During the last anecdote, we discussed the importance of patience, the importance of seeking a support group, the importance of trusting your own knowledge and instincts and good communication with oneself and with others. I believe that honest communication with oneself are key to success in achieving any goal or endeavor.
We will now continue with the list of actions a parent can take to help their child through to recovery.
Actions a parent can take
Your relationship with your child is of high importance: It is very easy to demand that your child just stop making bad decisions, or just stop using drugs, or just stop seeing friends that you consider bad influence. These demands will only hurt your relationship with your child, especially when you tried this approach in the past and have met with no success.
Let’s consider the following scenarios: Say you ask your child to stop using drugs and let’s assume that your child would like to comply. So, your child stops using drugs for some period of time. We will ignore withdrawals for now. If there is no substitute for the time that was spent using the drug, then your child will be in a need to fill that time with some activity. Having no other viable substitute (at least not viable in your child’s mind), drug use will come back.
Second scenario: Say you ask your child to stay away from his drug using buddies and let’s say that your child agrees and would like to comply. With no other friends to hang out with (at least none that your child believes s/he can hang out with right now), your child will be drawn back to her/his drug using buddies. Potentially you, at this point, would love to point out how many non-drug-using friends your child has. Your child, for whatever reason, may not feel comfortable approaching these non-drug-using friends right now. Your job is not to argue and prove logically that you are right and your child wrong. Your job now is to help your child find a path to her/his non-drug-using friends or new non-drug-using friends.
Knowing the above, you may attempt to direct your child to spend time in school or work, in the hope that having an activity away from drug use will lead your child to a path away from drugs. Depending on how addicted your child is, these activities, that you consider normal, may become high stress situations which will lead your child back to using drugs.
Help your child architect a path out of addiction with love and understanding.
Protect your relationship with the rest of your children: No doubt the rest of your children have guilt feelings that need to be aired out, or worse yet they may be on their own path to their own addiction. Make sure that you do not neglect your other children in your attempt to help the addicted child. Try not letting your other children feel that they are less important than the addicted child. You may care to set up regular scheduled time with your other children. Explain to your other children that their risk of being addicts themselves is greater than average and as such they may care to refrain or curtail their use of alcohol.
Next Anecdote: We will delve further into actions a parent can take up.
You are not invincible—Stew Birbrower
Together we march towards a destiny