Here are 5 tips for parents with addicted children.
Approximately 20 million people in the US have substance use disorder, and this number is frightening for mothers and fathers who are raising growing young adults.
Unfortunately, addiction has no age requirement. Many parents find themselves caught in a situation of taking care of children who are struggling with addiction, and many of them are unable to step up to the challenge.
5 Tips for Parents with Addicted Children
1. Encourage Positive Behaviors and Treatment
Many parents get stuck in a rut of pointing out the bad things their child is doing. Children will have diminished confidence and get frustrated when there is too much focus on the mistakes they have made.
Instead of focusing on the mistakes that your child has made, focus on how far they have come. Encourage your child to do better instead of scolding them for their past.
You should also push your child to engage in new activities, and to make more appropriate friendships among their peers; a lot of the children with addiction get access to these substances through older friends that have a poor influence.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Professional Help
There is a stigma surrounding the idea of bringing your child to professionals. However, you should never be afraid to ask for assistance to get your child help with sober living.
There are plenty of recovery communities that have a high success rate. They specialize in creating an environment that is safe and secluded for those with addiction– adult and young adult alike. These professionals have more experience than the average parent. Because of this, they are often more successful.
Sometimes, there is simply nothing more that you are able to do for your child from home. These communities offer remission in those cases where the child is unable to shake the addiction on his/her own.
3. Set Clear Boundaries
Those who struggle with substance abuse often get worse because they never have any boundaries set.
As a parent, you need to set reasonable boundaries that will allow your child to know what is and isn’t acceptable. You need to be clear on how you expect to be treated by your child, and how you will treat him/her.
Another important boundary needs to be that you are not willing to supply your child with the funds that they need to continue their substance abuse. It may be a good idea to take control of your child’s spending for at least a little while they are on their road to recovery.
4. Do Your Research
Many parents think that they know what addiction is, but they don’t understand how it can affect their child.
You should research addiction in general as well as the effects of the specific substances that they are using. If you understand the symptoms that your child will show, it becomes a lot easier to know when they have been using and what they need when they have.
This research will also help your understanding of what your child is going through. This will help you to empathize with your child and help them to get better.
5. Understand the Recovery Process
With addiction, it is likely that your child will seem like they are beating addiction only to fall back into it.
When this happens, it is important to remember that recovery is a process. Your child will likely fall a few times before they are able to completely kick the addiction.
In this time, continue to encourage positive behaviors rather than act like you are back at the beginning of the recovery process.
Addiction is a problem that you hope that your child will never have to experience. If they do, however, these 5 tips will make it much easier for you to help your child to beat it.