Is my childs behavior normal?

Please reword if I say too much, as I don’t know how to put in words. I was wondering if anyone had a young kid, 5 yrs or younger, lose their father to alcohol. Basically drank himself to death, and we divorced when I couldn’t help him get sober and stay sober, couldn’t go thru it anymore. I left in April, divorce final in October, last saw his son on Halloween, and March, he died. He would call him to come to see him, and he wouldn’t answer. Now my son, even 2 yrs later, still thinks that he is not enough for anyone, a bad kid, no one likes him, talks a lot about death. Some of his friend’s parents don’t want their kids around him because he talks about death and how drinking is bad. He will take things out in me, lose his cool and just go into this negative dark hole for about an hour. Then later is sorry, mom I love you. Counselors say it’s normal because I am the safe place. But it is so hard. Any advice?


I think he needs to be around kids as much as possible and not have to worry abt adult problems…him talking abt it is his way of grieving ,its a sad reality , I wouldnt suggest counseling …bc then he will think he has problems…he just is a normal kid grieving I think …surround yourselves both with love and happiness and keep on going :two_hearts::two_hearts::two_hearts:

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Definitely keep him in regular weekly counseling and continue to be is safe place. Work on positive affirmations that he is a good kid, he is enough, and that death is a part of life but doesn’t need to be focused on all the time.

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Maybe check your community for Alakid programs. I think locally for me they start around 6.

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Involve him in sports so he can make new friends and continue with counseling

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I think he needs someone he can relate too. Be careful about putting him around people and other kids who will make him feel like an outsider. They have big brother programs. Im not saying he NEEDS a constant positive male role model, but it would help in this situation tremendously. Especially if they can learn to address some of his negative emotions. I highly recommend team exercises and sports. And let him honor the memory of his dad the way he wants as long as it is not destructive. Dont make him feel like he is not allowed to, he just has to channel all that grief somewhere. You can not bear all of it.

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Nar-anon is a group similar to AA and NA but its for the family rather than the addict. Im sure there are online meetings, there are for all the anonymous programs. Being around other people who have gone thru the same thing and having an outlet may help both of you

Get him into therapy ASAP!

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Yes he definitely needs counseling. So sad how he lost his dad like that. He needs to understand death . He knows alot about this for such a young boy. Us as mom’s try but need help with matters like this. Get him to a therapist that can help. Keep him busy. do this now that he is still young.God bless and don’t give up!

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If you already have him in therapy then also try a group therapy. Because he needs social interaction it sounds like. And if a lot of his time is spent at 1:1 therapy then it may only worsen. Sounds like he needs both. And maybe a camp/play group atmosphere like YMCA

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Your son is trying to process a series of bad events in his short life. First he had an alcoholic father. I bet there were a lot of events involved with that that he doesn’t understand. Then your seperation. Dad’s abandonment. Then his death. That’s a lot for an an adult to endure. Too much for him. Get a good counselor. Please don’t let this slide & think he’ll figure it out. It’ll affect him forever if he doesn’t get help now.

There is a program called alanon that helps loved ones understand alcoholism and learn it’s not their fault etc


You are his safe place. He knows that no matter how he acts YOU will love him and keep him safe.
Daily affirmations…choose them together. I am handsome. I am LOVED. I am honest. I am a great friend. I am the greatest son…constant positives to keep him in the light. :two_hearts: sending so much love to you both and positive energy :two_hearts: You both will get through this. XxX


My situation is very similar to yours except my son lost his dad when he was four to drugs. I commend you on having your child in counseling I feel it will help him tremendously in the long run. The anger toward you is normal your his safety zone. My son is now 13 and still has a difficult time some days easier than others just be supportive and keep up with the counseling.

Aww hunny! Get him into counseling. And if your near PA he is more then welcome to come play with my son anytime!

Keep up the counseling. Have a heart to heart with him. Let him know that you love him, unconditionally, and that whatever happened with his father was nobody’s fault but his own. Try to find him someone he can relate to even. Maybe some kind of group for kids.

I also think groups will be helpful. He needs to feel understood. He’s taking about it constantly probably hoping someone, anyone can help. I’m glad you’re seeking help early. My 14 year old has these same feelings though his father didn’t pass he just disappeared. Several times. And chose partying over his kids for years. I mean still does. I left when my son was 3. He struggles with relating to others and anger processing. I wish i had gotten him help as a toddler even. He didn’t get help in time. Your son is still little and with the tools he’s acquiring he will be a well adjusted little man. Its never easy but when you add trauma life is always harder to handle. Good luck guys.

Get him into grief counseling.

Keep him in counseling and maybe try to find him a male mentor.

We have a very similar situation with our 13 year old daughter, technically my stepdaughter but I refuse to call her that. Her bio mother chose her new husband & drugs. Then just dropped out of her life, combine that with the abuse bio-mom inflicted on her since she was born, emotional abuse, and other things… she’s been a train wreck since we got custody 4 years ago. She too has violent fits and attacks those around her. It’s sad to see :pensive: she was recently put on medication to help her get through each day. We do day by day, she has cards to work through, we also do the positive statements, you are loved, you are beautiful, you are important, you can do it… sending you lots of love! You can do this :heartpulse::heartpulse::heartpulse:

You need to read a few books on helping to guide him. It’s normal for a child to take out his emotions on you, but you need to learn the skills on how to react. Also do not let him make excuses for his behavior on loosing his dad. He needs to understand it’s not your fault, and that unfortunately his dad made bad decisions. If he doesn’t learn the right coping skills now he will grow up and unfortunately use that a crutch. It may also help to get him into some charity work, it will help teach him he can help others. I see alot of adults who use their parents as a excuse for not being responsible adults. Especially people who turn to drugs or alcohol will day it’s because of child hood. So now I’d the time to learn good coping skills. It’s hard for a kid to process what he’s been through but he can work through it. A good psychologist may help also, psychiatrist would probably just try and put him on meds but that wouldn’t be a good solution, he needs a healthy way to vent. A kid in our neighborhood lost his dad young to drugs, he acted out terribly, the doctors just medicated him. Now he’s almost a teenager and is horrible in school and gets violent often. His mother just makes excuses for him, but unfortunately I have a feeling he’s only going to get worse because him and his mom never learned how to cope in a healthy way. They have a bunch of good books out there that would benefit both of you greatly.

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Grief counseling could help a lot. Sometimes, communities have grief counseling set up for children. Remind him that your love will always be unconditional and there is nothing he could do to change that. Praying for you and your son :pray: :heart:

He needs proper therapy. Like a trauma therapist. Then after that and he’s ready some group therapy with peers. I didnt lose my father to drugs, mine died of prostate cancer when I was 11. He battled for 5 years. Watching him deteriorate before my eyes was traumatic. He needs like minded peers and the proper therapy. You don’t need to hear its normal. I hate hearing this reaction, you need to hear what they are doing to help him process in a healthy manner so he can feel better.

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He just needs a lot of extra love from you it sounds like. Show the extra love and keep him in counseling

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My son lost his father to suicide when he was 13. He is now 16. He feels that way about himself too. I know it’s so scary to think about our children hurting like that and we just can’t make it stop. The only thing you can do is make sure he is in therapy and to constantly remind him of how much you love him and that what happened to his father had nothing to do with him. His father had a problem he just couldn’t conquer. I hope it all gets better for you both, it will just take time.

Have a look into a therapist that has experience with adverse childhood experiences (aces) there are so many support groups for this also, I have a high ace score, its eye opening once you look into it and will be really beneficial for your son. Good luck x

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I honestly dont have any advice, I can sympathize with your son though. My father drank himself to death when I was 12. He died of cirrhosis of the liver. I have struggled with fear of abandonment my whole life and it isn’t easy. I wonder if deep down he blames you on some level for his fathers death? I don’t say this to hurt you as I know there was nothing you could do to help him. It is just something that needs to be discussed in therapy.

As far as them telling you it’s normal behavior…it’s not. I would suggest a therapist before it turns into a disorder and he’s stuck is consumed by his anger.

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I’m glad you’re seeking counseling for your son. You may need to seek additional or different if it’s not as effective as you need.
I would intentionally model for a child that age. Bring up the subject; as if you were his age.
“Sometimes I feel so (blank) that (Dads name) was not able to beat his addiction and be his best person. I wish he could have seen how wonderful our family is, how great you are, and how loving I am. I feel mad, but I know that if he could have won the fight against alcohol, he would have been able to love us better. Sometimes the fight is too hard. Talking to my friends about it makes them uncomfortable. I’m glad I can talk to you and that you understand. I hope you know you can also talk to me any time. I know your friends may not understand because they haven’t shared the hurt that we share”.
Something along those lines.

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Thats a kid that could use some therapy to deal with very strong emotions

So sorry pray to heal his mind

You need to be more honest about the choices his father made.
My youngest’s father walked when I was pregnant, he was all my twins had ever known. I kept him as the nice guy, thinking that was best, and then my twins concluded it was them that was the problem.
Certainly don’t slate him or be brutal but your baby needs to know this was not and is not his fault.
Good luck Momma. Praying for you and your boy

Explain to him that in the final months that his dad was alive, he was not well. His kidney’s and liver were shutting down and he wasn’t thinking right. It had nothing to do with the child. He was sick. And yes, I do know what I am talking about. My daughter died from alcohol abuse and literally drank herself to death.

Some extra love (hugs and just saying I love you) couldn’t hurt. I’m sure I don’t understand exactly what you guys are going through but he sounds lost, just make sure he knows without a shadow of a doubt that when you say you’re there for him you will be. I’m sure you’re already an amazing mom just try to be there as much as you can, let him know you are his safe space and try to let him talk about some of the things he needs to get off his chest. I wish the best to both of you

You are his safe place! But see if you can get him in counseling. Went thru similar situation with my daughter. Always be available for your child to talk with you, just listen while they speak. Don’t come up with solutions let them vent. Hug them while they speak, you don’t always have to look them in the eye while they tell you.

I would say for his age you share way to much with him needs more interaction with healthy kids but also needs a special type council it is not normal 5 yr old wants to die I would talk to a council deal with death

I never recovered from having addict parents. One is deceased, I still live with the other. I don’t know if anything really does help. I think you just get stronger and more independent with it which is good and bad.

Try being more open and honest about life and death, in words he can comprehend. Death isn’t the worst thing in the world after all, there are worse things than death.

Hold him close to your heart

I can relate and the best advice I can give is find a church and start praying for you and your son… your son is grieving and needs comfort and very positive understanding atmosphere …

My father died when i was 10 due to addiction problems, it has massively affected my self esteem and relationships and i wish it had been addressed sooner. Please feel free to pm me.


Continue grief counseling, and encourage counseling for you inorder to best work with him. He’s too young to describe what emotionally he feels therefore cannot cope. Praying comfort for him and you


I recommend that your child go see a bereavement therapy/counseling. They can handle this way better than a regular therapist. Talk to your local social services and get one as soon as possible. Most of them are free of charge. I have met some parents whose children went through this and the group sessions do help.

It’s completely normal and understandable as our children are still learning how to navigate and channel all their feelings and emotions into the “right” or “proper” words or actions. I would encourage therapy or some sort of sport activity. So baby feels a part of something special like he is needed. And you mama arent doing anything wrong. It’s a day by day thing that you will both learn a steady ground together on.

My daughter’s dad is an addict and between 3-5 had to see a therapist because of the same feelings. Therapist said she had abandonment issues because of him no longer being around. She is 9 now and is doing much better.

It might be that he’s afraid of losing you too and is trying not to love you so if it happens it won’t hurt him again try telling him your ok and will always be there and love and need him too

It helped soooooo much! We are 4 years out and doing great, got on the correct meds and figured out he had ptsd

He should have someone he can relate to so he is not learning to supress his feelings in a negative way. I highly recommend team building exercises and sports. And youth counseling. He should be allowed to grieve for his father the way he chooses as long as its not destructive and he is not ostracized for it. You can not bear all the burden of mitigating his grief!


It’s hard for kids to understand their emotions and they don’t really know how to grieve. I would say he’s reacting how any kid would and it’s your job to try and make him understand what he’s feeling. He is just healing.

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This is a deep subject. My daughter lost her father at 2.5. She is 18 now and yes, you are his safe space. What’s helped her is A LOT of talking. She’s beat herself up a lot over the years. Felt not enough. Felt different. Her being around her dads family has helped tremendously to feel loved by his family- feel wanted. Feel a connection to her dad that she didn’t ever get to know. I hope you find relief and understanding for him. He is loved so much.

Therapy would be really good for him. He obviously has a lot that he needs to get through and a professional can better guide him. Stay strong!


Pray in the name of Jesus the Lord. “The Lord rebuke the evil surrounding my son, and attacking my son” never “I”. Follow Mark Driscoll. Watch his sermons on Win your War. That is for sure demons. If you believe in God dont forget there is the evil one too. People always forget that.

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Yes it’s normal how he’s acting. My kids lost their father too through an accidental death. He most likely needs counseling and you should too not only to learn how to help him deal with it but so u can learn how to deal with it too. Death is very hard on a child but it’s not much easier for us.

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Girl my Son is the same way. I’m so sorry, patience is what you need and lot of it. My son See’s a therapist at school and at the mental health clinic. It’s going to be hard and get worse. He’s struggling with the change, people will tell you he’s just a kid he’ll get over it. They don’t, they suffer. Seeing a therapist has helped immensely, get yourself a therapist as well. It we’ll help you understand him and help him. He needs you now more than you can ever imagine.


Consider al-anon maybe? The people in that fellowship are those who were impacted by anothers drinking and so they probably have a unique perspective on some ways you could help. They can also help you if you think that maybe you would benefit from addressing how his behaviour has affected you in the past and still does today.
I’m a sober alcoholic and haven’t drank in over 4 years but my first born had a drunk mum for the first 18months of his life. I tried to stop for him, for family, because of work etc but I had to be so broken inside that I had run out of the will to drink and then I put in the work to get sober and continue to do so on q daily basis so I don’t ever return to the horrors of active alcoholism. He was sick but that doesn’t excuse his behaviours, it didn’t excuse mine!

For what its worth this alcoholic is sad for your families continuing pain, i wish I had a magic wand or special words that would help your sons heart heal but he is blessed he has someone who cares enough to ask strangers because nothing else has helped. Sending you love and healing thoughts from the UK :uk: :heart:


My dad drank himself to death when I was a little girl. My mom put me and my sister in counseling. At first we hated it but we started enjoying it after a while and it actually did help us. For me it was easier to talk to the therapist than it was my mom so it was a way for me to get everything out without worrying about what I said or being judged


Keep up counseling for him, maybe martial arts or signing him up for big brother program might help. Also there are AA programs to help families or people affected by an alcoholic. Also just give him your unconditional love and support and let him grieve if he is still going through that process. All the best for you and your child.

It’s his way of trying to deal with what happened. At that young of age children are very sensitive to their surroundings. This is a huge change for your son, and although it may be normal it can lead to future issues. Even if your husbands drinking had nothing to do with your child he may see it as it’s his fault. Keep being there for them and reassuring that he is special to you.

While my son’s “father” didn’t pass, he did abandon him in favor of his addiction to alcohol. I was fortunate in that my father was a very large and positive influence in his life. Is there a male figure in his life, related or not, that can help you with some of his abandonment issues? It does help. Also, I kept a dry house. Absolutely no alcohol. And my son never saw me drunk until he was able to realize that alcohol was not the evil, addiction was. Just recently, I did have my son admitted to get further help and it made a tremendous difference. Sometimes they need to talk to someone other than mom. Instinctively they know mom is going to support them no matter what and may feel they are being humored instead of helped. It’s not easy. And it takes time. But you all can get through it.

If you want to message me you can, my sons dad is an alcoholic. He hasn’t killed himself yet though he’s came close a few times. We have found that sports help for anger, lots of one on one time when he’s feeling particularly upset, and reminding him that nothing is his fault and all the people he has in his life who want to be there.


It is definitely hard but continue to let him process. I would start daily positive affirmations with him to continue to build his self esteem! When dinosaurs die is a great book that explains death that would be age appropriate. Check it out, read it with him, and let him ask any questions he needs! Good luck! I am sure it is a difficult time!


Momma, first and foremost I am so deeply sorry you and your boy have experienced such pain… it is never easy. You’re so strong!! I read a book called, “the whole brain child”, which gives you insight on how a child’s brain operates. I don’t believe at all his behavior is abnormal. He’s experiencing loss and at such a young age doesnt know how to navigate those deep and strong emotions. A dad is a hero. To lose a dad is essentially losing apart of ourselves. Your worry is beautiful as you care so much… keep applying it to comforting your boy. My son was between 2 and 5 when he would cry at night with just the thought of my self or his dad dying. Which hasn’t happen. And I would just hold him and comfort him. It’s amazing what a child brain is capable of and how it operates. But nonetheless, you’re so courage and strong, he will appreciate you so much when he gets older… as I’m sure he does now. Anywho, whole brain child is a great book. And may really shed some light on his behavior and really help you understand their little brains and how they work. Best of luck to you momma warrior!!!

Please send your son for therapy. At his young age he probably feels this is all his fault and he doesn’t have the necessary life skills to process the deep loss of his father. This process will take a long time. Please let him have good male figures in his life to balance the loss. Please know you tried all you could, you also love this man once. Please afford yourself therapy too to help yourself and son. Sending you strength at this very difficult time in your life​:yellow_heart::sunflower:


I would definitely suggest counseling. Yes he is grieving but alot of times when something traumatic happens to small children, they are likely to develop depression and anxiety because they don’t know how to cope. Maybe reaching out to support groups for children/families of addicts could help as well. It will make him realise that there are other people who are going through the same situations and he is not alone.


What an awful situation!! Another helpful idea could be looking for a big brother/mentor type programme in your area? A Male role model/mentor for your boy, someone to take him out and do fun things with him, build his self esteem and a trusting relationship, also would give you some down time tooo

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Find a play therapist. He is too young to articulate his feelings. Part of this is normal and being that you are his safe zone he will be harder on you than anyone else. Just keep loving him,holding him and little by little try to explain what alcoholism is. Let him know dad was sick and it is ok for him to be mad at him.

If you have a garden get him out in it gardening and growing things and nurturing etc…food…herbs…do things with the hebs…healing etc…something along those lines as best you can…encourage a connection with nature and life natural cycle…the opposite of death…growth…birth erc…help him heal x


He needs outlets, positive things in life, if you are ok with it try bringing him to church or a children’s bible study. Garden, pets, ect things that live, Set him up with a boys and girls club sponsor. They have them in a lot of areas they act as big brothers. Maybe a positive male role model would be good

My dad was a user of many things. He went to rehab when I was quite young and shortly thereafter, I went to therapy. I remember the therapist asking me to draw a picture of how I felt. I drew myself and a wall with everyone else on the other side. I was only a kid and I really don’t think I knew what that meant at the time but I think of that drawing often and the therapy and it helps me now, even in my 30s.

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My daughter lost her grandfather to drinking and other problems like ptsd and depression and talks about this stuff. She cries alot because he is gone, but we found that taking her to do things keeps her mind off things. And she loves getting out of the house and doing fun things. Maybe have a mom and son date. Let him know his dad loves him and is watching over him

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I had a friend who’s son was unusually interested in the subject of death and dying at a very young age. He finally outgrew it after being gently encouraged to other subjects. Just have to find what else turns him on. Does he have his own library card? Access to fun videos. Watch his diet closely as well. Start a stamp or coin collection with him.

Not alcohol but Cancer, let them talk about it & process. He got kicked out of daycare because he couldn’t process and they couldn’t care less. Counseling may help him. It took me a year to get my baby back.

I was the same way when I was adopted. I felt like no one wanted me. And i was just a waist of space. The best thing you can do is make him a safe space and make sure he knows he is loved. Try to explain that dad didn’t die because he hated him or that it was his fault. Dad was sick and thats why he isn’t here anymore. Not from hate or disappointment but from the sickness he just couldn’t beat

Where are you based. I work for a local charity in the South East who specialise in child bereavement. The work they do with the children in helping them process their grief is amazing. Check out their website Holding on letting go.

He sounds depressed which is understandable, since his father just died. Be glad he knows that being an alcoholic can lead to a horrible death. Right now, he needs to keep busy. Have him join a sport that shows respect and courtesy to all fellow human beings. Maybe karate or tae kwon do? It will teach him discipline.

Good for you mama…you took the very first step and most importantant step when you got him into counseling…just continue what you’re doing and be patient with him…I know it’s hard but it will get better…I’m so sorry for your and your family’s loss :heart:

Stick with therapy. You can look into the girls and boys club. They have mentoring for kids just like your son so that he can have a positive male role model. Cuddle him and tell him you love him as often as you can. Have movie nights, game nights, and other fun activities to show him life can be fun. Good luck to you both. You got this mama!

I am so immensely sorry you are going through this! I cant say I have dealt with this personally but I do have 3 babies who have a father that wants nothing to do with them and they always take it out on me. I think maybe getting your baby into counseling would be the best option.

I was 35 when I list my dad and it was unbearable. He is a tiny human processing a huge trauma. All of this is normal.

We just lost my sons father to addiction he was 5, but just turned 6. I am dealing with the same behaviors. We see a grief therapist, but so far no changes

I have the similar situation and I had to put my middle child into behavior health classes to coap

You gotta find something he’s passionate about and make him dive head first into it show him where to put his thoughts. Maybe art or something more physical

Hes trying to cope. Id see if he wants to see a counselor. He isn’t sure how to grasp everything that happened yet, but its trying. Talk to him. It’ll get better.

Have you thought about having him let out his anger in a different way like as adults they have those places where you can yell break stuff … maybe look into him writing his angry words down and you guys burning them or ripping them up maybe buy some plates at the dollar store and set up a safe space to break them … take him out in the middle of no where and yell at the top of his lungs about anything and everything that makes him mad …i also give my son time to say anythinh about anything he has a 15 min time where he can say anything and I just listen i don’t try to fix anything … and then to boost positive self esteem every morning you get up and he writes something he likes about him self and you write something you like about him on the bathroom mirror and leave it all day till the next its an all day reminder of good…

Completely normal my half brothers and sister lost there dad six years ago, the his second eldest son still acts out like this and so does the youngest son, they have been to see professionals but they say it’s also normal, he will heal in his time just remember every one grieves differently and just know your little one feels safe and secure with you and that’s why he shows you his hurting so much

My 1st suggestion is to get him in church { if he doesnt already go} and just pray for Him… e have a prayer ansering God that never sleeps.!!!Ill pray for him daily !!!

I would find a different counselor. You must take this seriously. It’s not going to just go away.

I lost my dad at 13 me and my brother began acting out idk how my mom did it sorry your going through this

Who are the Counselors ? Look for more competent ones. Take to Childrens Hospital

My heart goes out to u. Obvs too young 4 al Anon but maybe they have some info?xxx

Get a real child therapist that deals with it in regular visits for 6 months

Continue with therapy… he will always need someone he feels safe to open up to when he’s ready

Be patient,he knows who loves him, he’s in tough place,been there know where he’s coming from

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Get counselling now. Been there & always felt I should have done more

Be guided by his councillor he is the expert , yes it’s normal he has been throw so much

Mommy you got this♥️the best therapy is your child in your arms

In depth mental health counseling asap.

Are you a praying Mother??? Is the Counselor a praying Counselor ???

Therapy and normalizing death for him might help.

Anon is for alcoholics families. Perhaps they can help.