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Purposeful Parenting Month: Important tips for parents with children addicted to drugs

Bringing a new life into the world is a great responsibility. All to-be mothers take a lot of pain to ensure that they give birth to a healthy child. However, though parents do their best to bring to life a healthy child, they have a greater challenge in raising him/her.

As children grow into adolescents, they start to take decisions on their own. While parents can feel happy about the right choices their children make, their job gets tough if they find their wards indulging in some unhealthy/harmful activities such as drug abuse. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nearly 855,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years (3.4 percent of the total adolescent population) had an illicit drug use disorder in 2015. Therefore, it is important to take adequate steps to prevent/manage drug addiction in adolescents.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has some effective guidelines for parents with children using drugs or other psychoactive substances:

Communication: Healthy communication between parents, especially mothers and children, helps build strong family relationships. Good communication allows mothers to understand children’s behavior, identify problems early and induce a positive attitude in them.

Parents should approach their children with a communication plan, and be patient and calm throughout the discussion. They should make sure that the questions they ask do not blame, accuse or hurt their child. Listen to them carefully and avoid distractions. Focus on problem-solving rather than making the child feel guilty.

Encouragement: Encouragement strengthens children to fight addiction better. Consistent encouragement makes adolescents feel good about themselves and gives them the confidence to perform difficult tasks, try new activities, make new friends and explore their creative side. Moreover, encouragement instills a strong sense of self in youth, making them believe in the power of “I can do it.”

Encouragement does not mean passing on verbal instructions. Children feel motivated when parents share the task with them. Parents can motivate their kids by reminding them of their strengths and the successes they have achieved in the past. They can win the confidence of their children by allowing them to share their feelings and opinions and applying them to day-to-day practices.

Grown-ups can be involved in decisions concerning family plans and events. Overall, parents should make children believe that they are important members of the house and their opinion and wisdom matters in crucial situations. Making adolescents feel responsible will help them stay engaged, which is an important deterrent to addiction and associated problems.

Supervision: In an attempt to know what is happening in their children’s lives, mothers tend to get too intrusive, which sometimes has the opposite effect. Supervision is a necessary part of parenting as it allows them to identify problems, ensure safety and promote good communication. However, it should have some limits. Here are some effective supervision tips to keep a track of what children are up to:

  • Keep a watch on the child’s schedule.
  • Fix some time when parents can call children about their whereabouts.
  • Encourage children to inform parents every time they reach their destination other than home.
  • Sometimes, it is good to surprise children with a random visit or call, not always though.
  • Keep a track of children’s friends and people they meet.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has termed July as the Purposeful Parenting Month. Since children are home for the long summer vacation in July, it is the best time to talk to them, address crucial issues, spend time with them and make parenting more purposeful and effective.

Seeking treatment

The HHS reports that by the 12th grade, about half of the U.S. adolescents have abused an illegal drug at least once. In such a scenario, it is important for both teens and their parents/caregivers to apprehend that drug culture is rampant in student life. However, addiction to drugs can be treated with timely medical intervention.

Sovereign Health is one of the leading addiction treatment centers in the U.S., which ensures faster treatment and recovery. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego offers comprehensive and holistic treatment for adolescents grappling with addiction problems. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-683-9756 or chat online to know more about our drug rehab centers in your vicinity.