There are so many joys to parenting – your kids become the center of your world, however old they are.
Sadly, like the parents of 21.5 million other Americans, when one of your children becomes addicted to drugs, we understand that it can feel like the world is crashing down.
But there’s hope! Your years of careful parenting and nurturing have not gone to waste – and you still have a crucial role to play.
Read on for some important advice for parents of addicts.
Analyze Your Own Behavior
One of the best pieces of advice for the parents of addicts is to take a hard look at themselves. Are you unintentionally enabling your child’s addiction?
This could be through financial support, covering for them when they can’t make it to work or making excuses for them that minimize the addiction.
One of the kindest things you can do is take a firm line and refuse to support your child’s addiction. That leads us to…
Promote the Positive
As you withdraw anything that supports their addiction, you need to replace it with behavior that will support their recovery.
This can include:
- Being willing to forgive
- Having positive, encouraging conversations
- Lending a listening ear
- Not overreacting to difficult behavior
This will help them not to see themselves as a failure and show you have confidence that they can turn their life around. Crucial to this is…
Support Them Through Treatment
At first, even convincing your child that they need to get some treatment for their addiction may be a challenge. But showing them that you’ll be there for them through treatment can be a powerful incentive to get help.
Once they are there, supporting your child through a spell in an inpatient drug rehab center is a crucial role that you can play.
Family support is a great help to addicts. Families can help them to seek help, understand the problem themselves and follow strategies to best support their family member through treatment.
Care For Yourself
As the parent of an addict, it’s easy to focus all your efforts on your child and neglect yourself. However, this is dangerous as you could face burnout or worse.
Take time to care for your own health. Allow yourself some respite. Accept help from family and friends.
Counseling for parents of drug addicts is also available. This may help you to set priorities through this challenging time.
The Takeaway: The Best Advice for Parents of Addicts
This may be the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your life so far – but it can also become one of the biggest successes.
Following this advice for parents of addicts will help you to be positive, firm and kind. Reinforce behaviors that will assist them to get on – and stay on – the road to recovery.
It will be a tough journey at times, but they will thank you in the long run.
We know that time with family is precious – but how can you make the most of it?
Check out our blogs on how to get the best out of family time.
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