Helping Kids in Recovery Cope with Stress
Stress is felt more widely by children, adolescents, and teens. Treatment and recovery does not guarantee immunity from stress but instead provides a working relationship with tools for managing stress effectively.
Listening is a skill and a practice in communication. Learning to listen without interruption, judgment, or qualifying what a child is saying, takes work. Through the treatment and therapy process, parents gain the communication skills they need to radically listen to what their child is saying. Especially children who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, children have a need to be acknowledged, heard, and understood. When your child starts to talk about the stress they are facing, try to detach from your own stress and what you think defines stress. Remember, your child is not a grown up. What they experience as stress will naturally be different from what you experience as stress. Be open to learning about your child’s experiences. See this listening activity as a learning opportunity to gain new information about who your child is and how they respond to the world.
Stress can be overwhelming for anyone. The reason stress is stress is because stress is stressful. Stress is pressure or tension that we feel. Coming from an internal place due to an external experience, stress feels out of control. Remind your child that not everything in life is under their control. Working the 12 steps of recovery support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, children in recovery will learn about themes like serenity, acceptance, courage, and wisdom. What is causing them stress may not be within their control. How they respond to stress and manage their stress is completely within their control.
Remind them also of the relationship they’ve developed with a Higher Power of their understanding, through treatment and through their 12 step program. Everything in their life is happening for a reason, on a schedule, that is never late. They are learning to trust that they are never given more than they can handle.
Parents make the mistake of trying to display an air of perfection to their children. Wanting to seem authoritative, parents try to convince their children of their supreme knowledge. At one point, parents were also children, adolescents, and teenagers, learning how to navigate life. Within healthy boundaries, be open, honest, and candid about your experiences in life. Offer insight about how you’ve learned to handle stress.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is a residential treatment program for adolescent and teenage boys seeking recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Our beautiful home in the countryside of Mississippi offers the remote privacy and natural playground kids need to safely recover. Call us today for information: 662-598-4214