How to Parent a Child Struggling With Addiction
Addiction is a horrible disease, and no one wants to see someone they love go through it. From the outside, you are witnessing your child change in frightening ways. They may lie, steal or say horrible things. From the inside, however, your child is struggling under the weight of an impossible burden no one is prepared to face.
For parents of addicted loved ones, there is no need to feel hopeless. Whether your child is a teen or adult, you undoubtedly want to guide and love them through this dark time. Here are some suggestions that have worked for others and may help you.
1. Let Them See the Natural Consequences of Their Actions
You would do almost anything for your child to take their pain away, keep them safe and ensure they have a great future. Yet, when it comes to addiction, it’s impossible to prevent them from hurting themself. Though it may be painful, you must allow your child to experience the natural consequences of their actions so that they can get better. You can’t ignore the problem or cover it up, and you should stop making excuses for your child’s behavior.
2. Avoid Nagging or Berating Your Child
While your child may have made an initial choice to use alcohol or another drug, no one wants to become addicted. Keep in mind that addiction is a disease that hijacks the brain. Your child undoubtedly feels trapped, guilty and worthless. Tough love could heighten their sense of shame and desire to isolate. Instead, act in love and try to respond non-judgmentally to your child.
3. Set Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries do not mean shutting your child out or ignoring them. Setting boundaries shows your child that their behavior is harming the family, so you’re taking steps to protect everyone. Boundaries mean that you have your own needs and expectations for the future. Boundaries invite open communication where you can clarify family values and rules and take steps to strengthen your relationship and start the healing process.
4. Offer Support
Your son or daughter will need emotional support when they make that crucial step to begin the Recovery process. One way you can help is to research different treatment programs and find options that suit their individual needs.
Don’t Ignore Your Own Needs — Help for Parents of Drug-Addicted Children
You may feel alone in your experiences with your child’s addiction, but that is far from true. Support groups for parents of addicts combat these feelings and give you guidance on how to navigate each turbulent storm. It’s far too common for parents to focus on their loved one’s needs rather than their own. Support groups offer a safe place where you can find emotional support and learn the value of self-care.
Learn About Individualized Addiction Treatment for Your Child at 7 Summit Pathways
At 7 Summit Pathways, we understand the essential role that a parent plays in their child’s Recovery. That’s why we offer family support group services to ensure that the parents of addicted loved ones receive the help and encouragement they need. If you are looking for evidence-based addiction treatment for your child that focuses on holistic healing, we encourage you to contact us today to learn more.