Kids and recovery
Kids have a unique way of sensing when something is not right. Most can feel others emotions and even gear their own emotions around what those nearby them are feeling – especially their parents. Some parents in recovery feel it is best to hide their recovery from their kids. Parents don’t want to cause their children to worry or be anxious about “adult problems.” But, hiding emotions from kids can cause confusion since kids will still pick up on emotions and moods during recovery. It is vital that parents are honest and open with their kids in regards to addiction and recovery in order to allow their kids to know what is going on and why certain emotions are present. Being honest will benefit the individual in recovery as well as the remaining family members
Talking to kids about addiction can be hard. Most kids may not really understand what addiction is. But getting into details isn’t necessary – you don’t have to explain everything. As long as you give kids basic information about addiction and how it can affect their parent or other loved one, then the most important things will be covered. Teenagers will want to know more and should be told more about what is going on and addiction in general. In fact, may studies show that being open and honest with an addiction problem in the family can help prevent addictions in teenagers and other members of the family. When they are taught the dangers and see the consequences first hand, they may be less likely to engage in addictive behaviors themselves. If parents will explain what addiction and recovery are and how they have affected their life, kids and teens may be less likely to engage in any drug or alcohol related activity.
Hiding addiction and recovery discussions from kids causes more damage than good. It is important to discuss addiction and recovery in your family often and allow kids to ask questions instead of covering up or hiding the addiction and/or recovery.