Home & FamilyHealth & FitnessParenting Tips for Adults in Addiction Recovery

Parenting Tips for Adults in Addiction Recovery

It can be a pretty common assumption to believe that addiction only affects those who are using. Addicts tend to believe that what they’re doing is essentially no one else’s business. However, in reality, addiction is a family disease that can ultimately impact the lives of your friends, relatives, coworkers – and even your children.

Children of alcoholics suffer the most psychologically. They are at a much greater risk for developing emotional problems that can ultimately lead to addiction in their future. After you’ve received the right form of alcohol treatment, you will need to find a balance between caring for yourself and tending to the needs of your children as you continue to recover.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Put Yourself First

As a parent, this can be a hard one to follow, but it is very important to put yourself first during recovery. You are of no use to your children if you’re not continuing the things you’ve learned in rehab and treating yourself right. When you’re in recovery, it can be pretty commonplace to feel guilty for your actions and how they may have impacted your children. Naturally, you want to overcompensate by putting their needs first. However, to maintain sobriety, you must continue caring for yourself. Make sure that you’re getting a well-balanced diet, enough sleep, and plenty of exercise.

  1. Have Fun Together

When you were struggling with addiction, chances are you didn’t spend much time together as a family. Most addicts isolate themselves from those they love as a means for masking their addiction. However, now that you’re on a road to recovery, it is important to try and embrace your children as much as possible. Showing them what a healthy family environment looks and feels like can prevent them from going down the same path as you. Spend a few hours out of the day doing something that the kids will enjoy. This can be anything from playing around in the backyard to taking a small family vacation.

  1. Stay Positive

It is common for children of addicts to act out and behave in ways that you’re not used to. Essentially, this is a sign that they don’t know how to cope with all that has happened. While you shouldn’t let the kids run all over you and break the rules, it is ideal to focus more on the positive behaviors than the negative. Praising them for the things they’re doing right rather than pointing out everything they do wrong reinforces the healthy behaviors and boosts their self-esteem.

  1. Build a Community

Again, isolation is pretty common for families who are dealing with addiction. Ideally, you don’t want your dirty laundry being aired. However, being around those in the community provides both you and your children with role models and positive experience that can help you feel as if you belong and less alone. Try going to community events, joining local sports teams, or even joining a church in your neighborhood. You never know where your support may come from.

  1. Accept and Validate Their Feelings

Addiction and recovery is a lot to deal with psychologically, not only for you but your children as well. It is important that you allow your children to deal with their emotions in their own timing. As they come to you, or you notice feelings of anger, sadness, or frustration, it is important that you assure your children that you understand where they are coming from and allow them to freely feel those emotions. Trying to make them mask what they’re feeling can backfire.

As a parent, you are your child’s first and biggest influence. Though you may feel like your decision to use drugs or alcohol would make you less of an enforcer, it is quite the opposite. It will be more important than ever for you to show love, compassion, and discipline to your children as you continue to recover. Essentially, this provides them with the sense of belonging they need to deal with their emotions which ultimately minimizes the chances of them using drugs or alcohol to cope in the future.

 

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