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Parenting Tips: How Do I Talk To My Kids About My Addiction?

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If you’re a recovering addict and parent, you might find yourself questioning how to talk to your kids about your addiction.  It’s a sensitive topic that they may be too young or simply unwilling to understand.  With such a complex disease affecting your family, you might wonder if leaving words on the conversation forever unspoken is best.  It can seem like avoiding the discussion about your addiction is the answer, but it is not.  It’s actually just as unhelpful as when you continued your cycle in active addiction and were ignoring your disease.  When it pertains to addiction, ignorance is not bliss. Here are some great parenting tips to help you talk to your kids today.

Parenting Tips

If you do not address the problem carefully and honestly, your children may cling to their own perception of the situation because despite their age, they are still capable of being aware when something seems off.  When children misinterpret situations and negatively store them inside as internal thoughts, they are likely to carry the weight on their shoulders throughout the course of their adult life.  Carrying a false belief pertaining to their family dynamic can cause them to act out as well.  This is why conversations can be extremely helpful for the entire family, especially when they occur early on.  It’s important to keep in mind that not every nitty gritty detail needs to be elaborated on.  Professionals have suggested that they stick to the format of their children’s questions and leave out the unnecessary that doesn’t correlate.

Parenting Tips On How To Be Open And Honest With Your Kids

You want to also make sure that you keep the conversation comfortable and open for further discussion.  Remember that addiction is a disease that is, although treatable, without a cure, and throughout the course of your life and relationship with your children, new conversations may need to be had.  Try not to get to worked up, but focus on seeing communication for what it really is: a way for both parties to convey what they feel to one another to have a better understanding.

Something else to keep in mind is that you, as a recovering addict, are not the only one that could use some support in your life.  Your children may need someone to vent to about how they feel or what they have experienced as the child of an addict.  They may need other outlets, so it would be beneficial for you to set them up with another individual as a safety net.  Whether you find your kids comfortable with their grandparents, a professional therapist, a guidance counselor, or supports from groups dedicated to the families of addicts like Nar-Anon or Al-Anon, an outside source for your children to turn to can help smooth their own issues regarding your recovery and even ease your own mind about recovering from an addiction while tackling your lifelong duty of parenting.

For more great resources, parenting tips, and articles on addiction and recovery, please visit us online at 


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