Thirteen Characteristics Of Adult Children
(As written by Janet Geringer Woititz)
Adult children of alcoholics:
1. Guess at what normal behavior is.
2. Have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
3. Lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
4. Judge themselves without mercy.
5. Have difficulty having fun.
6. Take themselves very seriously.
7. Have difficulty with intimate relationships.
8. Overreact to changes over which they have no control.
9. Constantly seek approval and affirmation.
10. Usually feel that they are different from other people.
11. Are super responsible or super irresponsible.
12. Are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is
13. Are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action
without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible
consequences. This impulsivity leads to confusion, self-loathing, and loss of
control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of
energy cleaning up the mess.
Janet points out that adult children can be children of alcoholics or children from
many other types of dysfunctional situations.
Examples include growing up with people who had other compulsive behaviors (such
as gambling, drug abuse, workaholic, overeating), experienced chronic illness,
profound religious attitudes, were adopted, lived in foster care, lived with
divorced parents, etc.
Janet's book, Adult Children of Alcoholics is available on Amazon here,
and was a #1 New York Times Bestseller.
The topics below are often discussed at Adult
Children of Alcoholics meetings, a 12 Step recovery program for adults
whose lives were affected as a result of being raised in an alcoholic or other
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This page updated 03/07/18 10:06 AM