Parents all too easily take totalitarian, authoritative roles in their child’s life when addiction becomes part of it. For a time, tough love can be a necessary, life-saving enforcement on the part of parents. Recovery softens the heart and heals the many wounds addiction inflicts on the soul. These are some of the things your child wants you to know about how they feel in recovery regarding the way you see them as parents.
Kids in recovery are still struggling to define themselves and they need to feel you honor that process.
It takes a lot of courage, humility, and strength for a teen to introduce themselves as an addict or an alcoholic. For many teens, that simple statement, in treatment center groups or adolescent-focused 12 step meetings, is the identity they have been searching for. Experimentation with drugs and alcohol can start as a journey to discovering the self. When teens feel like they are missing a part of themselves, they find hope that drugs or alcohol will provide the missing piece. Eventually teens discover that the drugs and alcohol only made the hole grow larger. Recovery, in many ways, provides tools to fill that hole with focus on self discovery. In the process of self-discovery, teens might find music, ways of dressing, sub cultures, religions, and other forms of identification which raise a red flag on your radar. As long as your teen isn’t choosing to define themselves through harmful behavior, don’t interfere with their self-discovery process unless you truly believe there is a risk for relapse. Kids need you to honor their development of independence and identity in recovery.
Kids are going to act like kids in recovery and need to feel you give them room to do so.
Going to a residential treatment program is an answer for many questions and a solution to many problems teens face in addiction. However, treatment is not a “cure”. Your teen is not cured of teenagehood. An adolescent in addiction recovery will be more equipped to navigate their younger years but are not exempt from adolescent curiosities, or mistakes. Many parents have an unrealistic expectation that after time in residential treatment, their kid will never have another problem. Adolescents and teens will still act like adolescents and teens. Like everyone in life, they’re going to make mistakes. Parents make mistakes all the time. Recovery teaches the family to focus on progress, not perfection with a code of love and tolerance.
Kids want to earn their privacy back and don’t want to feel like they don’t deserve it.
Parents of adolescents and teens are burdened with a peculiar kind of worry. Everything done in secret and isolation is an unknown, a potential threat to their hard earned recovery. Parents worry about every text, every phone call, every outing and everything done behind closed doors. One of the challenges parents face is allowing themselves to trust again. Likewise, one of the challenges adolescents and teens in treatment face is allowing themselves to be trustworthy again. Your teen will earn their privacy back and are entitled to it. Through family therapy and workshops, together you will learn to communicate your needs and concerns while developing healthy rules as well as boundaries.
Parents and their addicted teens come together at Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center. Our unique residential programs for adolescent males struggling with substance abuse creates comprehensive and customized treatment plans for every level of care. Including the family in the healing process is a catalyst for recovery. For information and to verify your insurance, call us today: 662-598-4214.