5 Simple Things to Help Your Child Change
But when brokenness is all that you have, there’s little choice but to pick up the pieces and start again. ~ Carolyn Hughes
It is beautiful to know that each day, someone new decides to live in long-term recovery. It gives us all hope. Many have recovered from the substance use that has derailed their lives. Many more will begin the process of change in the years to come.
The importance of sharing stories is that it reminds us that we are not alone. It lessens the stigma and increases compassion. It encourages us to shine a light on a national health problem that affects us all. Let’s continue to share our stories and help one another.
When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction, you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they’ve had enough, that they’re ready to stop, ready to try something new. ~ Russell Brand
If you suspect your child is using substances, here are some tips that can help:
- Face the reality of the situation.
Parents can be in denial, like I was. Don’t allow yourself to think this can’t happen to your child. It may seem tempting to assume that your child’s substance use is a teen rite of passage. You may be left wondering what has happened to your family as you watch your child’s substance use continue. Don’t let yourself turn a blind eye because you aren’t sure how to deal with the problem. There is help out there.
- Remain calm.
You may be feeling spent and exhausted from trying to deal with this issue. When you approach your child in a kind, compassionate way, it can go a long way toward encouraging them to seek recovery. Some of the things that don’t help are yelling, nagging, confrontation, emotional outbursts, and repeating the same information over and over. Keep your emotions as balanced as possible. Talk to your child when you feel you can remain calm.
- Seek outside help.
It may be tempting to think you can handle your child’s drug or alcohol use yourself. Often many underlying family issues have contributed to the situation. Find the courage to reach out for support. Get an objective opinion about your child’s condition. There are counselors, doctors, support groups, clergy, and coaches who can be of help. Find a support system that works for you.
- Take care of yourself.
Substance use is stressful. As it is said on an airplane, put your own oxygen mask on first. When you take care of yourself, it goes a long way toward helping your child’s long-term recovery. You can’t help yourself or your child if you feel depleted. When you take care of yourself, you will then have the resources to help your child.
- Know there is hope. Recovery is available to anyone.
Addiction is a lifelong chronic disease. While this may seem daunting, many people are in recovery and are now living healthy lives. They’ve turned a personal obstacle into an opportunity to grow and thrive. As your child continues living a healthy life, your stress will lessen. Stay optimistic. Your child can recover, grow, and thrive.
The truth is that almost two-thirds of Americans have friends or family members who have struggled with addiction. Millions of people are in recovery. We live in your town, on your block, and in your home, but still many people don’t know that treatment works and that long-term recovery is a common reality. ~ William Cope Moyers
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