A lot of people struggle with addiction in one form or another. However, parents with addiction, whether a drug or alcohol addiction, may experience many problems in different aspects of their lives. Their addiction can strain their relationships, negatively affect their performance at work, or ruin their health outright.
Although these problems may seem to affect only the person struggling with addiction, they can affect those around them, especially their children. Parents who struggle with addiction may cause trauma on their kids and become more problems in the kids’ future.
How Parental Drug and Alcohol Abuse Affects Child Development
Parents with addiction can negatively affect their children in many ways. Children of addicts can be directly or indirectly affected by their parent’s problem and impede their development.
Statistics show that parents with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) are more likely to abuse their children physically. This physical abuse compromises the child’s health and causes emotional scars that can cause psychological problems in the future.
Apart from the increased likelihood of hurting the child, the parent may not support their child because of their addiction. As the addict parent spends more time and money on their addiction, their needs are often neglected.
Parents are usually the child’s first teachers. When those teachers are absent, they can be misguided during their development and grow up to have poor moral values. This can make it difficult for the child to interact socially.
These problems can also affect the child’s academics, as parents usually supplement their child’s education at home while they study. Statistics also show that children with a parent who exhibits SUDs are more likely to be involved in child welfare than others.
Children Growing Up With Parents Struggling With Addiction
The way children respond to their parents being addicts differs from child to child, but it’s generally considered to have a negative impact on their emotional, psychological, and social development.
Most children feel a lack of security and stability when one or both of their parents show SUDs. This often comes from parental neglect or absence, causing the child never to feel safe or at ease at home.
Some children might react to their situation by repressing their emotions. This can accelerate their “maturity” make them desensitized to bad things happening around them. They may see problems as a norm, and instead of being expressive, they may choose to accept their situation and grow up unhappy blindly.
On the other end, children of addicts may reflect their parent’s actions and behavior and exhibit violent tendencies. They may feel like the only thing they could control is their emotions and extend their unhappiness to others by bullying them or destroying property.
Other children can also develop more subtle and dangerous habits when living with a parent exhibiting SUDs. They can grow up to be manipulative and dishonest, reflecting how parents would gaslight their children and manipulate them into doing what they want.
Often, these children will also feel ashamed of their parents to the point that they could outright deny any association with them. There’s also the fact that there are still many stigmas regarding these problems, and children often have to carry that stigma s well around other people.
What Recovering Parents Should Do For Their Children
A lot of parents want to change themselves to support their kids and show them love properly. However, it may be difficult for those parents to do so when their minds and bodies are still in the process of rehabilitation.
Educate and Be Educated About Addiction
First of all, recovering parents should do is to educate themselves and their children regarding the problem. By doing so, you can help the entire family accept the situation, process it, and help resolve the issue together.
Listen To The Children
Next, recovering parents should always listen to what their children feel. Since they are still in the process of maturing, their minds are very impressionable, and frequently they don’t understand what they think of themselves.
By listening to the children, parents can reflect on how their decisions impact the family and what habits need to change to keep the home relaxed and safe. By letting the children know that they also have a say in what happens in the house, they can learn to express themselves and actively give feedback to the parents.
Avoid Giving In To Temptations
Parents should also try their best to avoid any situation that could trigger cravings or relapses. Giving in to temptation while recovering can destroy any trust built up to that point. As a result, it can ultimately ruin the relationship.
Consider Going To Therapy
Self-help can only go so far, which is why addict parents should consider therapy. Psychological professionals can help process the parent’s thoughts and help them realize the gravity of their problem and how good their recovery can be.
It is important to remember that throughout this rehabilitation process, honesty is essential. Children are much more intelligent than people think, and leaving questions unanswered can just worry them more.
Express Love For The Children
Lastly, parents with addiction should remind their children that they love them and slowly change themselves to take care of them better. It’s best to reassure them that their problems can and will be solved over time.
We’re With You On Your Journey
Here at Buena Vista Health and Recovery Center, we are with you every step of the way in turning your addiction around. We employ substance abuse therapy experts in Tucson that can help you throughout the entire process, from pre-treatment to post-rehab.
In our programs, we will teach you proper coping skills for addiction, develop positive habits to get through your addiction, and give therapy sessions to help you process your thoughts the best way possible.
As one of the leading drug addiction detox centers in the area, we’re ready to take part in changing lives for the better. If you want to take that first step together with us, visit our website at https://buenavistarecovery.com/. We’ll be there.