Speaking With Your Children about Addiction
As a parent, one of the worst things you could want for your child is to understand that they suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction. Whether you are want to instill the idea on the dangers of drug abuse to your child at a young age or want to approach them about whether or not they are using; it’s important to tackle the topic in a mild-mannered and affirmative demeanor.
When you are speaking to your children about addiction, it’s significant that as a parent, you avoid the intuitive nature of lecturing them in a critical way. Instead, simply have an open conversation with them in a modest tone of voice so that they are less likely to be closed off about addiction. It may not be easy to address the topic of addiction with your child, but one small conversation about it while they are still young can go a long way once they reach an age when peer pressure may influence them to use.
Explaining and Defining Addiction
Stating exactly what addiction is by definition can greatly help your child in deciding whether they have a drug or alcohol problem or not. Detailing that having one or two drinks at a get-together and leaving is normal, but being unable to stop once they start is problematic, can greatly help them realize if they have an issue or not. If your child cannot stop using drugs or drinking alcohol, they may be suffering from the disease of addiction.
It’s important that you always reiterate positive reinforcement to your child if you are approaching them about their drug or alcohol use. Tell them things such as:
- Addiction is not their fault
- You love them
- The disease of addiction, like other diseases, needs treatment to overcome
- Help is available now
- You will always be there for them
The Impact of Addiction
If you suspect that your child has an addiction, acknowledging the impact that their drug or alcohol abuse has had on their personal lives, as well as the relationships they have with the people they love, can be a huge help when trying to communicate with them. Pointing out the various differences in their actions and how they have become isolated and secretive can help to reiterate that they have a problem.
Always be honest yet informative when speaking to your children about addiction. You as parents are still their safest, most trusted, and most constant source of love and commitment in their lives and this sort of relationship will go a long way when speaking about addiction.
Your discussion about addiction should also be catered to your child’s age so that they can better grasp the concept. Break them down into an age category:
- Younger than 10 years old
Tailoring your linguistics to suit their age group can help them understand and retain the information that is shared with them much better.
Many times, teenagers will be reluctant and defensive when it comes to the topic of addiction. It could be that they didn’t want you to find out or perhaps they are embarrassed. In either case, as a parent, you must communicate with them and make them realize that you do not blame them for their addiction nor are you going to abandon them due to disappointment in them. You are there to help them through rehabilitation and to give them guidance, love, and support.
If you suspect that your child could possibly be suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, it could be helpful to stage an intervention. This will demonstrate how much you as parents care and want the best for them.
WhiteSands Treatment can help you decide on the perfect recovery program for your child.
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