Parenting isnt always easy and I am sharing a guest post for those that need this advice when things are tough.
As of 2012, The Guardian reported an estimated 1.5 million people in the UK seriously affected by a relative’s drug use. When someone as close as your own child suffers addiction, it can be heart breaking, frightening and confusing. But it’s vital to remember that the path to recovery, though potentially long and challenging, is one sign posted by positivity, resources, and hope. Here’s some advice for those walking that path with their child.
Open lines of communication
Drug use can lead to secrecy, which can sever lines of communication even with close family members. Hard as it may seem, talk to your child. Let them know you’re there for them, as a source of support, and willing to listen. You may choose to approach this casually and ‘organically’, or in a more structured way, such as a planned intervention. In either case, encouraging your child to share their feelings, and sharing your own, in an open, honest way, can help you strengthen your familial bond and see a way forward.
Assist without enabling
A mother’s natural instinct can be to help, protect and provide for their child. But finding the balance between helping them and enabling their addiction can be extremely difficult. You may feel financial support is needed to help them find their feet in a difficult time, but it might be necessary to keep close track of how they spend any money you give or lend them, to ensure it’s not funding their addiction.
Take positive steps
Approach this challenge constructively. Know that just like any trial in life; it can be worked through and overcome. Make an action plan, first for yourself, and then, when you feel ready, share it with your child. At this point, you can talk with your child and modify the plan, if needs be. Within the plan, it can be useful to set goals. These can be directly related to addiction, or not – for example, a goal to spend one day out with the family a week, to spend more time pursuing a hobby, to keep a diary, or to talk with you more about their feelings. Incorporate plans for the future, large and small. This might help you, and your child, to feel less trapped in present difficulties, more hopeful, and in a positive mindset that will lead you both into recovery.
Know there is help available
As cliché as it sounds, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Though this journey is personal to you and your child, there are many professional sources of support to lean on. Explore treatment options. If your child has an alcohol dependency, one option is rehabilitation services in a centre.
Centres such as Ana Treatments offer programs that are individually tailored and focused on regaining self-worth, health and self-confidence in a modern, unintimidating setting with a family atmosphere.
Care for yourself, too
Though you may desire to dedicate all your attention and energy to your child’s struggle, it’s vital to acknowledge that you’re a person with needs, too. Seek support for yourself, from other trusted family members or friends. Be sure to dedicate some time to self-care, be it a hobby, a massage, or simply some quiet time alone. Take some time to remind yourself of the things that bring you joy, to help keep a positive outlook.