Does your son or daughter struggle with drug abuse or a life-altering drinking problem? Not sure how to steer them back on to the road to recovery? For those parents who find themselves fighting their children’s battles, it’s time to take a step back and play a supporting role in their sobriety journey.
Read to coach from the sidelines? Here are five tips that could help you empower your children to continue in their pursuits towards sobriety.
Provide a substance-free living environment
Take the time to make sure your home is free from substances that may hinder his or her recovery. Giving your child a safe space to call home reduces the temptation of relapse. Additionally, this gift of living in a clean and sober home offers substance-use-disorder survivors a second chance at a drug-free life.
As a parent, it should be your goal to ensure your home is a positive environment where they can be around loved ones that will help bolster their confidence and encourage their sobriety.
Encourage positive habits
Help your child by giving them something positive to focus on instead of letting them get caught in a loop of guilt and sadness. By modeling how to engage in day-to-day life healthily and positively, you can instill healthy habits in your emotionally and physically vulnerable loved one.
Remember, young adults desperately need positive role models to succeed in life. That said, speed up their sobriety journey by encouraging them to go back to school, schedule activities that challenge their minds and bodies, and encourage your child to surround themselves with sober friends.
Empower them to help themselves
Accept that your child is an adult human being who will make mistakes and has the freedom to do so. Let them know you are confident that they will achieve whatever they set their minds to.
Whatever you do, don’t make them feel guilty or like a burden. Remember, you’re helping your child with recovery addiction, not running their lives for them.
Have a healthy relationship
A healthy relationship is crucial for success. It will bring you closer to your son or daughter without them feeling like you’re a mother hen or smothering them.
There should be an equal give and take, a chance to give and receive. Actively listen to what they have to say and reflect on what they mean before offering your take on the situation. They should do the same for you.
As a final recommendation, be sure to set boundaries with your child and follow through with them. Also, make a habit of acknowledging that your child is an adult and needs to be independent. They may be a pivotal part of your life, but that doesn’t mean your son or daughter is your sole obligation.
Find a support group
You should find a support group, not just for your child, but for yourself as well. As a support role in this recovery journey, you may find yourself sinking into stressful times and craving a community of people you can trust and lean on. .
You can either attend the same support group together or part ways. Should you opt for the former, make sure that you each develop your own network. This way, there won’t be any misunderstandings when you both need to unload what’s going on at home.
Before you go
No matter what, be patient with your child. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process and one where there are many pitfalls to avoid along the way. Continue to show that you’ll be there for them, loving them unconditionally and supporting them even when they make mistakes.
If you or your family are still struggling and need more support, please visit the SAMHSA – Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration – page for more help.