Last time we identified the fact that one cannot think about the problem of addiction when one is in a shock or panic (or an emotion that leads one to similar behavior) then we introduced the concept of Directed Free Association and the Master Mind Alliance as action points. When one is alone with one’s own thoughts one is often capable in “seeing” things more clearly without the interference of one’s emotions and ego.
I believe that your goal hereon is to keep your relationship with your child intact and constantly work toward improving it. Ruining your relationship with your child may lead your child to more drug use and abuse. I believe that one of the most drug-deterrent factors, for your child’s drug use, is good parent-child relationship. A relationship where you establish a safe and trustful connection, allowing your child to approach you, especially in times of need. A relationship where your child does not fear retribution, criticism or fear that you will be disappointed and think less of her/him. A relationship where your child knows that you are a helper, a supporter and are willing to understand her/him rather than being a punisher, a judge or be full of shame.
Family love and stability are also very important as deterrents to drug use. For more information see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3799532/.
Criticism: If you must criticize your child and you believe that the criticism would help your child, then do it privately and use the sandwich approach. My advice is that you never, ever complain or criticize your child to anyone else, especially someone who can help neither you nor your child.
Be careful not to allow criticism to be a form of a relief valve for your negative emotions. If you criticize your child as a form of punishment, or just hope that criticism or a stinging remark will alter your child’s behavior, then keep in mind that this method is ineffective. More importantly, what you tell your child often is a powerful message that your child will accept subconsciously. For more information about the path into the subconscious mind, see the book: What to Say when You Talk to Yourself, by Shad Helmstetter (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-to-say-when-you-talk-to-your-self-shad-helmstetter/1102183465?ean=9780722525111).
Sandwich approach: If you must criticize, then sandwich your criticism between two positive thoughts about your child. If you have difficulties coming up with two positive thoughts about your child, then use the Directed Free Association and/or the Master Mind Alliance technique to come up with at least two positive attributes about your child. The last positive comment is more important than the first one, so reserve the big positive comment to the end. In general, I recommend that you find a way to communicate with your child without criticism. This, no criticism communication should be extended to any conversation in which your child is mentioned.
I would like to leave you with the thought that if you have trouble coming up with two positive thoughts about your child, if you cannot establish a trustful relationship with your child then consider the fact that you may be part of the problem. I advise that you analyze your behavior and expectations of your child. Keep in mind that the most influential factors in driving a person toward using drugs are: Isolation, Hopelessness and Trauma.
For more information about the benefits and suggestions of good relationship with your child see the book: The Blessing by Gary Smalley (https://www.amazon.com/Blessing-Gary-Smalley/dp/0671737430/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1500316781&sr=8-2&keywords=The+blessing). The book is written from a very, very Christian religious point of view. If you are not very religious, or you are not a Christian then please ignore the very religious aspects of the book that you disagree with and take only the parts that will benefit you.
Next Anecdote: We will discuss the difference between a heavy user and a casual user of drugs
You are not invincible—Stew Birbrower
Together we march towards a destiny