July 26, 2018 Felicia Durling

Parents: Avoid these 3 Mistakes when your Child is an Addict

Addiction is overwhelming. When we first discover that our child is suffering from an addiction, we are blindsided. Not equipped with the tools we need, we struggle to find manageability in the face of chaos. We do our best with the tools we have. As parents, we have long accepted that we are not perfect. Our child’s addiction will demand more of us than we’ve ever given before. With time, we will learn to heal, help our child heal, and help our families heal. Through community, worship, and therapy we find strength and ability. Until then, we learn as much as we can so we can support ourselves and our child in need.

 

Avoid these 3 Mistakes when your Child is an Addict

  1. Enabling

Seeing our children hurt has been the most difficult challenge of our lives since the first time we heard them cry. Each time they shed a tear, our hearts feel their sorrow. Addiction is nothing less than suffering. Easily, we are influenced by our child’s pain to support them in every way possible, lest they suffer any more. Continuing to support their comforts encourages their addiction to persevere.  As Pastor Erik Hines of Addiction Campuses writes, “If there is not a practical reason to change your course of living then why would you change?” Are you paying their rent? Cleaning up their legal messes? Paying for the phone they use to call a dealer? Giving them money to buy drugs when they start experiencing withdrawals? You’re enabling them. It happens to so many of us. Learn to detach with love and support your child in other ways. You could be saving their life.

 

  1. Not Making the Decisions

Recovery and addiction treatment has become an industry of choices. There are different levels of care that can be offered in different ways. From conservative to liberal, wilderness to school-based, there are a lot of routes to take when choosing treatment. Likely, your child struggling with addiction is going to be less than interested in choosing an intensive treatment that is going to encourage them to look deeply at themselves. Counselors, recovery advocates, and trusted psychological professionals can work with you to make the best choice possible for your child.

 

  1. Punishing an illness

Taking our child’s addiction personally is easy to do. We view their symptoms as voluntary behaviors based in poor decision making. We can become inspired to punish them, as we do for any other behavior. Addiction is a disease. In fact, it is a brain disorder. When we look at addiction as a sickness instead of a deficiency, we quickly change our position. Rather than reprimand a child for being “bad”, we need to support them in getting well through connection and strong loving boundaries.

 

Center for Life Change supports parents who are supporting their children. We offer counseling and parent support groups. We are here for your healing, too. For more information on our treatment programs for addiction and recovery call (951) 775-4000.

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