We either tell our children about our pasts or we don’t. If we choose to tell them, we have to be careful in how we curate our stories to benefit our children by empowering them to make their own decisions. Do we want to encourage their substance abuse as part of the growing up experience? Do we want them to believe we’ve never done anything questionable and put an unrealistic pressure on them to do the same, especially when we’ve acted questionably ourselves? Parents fret about what to tell their children, how much to tell their children, and in what ways they should tell their children about their past experiences with substance experimentation.
Tell Them The Truth
The truth is, you’ve experimented with drugs and alcohol. There doesn’t have to be more details than that. If you go into the specifics of what drugs you tried, your positive experiences with those drugs, you might indicate to your child that it is okay for them to try those drugs as well. If you tell glamorizing stories about the fun of a drunken night but leave out the physical illness of being hungover and the consequences of reckless decision making, you are teaching your children that it’s okay to act without consideration toward consequence. All you have to tell them is the simple truth, “Yes, I’ve experimented with drugs and alcohol.” Then, you need to tell them what you’ve learned.
Explain What You’ve Learned
You neither want to glorify nor completely demonize the experience of experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Going too far to the extreme of either situation can cause an equal and opposite reaction. What you’ve learned as a grown up about substances is that they feel good temporarily, and then they don’t. Being intoxicated can be dangerous and lead to injury, accident, or even death. You feel better without drugs and alcohol and even after your experimentations you’ve found that life is just as good– if not better– without being under the influence. If you could go back and do it all again would you do it differently? That’s hard to say because our experiences shape who we are.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center sees families come together and heal every day. Our family focused residential treatment programs are uniquely designed to fit the needs to each adolescent male who comes through our program. From medical withdrawal management to academic continuation, our goal is to build a strong foundation of positive recovery while provide life cleansing treatment. For information, call us today: 662-598-4214.