Addiction and Parenting: Tips for Recovering Parent
Addicted individuals may have a false conception that their addictive behaviors affect them alone. But, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Unfortunately, addictive behaviors and their effects are not confined to only the addicted individual. And, family, friends, and loved ones end up experiencing the effects of these addictive behaviors sooner or later. Sadly, the group of individuals who end up experiencing the worst of these effects is children.
Regrettably, children with drug-addicted parents are at a higher risk for developing negative behavioral and emotional patterns themselves. Furthermore, they’re at an increased risk of experiencing negative familial effects of addiction including neglect, mistreatment, and even abuse. So, it’s up to parents of these children who are in recovery to make the best effort to prevent a life of addiction for their child. And, to work to offer outlets of healing for children who may have experienced negative effects of a parent’s addiction. However, this is only accomplished if addicted parents in recovery learn to utilize helpful parenting techniques to provide children with the strong role models they need.
Combating Addiction Genetics with Valuable Parenting Skills
Genetics do play a part in the development of addiction. However, just because a child has a parent that’s struggled with addiction, it does not mean their future holds the same fate. In fact, in terms of risk for developing an addiction, providing a healthy environment for a child can be even more influential than genetics. For this reason, it’s imperative that drug-addicted parents in recovery learn to surround their child with a healthy, supportive, and positive atmosphere.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
Self-care goes a long way in recovery. When we take care of ourselves, our children can follow suit and learn to take care of themselves too. However, parents in recovery may feel guilt and shame for what they’ve exposed their children to in the past. It’s important to not dwell in these feelings so that we may continue to set a good example for our children. Practicing self-care can include anything that involves doing something to take care of yourself. This may include going to the gym, showering every day, meditating, and eating well.
Encourage Expression of Feelings
When people recognize and confront their emotions, they set themselves up with being able to accept and move on from them. So, parents in recovery should encourage their children to express their feelings relating to addiction. This way, they can learn how to deal with negative emotions now so they won’t lead to negative behaviors in the future.
Allow Time to Heal Negative Emotions
As mentioned, children of addicted parents may struggle with negative emotions. And, while allowing your children to experience and confront these important is key, so is allowing time for these emotions to process. Remember, your healing is taking time. So, your children’s healing will take time too.
Simply be Present and do Family Activities
Undoubtedly, one of the best things recovering parents can do for their children is simply be there for them. While you can do nothing to change the past, you can work toward being who you should be for your children now. Don’t take for granted the time you spend with your children as it can work to develop trust and stimulate healing. So, to encourage some family time together, plan family outings like going canoeing, hiking, or simply sitting around the table to eat dinner.
Help for Families Struggling with Addiction
If you are a parent struggling with addiction and you want to work toward healing in your and your children’s lives, now’s the time to get help. Here at Wellness Retreat Recovery Center, we understand the importance of family involvement during treatment as addiction affects every family member. So, we offer family resources and therapy to help families establish the healing from addiction they seek.
To talk to us more about how we can help you and your family, contact us today.