It is a well-known fact that addiction ruins lives. Not only does it affect the addict, but everyone around them that cares. Alcohol and drug addiction brings out the very worst in most users, and once the addiction cloud clears, there is always a mess to clear. Recovery can be even more of a challenge when children are involved.
Parents of small children face a unique set of challenges, along with the slew of challenges that already accompany the journey of recovery. Take a moment to look over a short synopsis of a few of the most effective tips for addicts with small children.
Self-care is of the utmost importance
An addict has to deal with their own needs first to fully be able to give their best as a parent. Just as a flight attendant would tell a parent to place their own oxygen mask before tending to their kids. Adults are no help to their children if they pass out from lack of oxygen.
Parents in recovery often become filled with guilt concerning their addiction, especially if it has affected the children directly. Be wary not to overcompensate with the children as a direct result of guilt.
Talk age appropriately about addiction
It is not healthy for any part of the family to keep the addiction a secret. Talk openly with the children, but keep it age appropriate. It may be helpful to liken the situation to a story about a sick toy. It is important to frame the situation in terms the children will understand.
If past mistakes have caused special circumstances, face the situation. Talk to the kids about how mommy or daddy had a sickness that caused them to do bad things. Cause and effect is an important lesson to learn.
Accept responsibility for the harm that has been caused
Again, it helps no one to attempt to place blame. Accept that addiction is an ugly existence, and there are not too many people who escape unscathed. Children do not respect a liar, and they will eventually find out the truth. It is better to tend to the damage as early as possible to minimize lasting effects.
Spend quality time with the kids
Now that the addiction has been addressed and confronted, it is time to begin living in a free and clear world. Set aside plenty of intimate time for bonding with the kids. Make memories. Make happy and healthy memories.
Find outside help for the whole family
Due to the sensitive nature of life after treatment, it is crucial that everyone in the family receive the proper mental health treatment. Not everyone is capable of processing damaging events in their life without outside interference. A little research will quickly provide a plethora of helpful resources.