Taking on the parenting role during recovery from addiction
Life in recovery from an addiction is full of challenges of various intensities. One such challenge is to maintain and rebuild relationships, including that with children. Parenting during early recovery needs a lot of balancing act as the person might have to devote a lot of time in aftercare. In addition, a parent might grapple with guilt feelings and face the wrath and indifference from children.
During recovery from drug addiction, a person can navigate through parenting by restoring children’s trust and nurturing a strong bond with them. Listed below are some important strategies that can help a parent during recovery:
Indulging in self-care: During recovery, it is natural for a parent to develop a sense of guilt and shame for having exposed the children to his/her addiction-induced behavioral patterns. Therefore, in order to compensate, a parent might sideline his/her needs. However, this should not be done and the person should first care for the self. A parent must remember that to maintain sobriety, he or she should eat well, engage in some form of physical activity, practice mindfulness and attend aftercare meetings.
Taking ownership for addiction: It is important to have a heart-to-heart conversation with children because avoiding talking about addiction will trouble the children who are already in pain. A parent must say, “I’m sorry for what you went through because of me,” as this will soften children’s hearts and they might become more receptive. In simple words, parents should tell the children that they were into some bad stuff like drugs and they got addicted to it because of which they sought therapy to recover from drugs and be there for the children. It is important for a parent to allow children to share their concerns, frustration and agony.
Spending quality time and getting involved: A parent must make up for the lost time by being present in children’s life. Children need parents’ care and loving gesture. Dropping a child to school, playing with them, asking them about their day, their friends, helping them with the homework, cooking their favorite meal are some of the ways through which parents can reassure a child about their unconditional love and support.
Reaching out for support: Reaching out for professional support can help cement the relationship between children and parents. One can go for family counseling during which each and every member of the family can voice their opinion and can come clean about his/her conflicting thoughts. These sessions are conducted with the ultimate goal of clearing misunderstandings and installing the spirit of forgiveness, understanding, acceptance and love in the family.
Road to recovery
Parenting can appear to be a difficult task during early recovery. However, one must get a grip on his/her emotions and face every situation fearlessly. A parent should stop worrying about the past and strive to take care of the children and make them realize that they too have a close-knit family where the members love each other unconditionally. Since relapse is a part of the recovery, at times, a parent might feel vulnerable and drawn toward drugs. As soon as one gets such thoughts, one must reach out for support to nip the evil in the bud.
If you or your loved one is grappling with drug addiction, it is imperative to pursue professional help. The 24/7 Drug Addiction Helpline assists in accessing the best inpatient drug abuse treatment centers in the U.S. that specialize in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5607 or chat online with our medical advisers to know more about outpatient drug abuse treatment centers.