When one of your children is suffering with a substance abuse problem, the entire family is affected. A serious addiction can tear apart even the tightest family unit and make it difficult for everyone to get along every day. Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab centers like Tangu Inc in Atlanta GA enable individuals to handle their treatment, while maintaining a work or family life. If you make it a point, as a parent, to communicate with all of your children, including those children who are healthy and who are not addicted, you can explain the disease that is impacting their other sibling in a way that will make them understand and empathize with them. Continue reading to learn more about how to properly discuss a child’s drug addiction with your other children.
Be Open and Honest to Remove Uncertainty and Confusion
Children who do not understand the reasons why their sibling is acting strangely, looking different, removing themselves from the family, or even sleeping all the time will inevitably be extremely confused and insecure. Being open and honest in your communications with these children will allow them to get a clear idea of what substance abuse is and what it is doing to their brother or sister. Rather than talking to your spouse in a hushed tone and keeping secrets from your healthy children, if the entire family is on the same page, you can all work together at helping your addicted son or daughter get the help that they need to get clean. You can even work together at convincing your child that they should seek treatment at a facility like Balboa Horizons.
Pick the Right Location to Speak with Your Kids
When it comes to difficult conversations, sometimes the right setting can make a big difference. Therefore, really put some thought into the location where you hope to speak with your kids about their addicted sibling. The setting should be comfortable and easy, and it does not necessarily have to be at home either. For example, you may decide that you would like to plan a picnic at the park so that you can be in a relaxing environment when you have your discussion, or you may instead opt to go out to dinner at your family’s favorite restaurant, which can also provide the ideal backdrop for a civil conversation.
Try to Avoid Exaggeration
Addiction is definitely a big issue that needs to be dealt with promptly, and it will take a lot of time and hard work in helping your son or daughter overcome their substance abuse problem. However, when you are discussing this with your other healthy children, try not to exaggerate the situation during the conversation. Of course, you should always tell the truth, but do so in a way that will allow your kids to prepare themselves for changes that lie ahead, and tell the truth in a way that will make it easy for your young children to comprehend what is happening.
Let Your Kids Know That You Are There for Them
Remember to let your kids know that they can stick to a daily routine that they feel comfortable with in order to avoid as much stress as possible, but make yourself accessible as well so that they can approach you at any time if they begin to feel overwhelmed by the adjustments that they will have to make.
Also make it a point to ask your kids if they feel concerned or worried about anything at all. If they immediately come forth and tell you what they are feeling, that is great, but if they don’t, that is fine as well. Do not force them to express how they are feeling right away. Just let them know that you are always going to be there for them whenever they need to talk. In other words, whenever they feel angry, upset, scared, or confused, they can go to you or your spouse immediately for some advice, guidance, and support.
Clear Up Misunderstandings
When you are dealing with a child or family member that has an addiction problem, it is important to explain to them that you wish to help them, and how you plan on doing so. You can talk to them about outpatient drug addiction treatment, specially if they seem like they don’t want to be taken to a specialized facility, and view it as something that is being pressed upon them against their will. If they see things this way it can be quite difficult for them to find the way to recovery, so make sure to discuss the various options and the information on them available, that way they might even make a decision and pick one. Doing so is a good way to set them up on the path towards recovery.
During these discussions, depending on the severity of the dependency, volatile disagreements can occur within your family. In this case, it is important to tell your other children that they had nothing to do with the arguments, and that you feel sorry that they had to be a witness to negative outbursts as you try to help their sibling through alcohol addiction recovery.
By following the easy tips and strategies above, you can discuss your child’s drug addiction problems with your other healthy children with less stress and more confidence. Remember that, even though this task will be a difficult one, it is necessary and it will ensure that your family can remain as strong as possible through this tough time.