5 Suggestions for Parenting a Teenager When Addiction Is at Risk
Parents are either the first to know or the last to know that their children have developed a substance abuse problem. Addiction in adolescents can develop quickly and take a strong hold. As parents, you have the opportunity to keep your child engaged in honesty and faith-based qualities emphasized by the family structure. Here are some suggestions for maintaining a healthy relationship with your child during the addiction-prone years of adolescence.
- Keep The Conversation Going: An open dialogue with adolescents can be especially hard to sustain when they decide you, the parent or caretaker, aren’t cool anymore. Your questions become inquisitions, your laughter becomes invasive, and your invitations for spending time together become atrocities to the sanctity of their self-esteem. It’s a trying time for parents. Without being clingy or needy for their attention, keep an open air of honesty and trust in the household. Let them know you’re always available. When they do talk, use active listening and reflective listening skills to make sure you’re really hearing what they have to say.
- Stay Aware Of Symptoms: You might be aware of personality traits, character traits, or symptoms of an actual mental health diagnosis your child has. There are many symptoms which are mistaken for hormones, puberty, or “teenagehood” which could be indicators of a growing problem with substance abuse. Stay aware of problematic symptoms and, when necessary, refer to a professional.
- Regulate Social Media Use: Social media is increasingly being proven to have a negative effect on adolescents from mental health to bullying to body image issues. Cyberbullying, obsessive online searching, and even addiction to online games could lead to poor mental health and vulnerability toward substance abuse.
- Lead By Example: Getting drunk or using drugs recreationally in the household accompanied by a “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality is not effective in trying to prevent addiction in adolescence.
- Ask For Help: When you suspect your child might be developing an addiction problem, it is important to contact a professional for help as soon as possible. General doctors and family therapists are helpful and can recommend you out to interventionists, specialized counselors, or treatment centers.
There is a plan for you and your family. If addiction has become part of God’s plan for you, Stonewater Recovery Center is available to help. Our residential treatment programs for adolescent addictions help each patient find their purpose and direction through faith and clinical recovery. For more information about our programs, 1-662-598-4214 today.