Parenting while in addiction recovery can be difficult in several ways. It can be hard to manage recovery techniques and uphold coping skills learned in treatment while worrying about your child and remaining physically and emotionally available to them.
Despite the challenges, you can still be a good parent while recovering from addiction. Read on to find helpful suggestions for parents recovering from addiction after attending treatment at a drug rehab center or another recovery program.
Advice For Parents Recovering From Addiction
Staying in tune with what we need as parents and what our child needs are crucial to navigating recovery as a parent. Here are a few things to remember as you build on your relationship with your child and gain sobriety each day.
It’s natural to get tongue-tied talking to kids about such a challenging subject. But children always pick up on more than we think.
Let your child ask questions about the situation, and answer them as honestly as possible. Then ask them what they need from you — maybe it’s as simple as more hugs or rearranging your treatment schedule so you can attend their games or recitals.
Finally, remember to ask for help from adults around you: partners, coworkers, teachers, and family members. Open communication can alleviate much of the pressure parents in recovery feel.
Stay In The Present
It can be easy to get swept up by fears about the future and past mistakes. When parenting through addiction, these concerns can be amplified.
Stepping off the anxiety rollercoaster starts with taking a deep breath. Forgive yourself for these worries, and remember that they come from a good place. Then gently refocus your mind to the present, and deal with only the task at hand.
This is called mindfulness. Other ways to practice mindfulness include meditation and journaling. Anything you can do to ground yourself in the present moment using your senses can help you be mindful.
Create Healthy Habits
Kids need structure to help them succeed, and so do you! Work with your child to create routines that work for you both.
Make time for school, work, health, and fun. While you’re scheduling, consider adding family counseling to the calendar. Taking care of the emotional well-being of yourself and your family is essential in keeping those lines of communication open and working on healthier family practices.
Involve Your Kids In Treatment
The staff at rehab centers know how challenging addiction treatment can be. To combat this, many addiction centers involve the whole family, including your children.
This can help in two ways. The first is that you can feel more connected to and supported by your children. The second is that family involvement can help your children to understand addiction better, learn how addiction might have impacted their lives, and create a safe space to discuss challenging subjects.
Your kids don’t need to know all the details of your treatment process, but they can be involved in things like family counseling and Al-Anon meetings designed to help families and children cope with the effects of addiction.
Know You aren’t Alone
The difficulties you and your children face are unique. However, they have been faced by many people before you.
Find external support for yourself and your child. This can mean taking them to a child psychologist, going to group therapy yourself, and other helpful options. Lean into your community of support, especially other parents who are in recovery with you.
Tips For Parents In Addiction Recovery
Like every parent, you may not always have the right answers. But knowing that others have handled parenthood and addiction means you can, too. Take a deep breath when you need it, don’t be scared to ask for help, and find the support you and your child need.