How to Help Your Child Understand Addiction

family parenting

There are different reasons why people drink or take drugs. It’s easier to help an alcoholic or addict if you understand why they do so. This is because you can 1) agree with him on the reason that drives him to consume (i.e. his goal), which helps to establish a bond of trust with him, and then 2) find a healthier way to achieve the same goal.

The Common Reasons

Here are the common reasons (and corresponding solutions) for addiction:

  • Boredom, curiosity and the desire to have fun. In this case, you can help your child find more suitable ways that involve other activities (e.g. sports, arts, etc.).
  • The pressure of the group and the willingness to integrate into a group of comrades. In this case, you can help your child find healthier ways to be accepted by his peers or find a different group of friends.
  • Managing stress at home, at work, at school or in relationships with others. In this case, you can help your child:
  • Recognize these stresses,
  • Find ways to reduce them,
  • Dealing with it

You may be an integral part of the stress your child is experiencing. If so, it’s actually a good thing, because now you can do something about it.

Seeking a Remedy

Sometimes the child seeks to remedy an underlying condition such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, or lack of concentration. Unfortunately, while an illicit drug can temporarily soothe these conditions, they are sure to cause long-term problems. This is the case, for example, in depressed adolescents who use ecstasy and marijuana to improve their mood, in university students who suffer from anxiety and insomnia and who overcomes it by using alcohol, or high school student who discovers that nicotine and marijuana help him concentrate. In these cases, it is important to find healthier ways to address these underlying conditions. Start by seeing your child’s doctor.

The Studies

Studies show that many teens will at least experience alcohol and drugs. Don’t get discouraged. There are many things parents and caregivers can do to reduce the risk. Learn about drugs and drug use among children and young people. There are a large number of good websites on the subject. You can learn as much as possible from a local recovery center too. 

Developing Relationships

Develop good relationships with your children before they become teenagers. Have a great time with them while they are still young and want to spend time with you! Eat at least one meal a day together as a family. With our busy schedules today, it can be really difficult to put this measure in place, but it’s important. Studies show that families who eat at least one meal a day together have children who are less likely to struggle with drugs or alcohol (although it’s unclear whether this is a cause or an effect). 

Talk to Your Kids

Learn how to talk to your children so that they listen to you and how to listen to them so that they talk to you. Let them talk to you freely about their emotions. Do not lecture them or make long speeches. Create a comforting environment in which your children feel comfortable confiding in you about the stresses and problems they are experiencing.

Strengthen Their Confidence

Strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence, which will help your children resist group pressure and know how to say no. Value perseverance. Pay attention to situations in which your child has gone to great lengths for something, regardless of the outcome. If your child succeeds, praise them, but value the efforts they put in, not the result. For example, if your child studies a lot and gets good grades, value the time they spent studying, not the right grades. In the same way, if your child works hard, but gets a poor grade, remember to always value the effort he has put into it.

Teach Them How To Make Decisions

Teach your child to make their own decisions. Whenever possible, give your child the opportunity to make their own choices instead of just telling them what to do. Thus, later, when faced with similar situations, this independence will allow him to make his own decisions instead of waiting for others to do it for him. Click here for more information so that you know how to handle this kind of situation with your kids.

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