Learning Parenting Skills during Addiction Recovery

Learning Parenting Skills during Addiction RecoveryIt is both rewarding and demanding to be a parent—feelings that may go doubly true for parents in addiction recovery. If this describes you, get help managing not only your own addiction recovery, but also your household.

Talking to Kids about Addiction

Whether a parent leaves for inpatient addiction treatment or remains in the home while seeking treatment, children need to understand the changes that are taking place. It is easy to deny that a problem exists, but children are often aware that something is not right in these situations. The Center on Addiction and the Family recommends being honest with children about substance abuse and the way drugs and alcohol affect a person’s actions. The center recommends telling children the following three statements about a parent’s addiction recovery:

  • Children are not responsible for addiction and cannot cause another person to be addicted. A parent would have a problem with substance abuse even if the child had never been born.
  • Children have no way of controlling a parent’s addiction. Even taking steps to control behavior (such as performing well in school or throwing out a parent’s stash of alcohol) will not take away a person’s addiction or the need to abuse substances.
  • Children do not have the training or expertise to cure a parent’s addiction. Parents need professional help to overcome an addiction and must make an individual decision to get better.

When children understand these truths, they may be less likely to suffer dangerous consequences of their parent’s drug abuse.

Parenting after Addiction Recovery

Children who live with an addicted parent may suffer from abuse and be emotionally fragile. They may also be used to an unsettled home life that includes being left alone for long periods of time or other forms of neglect. However, when a parent is in recovery children often go through a transition period as they try to understand the changes. Children may have trouble expressing their feelings and act out in negative ways even as home life improves. It is common for behavior problems to occur at home, school and other settings, so parents should be prepared for this. They must remain calm and handle behavior problems patiently.

The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance recommends the following parenting techniques when recovering from addiction:

  • Spend quality time with children and offer praise for good behavior
  • Create regular routines, especially at bedtime and mealtimes
  • Set firm limits to control bad behavior
  • Be consistent with the limits

If parents take this advice, they may help their children overcome problematic behavioral issues.

Help Finding Addiction Treatment for Parents

Do not suffer alone with addiction. We are trained to give advice about effective treatment options. Just call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline for instant, professional support. We can guide you on the path to a healthy and fulfilling life if you call us today.