Reclaiming our lives as parents with children in recovery.
We discussed the need to change our parenting roles to help our children recover from addiction. Today, we will delve into redefining our parenting and adopting a new approach that fosters independence, growth, and empowerment for our children and ourselves. This journey will require grit, determination, and a willingness to let go of our old parenting habits. So, let's explore how we can achieve this and find joy and pride in our parenting and personal lives.
The Unthinkable: Letting Go
One of the most challenging aspects of redefining our parenting role is accepting that we cannot protect our children from the world. As they embark on their recovery journey, we must understand that they must learn to navigate life independently. This can be particularly difficult for parents of children with addictions, as we may have to let go sooner than other parents whose children are in their mid-twenties.
To foster our children's...
Parenting children with addiction can be an incredibly challenging and emotionally taxing experience. As a parent, it's natural to question why you need to change and adapt to the situation. However, understanding the need for personal growth and transformation is crucial for your well-being and your child's recovery journey.
We'll explore the importance of change, parents' internal struggles, and the stages of parenting children with addiction. We'll also discuss the significance of joining a supportive community like the Positive Parenting Group to navigate this journey effectively. So, let's dive in!
Embracing Change for Emotional Well-being
Many parents wonder why they should change when their child struggles with addiction. But the truth is, resisting change only perpetuates negative emotions like anger, sadness, resentment, and grief. It's essential to recognize that your well-being and emotional state are just as important.
By embracing change, you have the opportunity to...
Are you a bad parent if you let your addicted son or daughter live in your house?
If this is a thought you've had, you've likely also felt guilty for letting them stay, risking enabling them, but you also feel guilty if you make them leave.
There are a ton of mixed feelings when it comes to this. You may resent the chaos they're bringing to the house, but you also feel terrified about what will happen if you don't let them stay.
There's no black or white, yes or no answer to the question of whether or not it's okay to let your addicted son or daughter live in your house.
I can't tell you exactly what to do, but I can help you think through the situation objectively because it's essential that you not make this decision in an emotional state.
Let's say your addicted son or daughter comes home, and they do something that makes you mad, and you yell and scream and throw them out in the heat of the moment;...
What does it take to get through their denial and get them to see that they are ruining their life and yours and finally do something about it?
The challenge with young adults-- not only do they have to figure out how not to use drugs. They have to figure out how to be an adult too. Most of the time, young adults who abuse drugs/alcohol for a long time haven't developed adulting skills. They're likely emotionally stuck in the age of when they started using regularly.
It's time to fill their pride tank.
A lot of young adults that are struggling with addiction have no self-worth and little self-pride. That tank is depleted, so much of our programming is to give them the life skills they need to refill that tank.
An example of filling someone's pride tank they use at Greenville Transitions is to partake in physical activities with a clinician. David shares an experience that happened to someone recently.
"We do a lot of UFC gym work where they do Brazilian...
You may be wondering if your son or daughter falls into the addiction or regular use category of marijuana use. There are official criteria, and I'll put them HERE, but for now, ask yourself these four questions:
#1-Do I know that my kid is using marijuana regularly or has a strong belief that they are?
#2- Does my kid seem to be more depressed and anxious?
#3- Does it seem like my kid is stuck like they're not moving forward?
#4- Does it seem like you're having difficulty getting your son or daughter to be responsible for themselves?
I'm sure you've noticed over the past several years, marijuana has become more acceptable and accessible. Marijuana is the most challenging addiction that I treat. It is extremely tough to get someone to recognize that it is the marijuana causing the problems they're frustrated with. The person almost always feels like marijuana is the only good thing in their life.
There is one little piece of good news here--Early in my career as an addiction...
No matter how hard you try, your child is going to run into obstacles, difficulties, and roadblocks. They're going to have their challenges. It doesn't matter how much money, resources, or how many people you know. No matter how much you try, there will be problems and challenges. That's OKAY!
That's a good thing because that's how we build character. Knowing that you're creating confident, secure, resilient kids is one of the most important aspects of parenting. Easier said than done, right? The good news is it doesn't have to be perfect. Once you understand these principles, you might feel a little less pressure to make everything perfect, and your kid will feel a little less pressure, too.
(This topic is relevant to addiction, but it's also relevant to any parent out there. All of these strategies I'm about to give you can work on anyone, whether they're your kid, a work partner, a friend, or a spouse. This is how to help other people feel more confident, secure, and resilient.)...
Does my drinking or substance use affect my kids?
Of course, it does, but HOW does it affect your kids? Some
of these things might be difficult to hear, but necessary.
We're going to be looking at it from the child's point of view, focusing specifically on how a parent's alcohol or other substance use or abuse affects you as a kid and even as an adult now.
If you want to know if you have an addiction or a loved one has an addiction problem and how severe that problem is, you can click HERE to download the criteria for substance use disorder.
Affect #1: When you're using substances, you are modeling that behavior for your kid. If you use substances in your home, you're modeling that's the way adults in the family have fun or party. It may come across to your kid as really glorified, "Ooh, that's how adults are happy! That's how adults connect. When I get older, I'm going to do that!"
If you're using substances to help you cope with stress or problems, then you're also modeling...
We hear this all of the time. People say tough love is the only thing that works. When talking to people in recovery, if you ask them how they think you should help or not help your addicted loved one, they'll probably tell you to use tough love.
Research shows that tough love isn't the most effective strategy for helping an addicted loved one.
In this video, we're going to take a look at what tough love does. So what do I mean when I say, tough love? I have a thought process or vision and definition of my head, but you may have a different awareness about what it means.
When people usually talk about cutting someone off emotionally, they're letting them figure it out and allowing their loved ones to hit bottom. Now there's a little truth in that. I'm not one hundred percent against that. I do think that there are times where you have to back up and let people learn some hard lessons.
But in general, do I think you have to cut your addicted loved one off emotionally, financially,...
When you have a loved one with addiction, the pain, suffering, and loneliness are sometimes overwhelming. Do you know what makes these feelings worse? Having someone else in the family in complete denial over the loved one's addiction.
It's particularly frustrating when you can see the problem but someone else is
sabotaging you behind the scenes.
We see this play out so often in our office. The person in denial is either a parent, grandparent and occasionally a sibling. This creates a big problem because you have
one person who doesn't want to believe that the person has an addiction. It can interfere with the whole process of getting the addicted person to recovery.
This happens in almost every case. I get it, it's uncomfortable to absorb this information and to sit with it. It's much like a grieving process.
The denial is a self-protective mechanism of some sort. Denial is always protecting you from something that you're not...