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5 Ways to Protect Your Kids When a Loved One Is Struggling with Addiction

Parents want the best for their kids. They spend so much of their lives trying to keep them happy and safe. But parents can't control everything. Sometimes it's hard to admit that there are things they can't change, for instance, when a loved one or some other permanent figure in your kids' lives is dealing with substance abuse. You may still love and care for that person, but you may also recognize that they aren't always a positive influence on the kids in your lives. Addiction can be dangerous, and you are obligated to take extra steps to protect your children. Here are some tips to consider:  
  1. Tracking Apps – Technology is outstanding.  There are many apps available that have similar features and attributes. One of the more popular apps is Life360.  It has a multitude of features, but the most critical feature for this discussion is the GPS.  You can open up a map in the app and see exactly where your kids are and even when they are moving.  Now, you don't have to wonder where they are, because you already know. This can be a huge stress reliever and a safety measure. There are many great family tracking apps for parents to use to help them feel comfortable knowing where their kids are at any given moment.
  2. Buddy System – Consider taking time to have an age-appropriate conversation with your kids, and make sure they know the rules.  When around a person dealing with a dangerous addiction, potentially add a rule that the kids always need to have an adult nearby, or an old enough sibling.  Safety in numbers applies to these situations as well.
  3. Role Playing – Children gain confidence through role-playing. You can give them the skills they need and the confidence required to make the right decisions in tight situations. Through role-playing, you can show them what is acceptable behavior and what is not. This gives them the right to do something if they are uncomfortable.  Sometimes, kids know when an adult's behavior is not ok, but they don't always know what to do about it. Kids are often taught to respect their elders no matter what, so role-playing gives them the option to act and the authority to make the right decision.
  4. Talk to the person dealing with the addiction. This is often difficult, but it is essential. Explaining to the person that you have legitimate concerns about their behavior around your children shows them the seriousness of the situation. They may not take it well, and you may need to consult a professional for assistance, but they need to know you are concerned for the safety of your children. Explain that when they let addiction exist in their life, they can't be near your children. It isn't safe, and it isn't fair to your family. You can share that, while you care about them, you have to think of your family first. This conversation may even serve as a wake-up call; it is time for them to get help.

In recovery, family comes first. At Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, family is the reason behind the development of our treatment programs. Serving adolescent and teenage boys, our long-term residential programs offer life-changing therapies building the foundation for a brighter future. Call us today for information: 662-598-4214