“You are loving your child to death” is a common phrase we will hear professionals say when a parent has become an enabler to their child, whether adult or teenager, that has become or on the road to becoming an addict.
“But she/he needs a place to stay, they are hungry, they promised they will change – this time” is a common phrase we hear a parent say to others that are attempting to help that family.
As the author of “Wit’s End, Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-ControlTeen“, and a Parent Advocate, I speak with parents of struggling teens regularly. Parents in denial cannot see they are only hurting their teen and prolonging their recovery by continuing to rescue them and make excuses for them. The number of times I hear parents say how smart their child is, or they know he/she will change, it is just a typical teen, etc – all this could be true, however do you want to risk it isn’t being a phase?
Interventionist Kristina Wandzilak shares her story of addiction and the experience that eventually changed her life. Watch video here. This is worth 4 minutes of all parents that are struggling with an at risk teen or addict child.
Addicted is one of the most powerful and realistic reality shows that has recently hit the air waves. This show exposes how an addict is not only destroying their life, they are affecting their entire family and what is left of their circle of friends.
Stealing their parents valuables, siblings and parents putting bolt locks on their bedroom doors, the addict is sometimes literally selling their body for sex for money for their next high. Even being arrested doesn’t effect some addicts. Many have been through numerous rehabs only to fall back again.
That is why this is an entire family that needs to work this process, not just the addict. The family needs to change their habits, their enabling, their thought process. They need to accept that they cannot control, help or force their child to change. Sometimes hitting rock bottom isn’t far enough.
The addict needs to make that decision to change, the family needs to make that decision to change. If the family doesn’t change, the addict will continue to feed off them and vice versa.
As hard as it may be, until the family let’s go, steps away from denial and enabling; the sooner the addict will realize there is no more rescue net. Many fear their addict may die or commit suicide, God forbid that happens, however it is not the parents fault. If you truly think about it – by enabling them you are helping them toward one less day of life. There is nothing good or healthy that can come from addiction.
So parents, stop being in denial. Watch Addicted, learn you are not alone. Reach out, get help. Even if your child doesn’t want it, do it for your family.
Stop making excuses and save a life.
Resource for parents of troubled teens: www.helpyourteens.com
Resource for parents of adult children: www.peachford.com