As a parent, getting to know that your teenager has succumbed to addiction can be devastating, disappointing, and shocking. No one wants to spend their hard-earned money educating their child, only to find out that they are drug addicts. Many parents will end up blaming themselves and wondering what they did wrong. Some will resent their teenager for not following the right path and being in the wrong crowd. These feelings are understood and are quite reasonable. However, the next steps you take can make or break the child. Get to know what caused it and get them into rehab. Avoid pointing fingers and accept the situation as it is. Doing this will help the family adjust to the new normal, and help them get through this difficult time.
Once the teenager has gone to rehab and is ready to come back home, parents get into a panic mode. This is because they are not sure if they will be able to handle it. For those parents who are stressed on how to go about this situation, read on. Below are some of the things that you can do to make them feel comfortable and not steer them back into addiction.
The parents should try at all costs not to bring up the teenager’s past mistakes. As a parent, you should remember that everyone makes mistakes, and your teenager is no different. Once you keep reminding them of their past mistakes, they will build a wall against you and may go back to the same vices. Have honest conversations with them, but be positive and show them that you believe in them. Children always want to make their parents proud; hence, when they see that you are positive and think that they can remain sober, they will work tirelessly to prove you right.
In case you are an addict as a parent, your child will most likely get back into it since they follow what they see their parents doing. It is therefore advised for the parents to be good role models. Do not disapprove of a substance and then use it, since your children will not take you seriously. An example of this is telling them not to smoke, yet they see you smoking every day. Doing this will make them not take you seriously with your advice; hence, they will not make changes if you are not doing so.
Do not give up on them; this may be a hard thing to do, and it will break your heart when they relapse, but it is crucial to know that it happens. Relapses are quite frequent, but the goal is to encourage them every time they fall, that they can rise. Encourage them every step of the way since addiction is a disease that takes a long time to cure. When they relapse, it is advised to talk to them and find out what caused it. Later, strategize on how you will go forward from there — work on the causation, and not the child. Once you give up, they will have no option but to relapse permanently.
Also, do not forget that your teenager is still a kid and that they love experimenting. Do not get too caught up and forget that they were doing it for the thrill. This will help you understand them and help them through the journey. Have faith that they will get better and do not be too hard on them as you might lose them along the way.
As a parent with a teenager fighting addiction, it is crucial to remember that you are not responsible for their addiction. Do not beat yourself up and look for ways to fix it, as that cannot happen in a day. It takes a lot of patience to help your kid, and they will need you now more than ever.