Watching your child go through the hardships of addiction can be extremely challenging. As a parent, you want the best for your child. You may feel high levels of anger or disappointment regarding their decisions. However, your support is needed now more than ever.
It can be difficult to step up and support your child through recovery. Understand that your support may go a long way in their recovery success.
Use these strategies to assist your child through their recovery journey and get the help they need to move forward.
Understand Your Child’s Starting Point
Your child may be in treatment by their own will, or it may have been mandated by a court order. You may have also influenced your child’s decision to seek treatment. Many parents tend to still have ties to their children no matter their age, often including financial support. Your child may be choosing to attend recovery to avoid financial drawbacks.
Understanding their reasons for being in treatment can give you a better understanding of how to support them. If they are there by their own will, show appreciation for them taking initiative to seek help. Let your child know that you see and appreciate how much courage that decision took.
When they are in recovery due to an outside influence, try to help them understand how recovery can benefit their life moving forward. Many individuals in recovery do not understand the severity of their problems. Having an external source of support can push them into accepting their addiction. This can help them take their recovery journey seriously.
Regardless of your child’s age, acknowledge that their life is ultimately theirs. Outside influences and support may greatly sway your child’s decisions. However, lifelong recovery requires ongoing commitment from the individual. They need to take ownership of their recovery to maintain it in the long run.
Set Boundaries With Your Child
When working to overcome substance use disorder (SUD), your child will likely experience many strong emotions. Seeing your child struggle with these emotions can be painful. However, it is important to support them without trying to “save” them from their journey.
Some parents have a hard time setting boundaries with their children. A lack of boundaries can lead to the child taking advantage of parental support. This prevents them from gaining the skills they need to reach a state of independence. While it is important to be supportive of your child, you do not want to enable them to continue making the choices they have in the past.
Setting clear boundaries is a great way to avoid this conflict. Let your child know what you are willing to do and when you can be available to them for support. If there are things that are pushing your boundaries, set a clear line addressing that behavior. It can be emotionally challenging for some parents to set boundaries with their children. However, respecting each other’s boundaries can lead to a healthier long-term relationship with one another. Remembering this fact can make it easier to set and keep your boundaries.
Utilize Family Therapy
Dream Recovery retains a high focus on family involvement in the recovery process. Due to potential past conflicts within your relationship, you and your child may be hesitant to participate in family therapy. However, this only highlights the importance of family therapy.
The therapy setting is a great place to address past conflicts and built-up emotions toward one another. You can communicate your concerns about your child’s SUD and recovery journey. Additionally, you can hear your child’s perspective. Communicating the concerns that arise surrounding this journey and your relationship can ease a great deal of stress for you both.
Having these hard conversations in a controlled and monitored setting can allow you both to open up and feel safe expressing your emotions. Over time, you can work with your child and the family therapist to discover ways to improve your relationship. Your therapist can help you strengthen the support you provide to your child through recovery and build a strong foundation to move forward. Take advantage of the resources available at our facility. Allow them to assist you and your child through these hardships.
It is clearly important to be involved during the beginning of your child’s treatment journey. However, support does not end there. It is also crucial to support your child throughout the long run of their recovery.
Even if your relationship is not ideal, you can still be a strong member of your child’s support system. Knowing that you will be there to support them through some of their hardest moments can be a strong encouraging factor for them to continue, even if they do not show their appreciation.
After your child moves forward from treatment, you will likely find that your relationship with one another has strengthened. When you are there for each other in moments of hardship, the trust and comfort around one another tend to improve. As your child looks back on their treatment, they will remember the times that you helped them and were supporting them, regardless of your anger or disappointment toward their addiction.
Your child’s recovery is ultimately their responsibility. However, you can still be a monumental influence on their journey. Allow yourself to be a role model to your child. Support them through this journey of recovering and finding their best self.
Is your child struggling with substance use disorder? Many parents fear this situation and are unsure of how to handle it. You likely will develop feelings of anger or disappointment toward your child, but showing those emotions is not always the best solution. Utilize Dream Recovery’s family therapy services to work through any conflicts within your relationship and learn how you can best support your child through their recovery journey. Staying involved and supporting them through this journey may be the impactful gesture they need to stay motivated and maintain success in their recovery. To learn more about how to help your child through addiction, reach out to Dream Recovery at (657) 216-7218.