Parenting a teenage boy in recovery is an adventure full of new lifestyle choices, conversations, and a structure different from most of his friends. There are still the nuances of male adolescence that any parent of a teenage boy, even one in recovery, gets to enjoy. Their hygiene won’t be perfect: Part of the recovery process is learning how to take care of your physical form. Teenage and adolescent boys in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction learn how to maintain good hygiene- for everyone’s sake. During the day, boys sit with therapists, group leaders, clinicians, nurses, staff, and each other. They have roommates, they exercise, they play, and much more. Daily hygiene is a requirement, but once the demanding structure of treatment is gone, it is easy to fall back into old habits. Their hygiene will be better than most, but not perfect. Give them gentle reminders to stay clean and top of their cleanliness- as part of their recovery. They will still have hormonal changes: Boys will continue to change hormonally, despite their recovery. Some teenage boys might have experienced a stunt in growth or changes to their hormonal status due to substance abuse. However, boys are going to continue changing hormonally, from their vocal cords, to their physique, to their sexual urges. They are going to eat everything: Nutrition, diet, and exercise are critical parts of a recovery program for teenage boys. Addiction and alcoholism affect the body and the mind, making diet and nutrition essential. Teenage boys tend to be hungry, very, very hungry. Having a regular diet and exercise program will not limit late night cravings, growth spurts, and more. Stock the kitchen with all the healthy snacks and meals they need to grow strong. They are going to want to sleep, all the time: Sleep is a common practice in the early stages of recovery, at any age. Teenagers in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction spend an extra amount of time sleeping as their hormones and growth process is exhausting. Allow for regular napping, sleeping in, and going to sleep early. They will still be risk-takers and sometimes reckless: Varying research initiatives have investigated what makes a teenager reckless and take risks. Conclusions have found that part of the problem is the lack of development in the teenage brain. Boys who have lived through active addiction will not be as inclined to take risks because they have witnessed the results. However, recovery does not mean perfection, it means progress. It is common and likely for a teenage boy, even one in recovery, to take risks and make reckless decisions.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is a private residential treatment program in Mississippi, serving adolescent and teenage boys with foundation building, life-cleansing programming for recovery. If addiction has found its way into the life your loved child, call us today for information on our clinical and academic support: 662-598-4214