One thing parents fear most would have to be with their children going through an addiction, especially when it comes to alcohol and smoking, may it be regular cigarettes, vape pens or dab pens. Today, there are even more addictions to worry about and it's not just through vices like alcohol but also in social media, junk food, gambling, or even prescription drugs!
These addictions typically come from your children attempting to cope with events through substances. Unfortunately, it's an unhealthy way to cope because addictions can come with bad consequences. That's why it's crucial to prevent and stop the addiction from getting worse. But how? Here are the seven things parents must know to deal with kids' addiction.
- Know Your Child's Life
As your children start to grow up, the less they will begin to talk about their day after school. While it may seem like they are beginning to push you away or are uninterested in maintaining conversations, it's best to keep it up and ask about how their day went. Through regular family conversations, they will be able to calm down and open up even during the worst days. Learn more about your child outside the house!
- Look Out For Signs
Your children may not know it but they actually show a lot of signs that they are going through a tough time or that they are going through an addiction. Some of the signs include:
- Withdrawal from close family and friends
- Intense preoccupation and are always busy
- Avoiding topics they used to love
- Preferring to be alone and refusing to talk
- Having trouble sleeping
- Unkempt appearances and dropping grades
Watch out for any odd signs that show your child may be going through something.
- Get to Know Their Friends
The best way to know your child better isn't just through talking with them but to know their friends as well. You'll be able to find out if your child is hanging out with the right people and once you strengthen your relationship with their friends, your child's friends may sense something wrong and come forward to you about his/her behavior. Be close with your children's friends and learn more about them.
- Check Up On Their Digital Life
One of the most common causes of addictive behavior or mental disorders come from cyber bullying. You will need to understand that you and your child's social media presence and digital identities can impact their lives and careers. But that doesn't mean you have to force them to give their passwords and check out their social media accounts every day. Avoid forcing them to do anything and instead, teach digital citizenship to gain their trust.
- Be a Good Role Model
Kids who are able to be with people who are able to cope with stress properly are most likely to emulate them. So be the role model your child should look up to. Try to quit your vices, avoid raising your voice when stressed, and follow healthy coping mechanisms they can follow, such as having a new hobby, exercising, or reading. That way, your children won't go to their addictions as a way to cope.
- Make Rules and Set Boundaries
From babies to teenagers, you will need to set limits and boundaries. Sure, your teenagers have the right to be free but they will also need to follow the right and proper rules. Keep a consistent relationship and healthy rules that avoid them from becoming rebellious or frustrated. Your kid will be grateful for the limits you set in the future.
You will have to know as well, what you will and will not do for your addicted child. In practice, you need to consider this carefully, especially:
Would you lie to your child?
Would you accept continued substance abuse* before alcohol detox?
- Do NOT Panic
If you do find out and confirm that your child is currently struggling with an addiction, then do NOT panic or get angry. Instead, provide the love and support your child needs. Look for professional help such as from a support group or school counselor to help with your child's addiction. Again, avoid panicking as this will set your child off.
Wrapping It Up
Having an addiction is difficult, especially when you have a child who is currently going through one. It isn't only frustrating but it hurts the family as well. Fortunately, there are ways on how you can prevent and stop the addiction before it worsens as your children mature. As long as you find the proper coping mechanisms. Most addicts believe once they get clean they will automatically be happier. Sadly, this isn't the case. Mental health issues have been directly linked to acute addiction problems. Your best bet is to enter treatment in a trusted rehab center. There are great dual diagnosis treatment centers in Seattle, Washington that specialize in these type of cases.
Hopefully, these things to know about when dealing with kid's addictions helped you become aware of what you need to do to prevent it from worsening. So don't wait any longer and begin looking out for signs and strengthening your relationship with the family today.
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips on dealing with kids' addiction, then comment below. I would love to hear what you have to think.