When you’ve suffered from substance abuse, it can be easy to worry about your children and if they’ll follow the same path. As a parent, you may be concerned that the example you set when you were addicted to drugs or alcohol can trigger your children to make the same choices. Although there’s a higher chance of children developing addictions when their parents have used drugs or alcohol, the cycle can still be broken. There are specific steps you can take that can help them to make better decisions, especially under your guidance.
Why Children are More Likely to Develop an Addiction
It’s important to understand the risk of children developing an addiction when you’ve suffered from substance abuse to ensure you can take a different parenting approach. DNA is one of the main factors that can influence if a child also becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol during adolescence or when they’re an adult. Fortunately, you can still change their surroundings and influence their environment to help them avoid the addiction at any age. Children are less likely to suffer from addiction if their parents recover from substance abuse and didn’t continue to relapse. This can allow you to take your sobriety more seriously and understand the risks involved if you return to your substance abuse.
Steps to Take to Protect Your Child
Staying sober is key to avoiding passing down addiction to your child. Go through rehab and find a support group that can help you to avoid triggers. Find ways to stay busy and set new goals for your future to reduce the risk of relapsing. Your child will also model your habits, making it necessary to think about the actions you take each day. Regularly attend meetings to remain sober and adopt new hobbies that can allow you to enjoy life. Eat a clean diet and spend time exercising to ensure you can remain healthy moving forward and set a good example for your child. It’s also important to have strict rules in place in your home to prevent any substances from entering the building. Avoid having any drugs or alcohol present to reduce the risk of relapsing or exposing your child to the substances at an early age. This will remove and reduce the temptations that are present to ensure you have a safe place to return to each day.
Establishing rules is crucial to help protect your child from making the wrong decisions. This will establish boundaries and guidelines that children need to feel safe and protected by their parents. The rules that you create can change and evolve as your child gets older, but you’ll need to have guidelines in place about who they spend time with or their curfew. There should also be rules regarding their smartphone or with using your vehicle. Although it can be easy to want to be a laidback parent that is a friend to your child, this can significantly increase the chance of substance abuse continuing.
Communication is key to helping your child understand the severity of addiction and why they should avoid using drugs or alcohol. When you talk to your child or teen about substance abuse, it can allow them to feel comfortable talking to you about their experiences and if they end up in the wrong environment. Discuss why you started using drugs or alcohol and how it affected different parts of your life. Regularly talking to your child can allow them to be more prepared to turn down drugs or alcohol when it’s introduced to them. Honesty will not only establish trust with your child but can break the cycle of addiction and help them learn from your mistakes.
Find the Right Friends
Who you spend time with will determine how likely you are to return to drugs or alcohol. It will also influence the type of friends your child chooses to hang out with, making it necessary to find people who are positive and aren’t suffering from their own addictions. Be careful of who you choose to invite to your home because it’s who your child will be exposed to over time. Show your child that you have friends who care about your health and well-being to ensure they can make the same decisions in their own life. If you’re ready to get started, you can reach out to our professionals at 833-820-2922. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day.