How to Explain Rehab to Your Kids

How to Explain Rehab to Your KidsOur children look to us for security, guidance and models for how to behave in a variety of situations. Our children rarely realize that we are just human beings and that sometimes we may need help.

Talking to Your Kids

Regardless of the topic there are some important things to keep in mind when discussing things with your children. These include the following:

  • Keep the conversation age appropriate. You would never explain something to a two-year-old in the same way that you would explain it to a teenager. Keep the choice of words, the number of words per sentence, and your tone of relevant to the age of the child you are speaking to.
  • Listen. Even though you were the one that wanted to initiate the conversation, the most important thing you can do is to listen. Listen to what your child’s responses are. Do these responses indicate that your son or daughter understands what you are saying, or are they struggling with a concept? Is your child asking you for more information, or is he or she asking for reassurance and comfort?

Talking to Children about Addiction Rehabilitation

The following are tips to keep in mind when talking to your children about rehab:

  • Prepare. Be sure that you have information about the rehab solution that you have chosen readily available. Know the address, phone number, daily schedule, location, anticipated duration of stay and other facts about your rehab program. You may even want to write up notes that you can refer to when your child is asking questions so that you do not appear uncertain.
  • Anticipate. You know your child, so you need to anticipate how the child is going to react to this conversation you are having about rehab. Do you need to have this conversation in their room where they feel safe, or is the park a better location? How much time do you need to allocate? Is your child the type of child who responds to small bits of information at a time, or is he or she the type that wants to process everything all at once? Also anticipate the type of questions your child might ask and have your answers ready.
  • Calm their concerns. Children will want answers to concerns such as, “What does this mean to me?,” “Am I going to have to take on more household responsibilities?,” “Am I going to have to miss the school dance next week?,” or, “Who is going to review my math homework?” While these concerns may seem not as important as the critical issue of getting rehab, for your child these are important issues that may interfere with their ability to cope with your rehab situation.

Get Help Explaining Addiction Rehabilitation to Your Kids

We realize that explaining rehab to your children is difficult, but we can provide you with suggestions and resources for these important conversations, so please call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about addiction treatment services. We are here to help.