leave him and separate out till he agrees for treatment’. You will have to act on your threat if you say it, for he should know you are serious in your intentions. No other emotion will work for you. This is good for him to force him for treatment.
Q. I am worried about my child. He is eleven years old and has started lying and using bad words. He abused his younger sister and shouted at her. When we stopped him and asked him the reasons he kept quiet. He does not tell us the problem if he is having any. He is going to school regularly and does his homework. He is average in studies and good in sports. He likes to play full day and enjoy with his friends. We don’t allow him to go out too much as he has homework to complete and he is slow. He takes a long time to complete his work but does it. What should I do? Please guide.
Ans. You must go to his school and take a feedback from the class-teacher. Is he finding difficulty in some subject, such as language, mathematics or science? Is he making friends with a particular group of students? How is his behavior in school? Is he rude and aggressive with students and teachers? You will get an insight into his problems and behavior at school. Talk to a few of his good friends and take a feedback on his behavior. Of-course his friends will tell him that you were enquiring and you will have to be prepared for that. Then talk to him about it. If he still keeps mum and refuses to communicate, bring him for counseling. Children talk in counseling spaces where things are confidential. We can take care of it very nicely.