Posted by Steps to Recovery on February 20, 2013
Being the parents of an addict is one of the hardest things someone will ever go through. It is never easy to acknowledge or accept that our children have intense and heartbreaking problems like addiction which can lead down paths of criminal activity, health issues, serious loss and even possibly death. It is hard to admit the truth to ourselves when our children are facing these types of situations. Family counseling is available to heal together, but there are a few things that are important to realize, as parents of addicts, as soon as possible.
- Parents of addicts cannot fix the problem. As much as we love our children and want to make everything ok for them, we cannot take away the disease of addiction or make it better. Only the addict can fix their problem. When parents of addicts get involved and try to force their child to change, only frustration and disappointment will result. We must allow our addicted child to take care of their own problem.
- Things will never be the same. This is really true of any child that grows up, but parents of addicts must remember that their addicted child is not the same person they were when they were a child, or even before their addiction. We must be present with the situation, living in the past and hanging on what use to be is simply going to push the addicted child further away, creating more feelings of rejection and create more pain for yourself. You must accept your child as they are and try to see what they need right now if you want to help them.
- And maybe the most important thing to remember is that parents of addicts are almost always enablers. Parents love their children and want to give them what they want and need. We want to make things easier for our addicted children. We want to do what we can to help them through the rough times. We have guilt, we raised our addicted children and somehow this must be partly our fault, so what can we do, how can we help? It’s so vital to come to the understanding that yes, we raised our children, but at some point they make the decision to do these things, and now we can only provide them the support and opportunities to make better decisions.
Being parents of addicts is incredibly hard to cope with and it’s very heartbreaking. But it’s not impossible to navigate. Are you experiencing this situation? Contact Steps to Recovery or call 866.488.8684 today, we can help you help your addicted child.