If you are a parent who’s a recovering addict life can be difficult. Here are some tips on How to Be a Better Parent When You’re in Addiction Recovery
How to Be a Better Parent When You’re in Addiction Recovery
Even when people are in the throes of drug addiction, they don’t always set out to be bad parents. However, drugs can have you so firmly in their grasp that they become your primary focus and priority. Your personal life, family, career, and well-being can all take a backseat.
Getting help for your drug addiction can put you on the path to recovery, but that doesn’t mean you’ll immediately be the parent your family needs. It can sometimes take the following actions to rebuild your family unit.
Make Treatment Your Priority
You can’t hope to be the parent your family needs if you don’t prioritize your treatment. Explore support networks and programs you can join to help you on your recovery journey. For example, a partial hospitalization program can be an ideal option for people with mild to moderate addictions who have already completed a detox program.
You can attend a program in a treatment center during the day and return to your family in the evenings. These programs in structured, supportive environments are designed to help you remain sober and put your substance abuse behind you.
Being addicted to drugs or alcohol can sometimes mean you make decisions for yourself and your family that aren’t in anybody’s best interests, including yours. When you’re sober and start putting your family first, it’s hard to forget about the stress, misery, and heartache you caused your loved ones.
While you shouldn’t forget your past, you can forgive yourself for it. Recognize how far you’ve come and let go of the hate and shame you feel. Forgiving yourself enables you to move forward in a new, honest direction.
Avoid Permissive Parenting
Many former addicts try to make up for past wrongs with their children by engaging in permissive parenting. This form of parenting revolves around giving your children everything they want, like toys and unhealthy snacks while having loose boundaries for behavior and rules.
You might be operating on the assumption that your children will forgive you if you say yes to everything they want. However, children need boundaries, structure, discipline, and a role model. Let go of your past guilt and focus on spending quality time with your children in a new, healthier environment.
Look After Your Needs
Making up for past wrongs can be exhausting. You can be so busy putting everyone’s needs above your own to strengthen your family unit that you forget to take care of yourself. However, it’s important to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Being in recovery can require a great deal of physical and mental effort, so prioritize your own self-care. This can involve going to 12-step meetings, having a relaxing hobby, taking time out for yourself, and remaining in contact with your sponsor if you have one. Your family is bound to understand your need to put yourself first when your sobriety depends on it.
Being in recovery can provide you with a new chance to rebuild your family unit that addiction threatened to tear apart. While building trust and fixing relationships doesn’t happen overnight, it can happen with time when you take some of these actions above.