Children have temper tantrums. Children get frustrated. Teens can be moody, irritable, restless, and discontent. When a beloved child in the family has struggled with addiction and is working through recovery, emotional emergencies can be even more of a challenge. Parents aren’t always in tune with their own emotions. Without their own emotional awareness or emotional regulation skills, parents are prone to overreacting to their children’s emotional reactions. Through family therapy and counseling when a loved child is in treatment, the family can learn how to manage their emotions individually and together. Together, the family can create a family emotional emergency plan. Every family has an emergency plan for natural disasters or a sudden need to evacuate their home. Children learn what to do, who to call, and more importantly, how to focus only on the plan in a moment of emergency. Family plan’s help assess and work through a moment of crisis. Emotional moments can be seen as moments of emotional crisis. Families can create a plan to navigate these moments and support one another in as an efficient and productive manner.
Create conditional rules
Love is unconditional in a family. Sometimes to show unconditional love, there needs to be conditional rules. Conditional statements are if…then statements. For example, if Trevor gets angry, then he will tell the family he needs five minutes to take deep breaths in his room. Or, if Mom gets upset, she will let us know she needs a moment to herself and needs us to be quiet. Everyone regulates and processes their emotions differently. Conditional rules help the family to understand which family member needs what kind of action in an emotional crisis. With understanding and awareness, everyone can respect one another’s processes without personalizing or internalizing them, feeling abandoned or neglected.
Set language boundaries
Some words are more triggering than others. Siblings can be prone to using the specific language they know to be the most upsetting to their brother or sister. Conflict management and conflict resolution are necessary in a family, which means that arguments and disagreements will happen. When they do, the family has to set language boundaries for what kinds of words can and cannot be used. Arguments do not have to escalate into melodrama. The family can agree on what kinds of language are upsetting to others and set boundaries during conversations. If one child does not like being called names, that becomes a boundary. If another child is sensitive to criticism, that becomes a boundary as well. Family emotional plans create smooth navigation systems when the water becomes rough. Adolescence and teenagehood do not have to be a time of chaos in the home.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center was built for family by a family who suffered through addiction and healed through recovery. All of our boys involve their family in treatment with family therapy, counseling, programming, and bonding. Call us today for information on our long term residential programs with academic support: 1-662-598-4214