Discussing Teen Addiction Problem with Family
It is devastating to know that someone in your family is struggling with something beyond them. It even becomes more stressful when you know that the addiction problem affects someone young. However, it is essential to break this information to family members, more so the parents. As one of the parents, your Spouse needs to know about their child’s struggles.
Communicating about this issue is essential. It has to be done right to avoid destabilizing the child. Everyone must come on board with offering relevant support. Avoid condemning the child even when you are annoyed about their action.
Focus on Education and Communication
Not everyone in the family may be aware of what is going on. They may also not understand what addiction is or know about the challenges and struggles the addict goes through.
Therefore, using this platform to educate them as you break the news is essential. The teen should feel supported even as you do this. Avoid anything that could stigmatize them, as this will not help them recover.
What to Do When Communicating with a Spouse
Breaking this news to a spouse is not easy. It requires a lot of love. Make sure to do the following:
- Have their full attention: Avoid distractions, cell phones turned off or put away, etc.
- Find a private space to talk – choose somewhere different from distractions
- Make eye contact – Look at your Spouse directly and avoid dodging
- Speak from a place of concern, not lectures or accusations
- Be direct and honest – Don’t mince your words
- Listen to their perspective – Allow them to weigh in on the subject respectfully
Focus on creating an environment that supports open communication. Address the issue’s core and avoid focusing on who wins or fails. Remember that this is about your teenager and not about being right or wrong. If properly handled, the teen may open up and be ready to get the help they need, but the opposite will be disastrous. Sometimes all you have to do is be there for them, and the rest will fall into place.
What Happens if your Spouse Does not Believe You?
It is impossible to help your addicted teen if you are divided as a family. Try your best to communicate your thoughts about your child’s changed behavior. You may need to get the assistance of another person, preferably an expert, in matters of addiction if you don’t seem to agree.
Parents will not always be on the same page when it comes to parenting. However, if the focus is on helping the teen, you will find common ground, even if that means bringing in a third party.
Be sure to communicate regardless. Failure to do so makes the child feels guilty and can affect their self-esteem. When you emphasize open communication, the teen will look up to you as a role model and open up about their issue. This way, they can get the right help to push them toward recovery.
There are numerous ways to get your teen the help they need. All you have to do is be open about the problem and let them feel loved. Get in touch with the right facility to start this journey.