Does your adult child or teen not seem to love themselves?
Do you feel the pain of trying to help to no avail?
When I’m in emotional distress, it’s easy to withdraw and shut down.
I can find myself becoming angry, resentful, and blaming others. The situation can feel overwhelming.
Your child may be feeling that way too.
Substance use is all-consuming, and it is often hard for them to love themselves. It’s challenging to think about the other members of your family. Sometimes isolating may seem the more natural path. It is a comfortable role but not a long-term solution.
In addition, while it’s not your fault that your child turned to substances, change requires that you do your work too.
If you feel your child can’t love himself because of bad habits, here are some ideas to consider.
Love from the sidelines
The people you will always remember are the ones who made you feel loved when you were at your lowest. ~ Brigitte Nicole
From the sidelines, you try everything you can to fix the problem. Maybe you’ve given money, a car, a place to live, a hot meal, love, and affection. The guilt for what you believe to be your part in the pain contributes to your overdoing it. You may cry, yell, beg, scold, and nag to no avail.
Suggestions from others can be helpful sometimes, and other times, not so much. Your child may try to blame you for their problems, which can be upsetting. Family members point fingers blaming each other.
You find yourself making continual excuses for why your child doesn’t attend family functions and why they are struggling. The enabling, the constant worrying, and the sadness can take a toll. You love your child. Yet, you realize that you can’t fix your child’s problems.
You become exhausted and realize it’s time to take a break.
We can love our children, but they won’t love us back in any meaningful way until they get on the path to healing.
Hard as it might be, you can simultaneously hold joy and pain in your heart as you find ways to move forward.
Indeed, when you are emotionally drained and feel there is nothing more you can do, consider ways to continue to love your child and still have yourself:
Be the reason someone feels welcome, seen, heard, valued, loved, and supported. ~ Unknown
Say goodbye to the suffering that has gone on for years. You can accept that you cannot make your child love themselves when they are in pain. Only they can do that. But you can be a support person, helping them along the way.
Everyone who struggles in life has a family story that most likely contributed to the problem. If you feel you need to, ask for forgiveness from others. Then forgive yourself for anything you may have done to contribute to the problem.
We all make mistakes. It does not do any good to continue to relive our past transgressions. Self-compassion will give you new strength to carry on.
Today is a new day. You can have a fresh start.
Exercise, pause, and write.
There can be a deep loneliness that comes from not having a family that has your back. I hope you can find supportive people who show up for you. ~ Laura Mohal
Exercise in any way that works for you. For example, try walking, yoga, or tennis. Find something that will keep your body moving.
Take a moment to sit each day and give your mind a rest. You will have more clarity. It will help with anxiety, depression, and inner peace.
Write in a journal. It can help lead you to your inner thoughts. You will be able to think through and solve family issues, feel empowered, and understand yourself and your situation. Even if you write a few times a week, it can help.
Take a break when needed.
Build someone up. Put their insecurities to sleep. Remind them they’re worthy. Tell them they’re magical. Be a light in a too often dim world. ~ Unknown
It’s okay to take a break. If you feel emotionally overwhelmed, that might be the best thing you can do for yourself.
This is my new book that 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.You can motivate your loved one to change, but you cannot cure, fix, or change someone else’s life unless they are ready to make that change. Above all, accept them for who they are, even if they have unsolved issues.
Meeting them where they are, as in harm reduction, is a way to start on the road to recovery.
It is essential to consider your health. Give yourself the respect that you deserve.
Most importantly, hang on to the hope that when your child is ready, they will change their lifestyle.
Our children need our love and support.
We never want to give up on them. You can be there for your son or daughter in a supportive role.
Be the example to follow.Provide tools for change. Allow them to take responsibility for their lives. Take care of yourself along the way.I’ve been in a similar situation with a struggling child. For example, each night, when I would go to bed, I would say a little prayer for my child’s well-being and safety. It helps to send positive wishes to your child each day. It will help you feel better.
Know there is hope for a better tomorrow.
There are millions in recovery. Your child can be there too.
Sending love to everyone who’s doing their best to heal from things they don’t discuss. ~ Unknown
In conclusion, there are things that you can do to help your child feel better about themselves.
Keep the love going.Forgive yourselfExercise, meditate, writeTake a break when needed.Thank you for reading! What thoughts do you have about how you can love your child and help them change?
Access research-based resources to help you support your child in a kind, compassionate way, which can lead to change.
By: Cathy Taughinbaugh
Title: Love Them Until They Can Love Themselves
Sourced From: cathytaughinbaugh.com/love-them-until-they-can-love-themselves/
Published Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2023 12:30:40 +0000
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