Is your child in early recovery?
Are you relieved yet also continue to worry?
It can be a huge relief when your child decides to change their life.
You can be a great source of encouragement for your son or daughter. It is helpful to learn about things you can do to be supportive.
Your child has taken the time and made an effort to change. It is essential that you, as a parent, also make changes so that you are both moving forward in a positive direction.
Here are seven ways to encourage your child to continue moving forward.
1. Notice when your child is doing something positive
Think back to when you made a change in your life. Maybe you wanted to eat better or exercise more. What was most helpful for you? Was it being around someone who noticed all the positive things you were doing? For most people, that would be a “Yes.”
Having someone acknowledge what you are doing well can motivate you to continue your healthier path. This idea holds for your child trying to change their lifestyle.
To help your child succeed, notice what he is doing well.
Look for something positive daily if you live close to your son or daughter. If you live further away, listen for anything you can acknowledge when you have phone conversations. Try to pick up on something your child is doing well. Let him know you appreciate his efforts.
Our kids don’t feel great about themselves when their lives are in disarray. It helps to have others remind them of their positive qualities.
2. Support your child by staying sober when you are with them if sobriety is their goal.
I found it helpful when my daughter was in early recovery not to drink because sobriety was her goal. Some parents stop drinking altogether when their kids have substance use issues.
Other parents are so uncomfortable with their child being sober that they offer them a drink, thinking one or two doesn’t hurt anything. This approach is not helpful when your child is trying to change and can lead them back down the road to addiction.
Some choose harm reduction. Not everyone chooses complete abstinence. Yet, if your child is staying sober, it is helpful during family gatherings to limit drinking. A few volunteers may want to choose to remain sober. It doesn’t hurt anyone to take a break from drinking on occasion.
Standing up to the temptations of our society which pushes alcohol use every chance it gets, is not easy. Your child will need his inner strength to stay sober. The more you can support your child by not having alcohol be the center of every family function, the better.
3. Don’t monitor your child’s recovery program
While you may worry that your child will relapse, it is not helpful to express that worry by monitoring your child’s progress.
If your child lives at home, it can be tempting to follow up to see if they attend meetings, continue to meet with their counselors or participate in other support programs. It may be a condition of living with you, in which case you could draw up a contract that you both agree to, and that seems achievable.
If your child lives further away or in a sober living home, this won’t be as much of an issue. You will also have less opportunity to know what is going on. Use your gut instincts or allow the sober living personnel to be your child’s support person. In either case, nagging and repeating the same information over and over is not helpful. When your child tries to change, no matter what stage they are in, positive reinforcement for what they have done well is more beneficial.
The most successful situations seem to be when parents allow their children to own their recovery. They are there for them in a support role to help them make decisions.
4. Remind your child that there are many avenues to recovery
In the last few years, more recovery options have opened up. Some people may decide to stop or lessen their use on their own. Others may want some help. Seeing an addiction counselor or therapist is an option. Others may enlist the help of a recovery coach.
There are various types of meetings your child could attend for support. Here are five options:
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem. Meetings are held throughout the country and are based on the twelve steps.
SMART Recovery is a well-known, self-empowering, scientifically based addiction recovery support group. Participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a worldwide community that includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups.
The SMART Recovery 4-Point Program offers tools and techniques for each program point:
Building and Maintaining MotivationCoping with UrgesManaging Thoughts, Feelings, and BehaviorsLiving a Balanced LifeMy new book answers many of the questions that readers of this post may have, including how to help their child find recovery. Click on the book for the Amazon link. I hope it is helpful.
Recovery Dharma is a mindfulness-based addiction recovery community that practices and utilizes Buddhist philosophy as the foundation of the recovery process. Drawing inspiration from the core teachings of the Four Noble Truths, an emphasis is placed on both knowledge and empathy as a means for overcoming addiction and its causes. Those struggling with any form of addiction benefit when they can understand the suffering that addiction has created while developing compassion for the pain they have experienced. Recovery Dharma offers meetings, meditations, and a podcast.
Life Ring is a network of positive support groups for living free of alcohol and other “drugs.”
“Imagine that inside of each person who is struggling with drug or alcohol issues, there is a conflict between a voice that wants to keep drinking/using and another voice that wants to be free of the drug and lead a better life. We abbreviate these voices as the “A” (the addict self) and the “S” (the sober self).
After each meeting, the “S” in each person is stronger than before. At some point, the person experiences a transformation. The “S” grows stronger than the “A” and rises to the top.
Moderation Management (MM) is a behavioral change program and national support group network for people concerned about their drinking and desire to make positive lifestyle changes. MM empowers individuals to accept personal responsibility for choosing and maintaining their own path, whether in moderation or abstinence. The organization promotes early self-recognition of risky drinking behavior when moderate drinking is a more easily achievable goal.
It offers a supportive mutual-help environment that encourages people concerned about drinking to cut back or quit drinking early before drinking problems become severe.
5. See if your child is a good fit for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Several FDA-approved, evidence-based Medication-Assisted Treatments (e.g., buprenorphine, naltrexone/Vivitrol, methadone) for opioid use disorders are available, which are treatments that support long-term recovery and significantly reduce overdose rates.
Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT, is a treatment option for those struggling with substance use disorder because of their opioid use. Medications such as naltrexone (Vivitrol), buprenorphine (Suboxone), and Methadone help reduce the cravings that often derail a person’s recovery. Researchers now know that these medications are saving lives.
According to Dr. Ken Saffier, MD, who works with substance use disorder patients in northern California, the benefits of opioid “maintenance” are:
Increased treatment retention80% decrease in drug use and crime70% decrease in the death rateA decrease in Hep C and HIV transmissionA successful alternative to 80-90% relapse rate to drug use without MAT
These medications need to be prescribed by a doctor. MAT is not for everyone, yet it is an option that could help your child rebuild their life and reduce concerns about relapse.
Related article: 5 Valuable Ways to Support Your Child’s Recovery
6. Have patience
You may be thinking that your child will be feeling good once in recovery. While your child most likely does feel better about himself, it takes a while for things to be in balance.
There was a rush of dopamine with your child’s substance use. Now that your child is trying to change, his brain may crave that rush of dopamine that he had when using substances. Your child’s brain is telling him that something is wrong or missing. That is why your child may be tempted to turn back to drug use or not feel good as you expected.
Many do manage their cravings and successfully move through this stage. Yet, you may feel confused because your child doesn’t seem to be in a great mood all of the time. He may feel worse before he feels better. Patience and understanding can be helpful. The longer your child stays on a positive path, the easier it will get. Over time, his brain will start to produce the needed dopamine naturally.
Recovery will become more automatic, and life will be easier for everyone involved.
7. Take care of yourself so you can stay resilient.
Knowing that your child is in recovery can be a huge relief. The more you can stay optimistic and calm, the better it will be for you and your child. The road to changing one’s life has ups and downs.
Stress is a factor in relapse. If you are worried and anxious, that can cause stress for everyone around you. Do what you can to stay calm, optimistic, and hopeful. When your cup is full, you will feel more resilient.
You will have a better chance that your child will keep moving forward and not look back.
When you find that your child is ready to change their life, you will feel relief. Your fears will begin to subside. The more you can support your child and have patience and understanding, the easier the process will be.
Keep hope alive no matter where you are on your recovery journey.
There are millions in long-term recovery.
Your child can be there too!
Access research-based resources to help you support your child in a kind, compassionate way, which can lead to change. And consider getting access to my online course, Regain Your Hope, an online course that gives you an action plan to help your child. Know that your child can change. Love, Cathy
By: Cathy Taughinbaugh
Title: 7 Ways to Encourage Your Child in Early Recovery
Sourced From: cathytaughinbaugh.com/7-ways-to-encourage-your-child-in-recovery/
Published Date: Thu, 25 May 2023 12:16:39 +0000