How Can I Let Go of My Need to “Fix” Things?

We work with a special group of moms and dads – Parent Coaches – who, just like you, have been affected by a child’s substance use. They are volunteers who receive special training from the Partnership and our clinical partner in order to help other families through similar struggles. In these blog posts, they answer parents’ most frequent questions.

Many parents are understandably anxious to “fix” their child as soon as possible when they discover that they are dependent on drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for substance use.

There are however some alternative steps you can take that can help motivate your child to get back on track. First, understand what is behind your child’s choice to use. There are many risk factors for addiction, such as childhood trauma, environment, genetics, early use, and mental health issues that can play a role in why they chose to use drugs or alcohol. Other things like rebelliousness, the dynamics of your family, and your child being a unique individual can also play a role.

Take time to fully understand why your child feels that using drugs or alcohol makes sense for them. Also, realize that one size does not fit all. Your child has their own reasons for why they are using.

Get support for yourself. It is important to fix yourself first before you try and fix your child. This could come from a support group and /or a professional. Find what feels right to you and what will help you the most.

There are many things that parents can do to help their child change over the long term. One of the approaches that many parents have found helpful is the Community Reinforcement and Family Training, or CRAFT approach.

Being compassionate, positive and treating your child with kindness will give you a better chance they will be interested in learning more about recovery. Using positive communication skills, reinforcement for the behavior the you want to see and allowing your child to feel the consequences of their behavior are some of the key strategies that have been shown to work.

While as a parent we cannot fix things for our child, they can help them change. Parents often have more influence over their child than they realize. Using a few of the research based approaches can help the change happen sooner rather than later.

Would you like to connect with one of our Specialists for one-on-one help and learn more about Parent Coaching? Email us to get started.

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