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Talking to Your Children About Substance Use

Substance use can affect every aspect of your life and your family's life. When you have kids in your life, you will need to talk to your children about substance use. This talk is especially essential if another child or teen in the family is struggling with this problem. You may be dreading this conversation already. Maybe you have played it out in your head over and over. Perhaps you have memorized a million different ways to talk to your family about your child's substance use. However, none seem perfect to you. One of the most important things your child will learn in treatment is that they don't have to be perfect. Neither do you. The exact words are less important than the conversation itself. The children in your life love you, and they care about you. You matter to them. They need to know you care. Reaching out to them and talking to them shows you care about their sibling, yourself, and the family. If you need help talking to your children about substance use, contact Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center today. 

How Old are the Children in Your Life?

The age and maturity level of the kids play factors in what you say when you're talking to children about substance use. Regardless of their age, they need to hear you talk about substance use and how it affects them. The older they are, the more details you can share. The purpose of this discussion is not to tell them all the difficult details. Instead, it is to help them feel safe and comfortable as their sibling leaves for treatment. When talking to children about substance use, the most important element is honesty! However, honesty does not necessarily mean full disclosure. You don't need to share every issue. That said, what you choose to say to your family must be honest. In all likelihood, the kids in your life already know that substance use has made its way into their lives. There is a strong possibility that no matter what you say, they will be relieved that you are talking to them. By respecting their feelings and maturity through talking to your children about substance use, you're helping to ease their minds. Be as vague or as specific as you feel comfortable, but be honest.

Things to Keep in Mind When Talking to Your Children About Substance Use

  • Acknowledge the situation and let them know you are handling things.
  • Give them time to process and let them tell you how they feel.
  • Let them ask questions.
  • Let them talk.
  • Ask them questions and pay close attention to their answers.  
All of these tips will help ensure a successful conversation about substance use. Giving children a chance to react and share their feelings will go a long way toward their acceptance of the road ahead as your family pursues recovery.  

Where To Go For Treatment

If you're putting off talking to your children about substance use because you haven't found a treatment center yet, look no further. At Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, we're committed to helping you and your family recover from substance use. As such, we offer a wide range of adolescent substance use treatment programs, including: Talking to your children about substance use is only the first step. When an addicted teen or adolescent recovers, everyone recovers. We offer residential programming for boys, various family programs for recovery, and our life cleansing approach to recovery. Contact Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center today at 662.373.2828 to learn more.