For anyone struggling with addiction, sobriety or managing their use of substances in moderation is the ultimate goal. Not having any measurable effects from alcohol or drugs and simply being comfortable carrying out everyday tasks without being intoxicated from substances is an achievement. To get to this point in their lives, a person struggling with substance abuse has gone through hell and back and deserves a great deal of credit for getting this far.
But it doesn’t end here. The fight continues. For young adults, this is especially true. Cravings, peer pressure, meeting new people, socializing, family gatherings, or celebrating successes or milestones can often lead to a lapse or a backslide into the pitfalls of addiction. So what can we as parents do to support our children in sobriety?
Supporting Children Or Young Adults In Sobriety
Being in the unimaginable situation where a child has succumbed to the negative changes substances bring out is one of the most harrowing circumstances any parent can face. Helping them towards sobriety is not something we conceive as we cradle a newborn baby. However, as a parent, when faced with the anguish of seeing one of our children overwhelmed by the dangers of substance abuse, we will do anything we can to support and guide them towards a healthier and substance-free lifestyle.
Ultimately we cannot control everything our children do, and our self-care must be paramount above all. However, here are a few suggestions that may be beneficial as you support your child in sobriety and their continued rehabilitation.
- Communication: Keeping the lines of communication open is a vital step in the recovery process. And while you do not have to be engaging all the time, being available when your child needs to talk is crucial and a principal component of the support system.
- Positive reinforcement: Acknowledging and encouraging their efforts can produce a positive reaction. Rewarding hard work with a small gift or token of appreciation can provide further motivation and incentive to maintain improvement. And it does not always have to be a gift. Words of inspiration championing progress can go a long way, as children, especially, look to adults for wisdom and encouragement.
- Do not be scared to seek help: There are many avenues where you can go to access support. Counselors, support groups, friends, and family can all assist when you’re traveling on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. By remaining strong, looking after your own self-care, you can increase your ability to support your child during recovery.
- Plan for setbacks and difficult days: The road to recovery can be rocky with many ups and downs. Plan for pitfalls and challenging days, and be ready to offer extra words of encouragement or positive reinforcement during these times.
Keep Going. You Are Doing A Great Job!
Supporting your child through one of the most burdensome times of their lives can be demanding and exhausting. Addiction affects every aspect of our very existence and can have a detrimental effect on mental and physical health. However, the rewards of self-care and growing into a support system that brings the whole family into healthier interactions, as well as seeing your child thrive as their recovery progresses, is something you can have peace with and enjoy in the moment. We learn to stay present.
They have made it this far. And so have you! So keep going and continue doing a fantastic job. And remember, you are not alone. Help is always available through family, friends, and support groups such as Other Parents Like Me, where you can access professionals and other parents like you, supporting each other on a journey to healing and lifelong fulfillment.