Being a parent to a child who suffers from addiction is hard and often leaves you asking is it my fault? Am I a failure? As a parent it’s easy to internalize and blame yourself for what may be happening to your teen but this is not your fault! These tips will help you and your teen get through their addiction.
Five reasons why you are not a failure because your teen is an addict.
1.You are not the reason your child is an addict
Addiction is a disease and it was not caused by your parenting. All parents make mistakes and even though some might feel they wish they had done things differently it is still not a reason to blame yourself. Blaming yourself will only make dealing with this addiction harder for you and your family.
2.You alone cannot fix their addiction
Although you may feel responsible and need to fix everything this is a job you cannot tackle alone. Teen addiction treatment needs to be handled by professionals who have experience dealing with this disease. You can always send your teen to a treatment program but how far their recovery goes depends on the addicts’ will to change.
3.Stop enabling your teen addict
When it comes to addiction the line between protecting your teen and enabling them becomes very thin and can be very easily misconstrued. Shielding your teens from the consequences of their actions such as lending them money and bailing them out of prison is a form of enabling their addiction. It may be hard to do but shielding them from their mistakes will not allow them to learn to do better instead it perpetuates the notion that you will always be there to pick up their problems.
4.Let your teen know you love them unconditionally
Loving your teen addict unconditionally is where many parents get confused and it becomes an enabling behavior. Just because you allow your child to bear the consequences of their actions does not mean you love them any less. They may not believe you love them when you stop enabling their behaviors but it’s for their best interest.
5.Never give up
Addiction is a tiring disease especially mentally and many parents eventually will have the thought cross their mind. At that this point you must never give up, when you or your family begin to lose hope so does your teen. In the face of addiction being resilient is key!
Inspirations for Youth and Families provides a wide range of therapies including family therapy. Our family sessions are designs to rebuild and reconnect family members. We teach effective forms of communication and bringing the gap between the family and addiction closer.