While having to watch anyone suffer through an addiction can be hard, having the addict be your child, whether they are an adult or still living at home, can be extra challenging. However, many parents and families have to go through this exact situation. And while you can feel frustrated and helpless, there are some things you can do to help your child get through this stage without long-term damage done to their health or to your family relationship. To show you how, here are three tips for helping your child with an addiction.
Encourage The Good Rather Than Focusing On The Bad
Although there may be a lot of negatives and bad behavior that draws your attention when your child is an addict, to be of the most help to him or her, Eric Patterson, a contributor to DrugAbuse.com, shares that it’s most beneficial if you encourage the good rather than focusing on the bad. To do this, try to point out when your child does something that points their life in a positive direction. By doing this, you’ll be helping to build your child’s trust and encourage confidence that could be the means of them feeling comfortable enough to ask for help with recovery.
Strive To Have Clear, Open Communication
In the life of an addict, there are many secrets that are being kept. Especially between parent and child, the secrecy that comes along with an addiction can be very detrimental on the relationship. Knowing this, it’s important that you overcome this hurdle in your desire to help your child through their addiction. According to Lara Okoloko, a contributor to Rehabs.com, once you’re able to have clear, open communication with your child, you’ll be surprised at how you can help to subtly influence their decisions in a more positive direction. Keep in mind, however, that your intentions need to be in the best interest of your child, not for any selfish reasons of your own.
Be Honest With Your Other Children About The Problem
If you have other children, or just other family members, who are just as involved with your addicted child as you are, it’s important that you are open and honest with your other children about the problems that your family is currently facing. It does no one any good to try to pretend like everything’s fine and nothing bad is going on within your family at the moment. To know how to best talk to your other children about these issues, Carole Bennett, a contributor to DrugFree.org, suggests that you allow your children to freely express their thoughts or concerns about what’s going on and give them assurance that there is still love in your home even though you’re all going through a rough time right now.
If you have a child that’s dealing with an addiction, use the tips mentioned above to know how to best help them at this time.