One of the best things that you can do for your kids is to get sober. Your addiction affects your kids in more ways than you may be able to comprehend. The actions that you exhibited when you were under the influence, even if you considered yourself “nice”, can make children feel upset. When they see a different version of their mother or father all the time, they get confused and feel insecure. Your job as a parent is to protect your children and sometimes that is hard to keep up when there is substance abuse present.
Now that you are in recovery, you should make reparations to your kids every day. If you are not on step nine yet in your step work, you can start by making a living amends through practicing the principles in your daily affairs.
Validate Their Feelings
Just because you got sober does not mean they have forgiven what you may have put them through with your addiction. Instead of expecting them to react favorably to your recovery efforts, give them time to process all that is going on. Understand that they are really angry with the addictive behaviors and not necessarily their sober parental unit.
Give them as much time as they need to work through their experiences. Most likely they are not going to be able to move on from all they have endured just because you are now in recovery. It is normal for them to be apprehensive because they may need to start all over in trusting you. While they may not be intentionally trying to hurt your feelings, remember that hurt people – hurt people.
Get Them in Therapy
Therapy is a gift that you can give them to handle their feelings with your addiction. You may need to find a different place than where you go to therapy because your child may have the misconception that their therapist could tell you everything. This might keep them from opening like they need to during therapy sessions.
If you are not taking care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of your kids. They need you to be at your best. They want you to be your best. So, honor their wishes and make sure that you are doing things for your recovery and health that will show them that they are important enough to live for.
The best part about kids, is that they are resilient, especially when they have a good example to follow. Stay on the path of recovery for yourself, but use your offspring for some darn good reasons to remain inspired.
Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a treatment center that can help someone that is struggling with drugs and alcohol to get sober. Our medical and clinical staff is instrumental in teaching our clients how to use life skills and coping aptitudes in recovery.
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