Everyone makes mistakes as some point in their life that is a fact. Parents tend to beat themselves up about making mistakes with their teens especially when it comes to substance abuse. Mistakes are expected to occur because with substance abuse, there is no clear way on how to navigate through such a turbulent circumstance. Those who go through substance abuse with their teens and tell about the trials and tribulations they have experienced are paving the way for those who have not been through it yet. Substance abuse will be inevitable for many unsuspecting teens and parents. Understanding the mistakes other parents have made can be the best learning tool to those who might have otherwise walked blindly through this nightmare.
Not talking about drugs and alcohol sooner.
Waiting until a teen is in high school may be too late to let them know what your expectations concerning drugs and alcohol are. Beginning as early as preschool, parents can educate a child about the negative effects of drugs and alcohol with calm informative tones. As your child gets older, you can engage with more in-depth teachable moments regarding the dangers and risks of using and drinking.
Putting their smarts over their maturity.
Just because you know your child is smart does not mean that they have the maturity to discern good judgement over drugs and alcohol. Being realistic about the hangouts and activities your teen attends is important. Sometimes parents allow their teenager to have certain freedoms before they are ready which can put them in jeopardy. Find out all the information you can so that your judgement prevails over theirs.
Not locking the liquor or medicine cabinet.
Leaving prescription drugs or alcohol out for anyone, including you teenager, to see is like dangling meat in front of a dog. Not all teens will go for it, but you will never know until it is too late. Even if your teen did not think to use your drugs or alcohol, their friends could peer pressure them to use or drink when they see your contraband in sight.
Being oblivious to changes in them.
If you see a pink flag or get that feeling that something is different with your teen, check it out. There is nothing wrong with following with an indication that you are getting. If they get upset with your prying, too bad. Your intention to protect your teen before something terrible ensues is worth them getting mad at you for doing what parents are meant to do – protect their child. Taking the advice of other parents who had to learn the hard way about their teen’s substance abuse is useful to spare you more pain than you may bear otherwise. Stay on the same page as your teen when it comes to substance abuse so that you do not have to make the same mistakes twice.
If you or an adolescent you know needs to get help for drug or alcohol abuse, Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center can give you the guidance that you deserve. Establishing a strong network of family and community can reinforce practices for living substance free.
Call us today to start living in your recovery: 662-598-4214