One of the most direct consequences of using drugs and alcohol is the detriment and toll it takes on your health. Getting sober is important for parents in order to make sure they live long enough to always be there for their children. Getting sober will also help heal the psychological consequences of addiction so that a parent can be more alert to watch their children.
Your finances after getting sober will also be positively affected and therefore your children will be better provided for. Emotional healing will begin within the parent/child relationship as well after parents get sober. If a parent has legally lost custody of their children as a result of addiction, being sober is the first step at getting them back.
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Why is Being a Better Parent Important?
Drugs increase aggressivity and decrease inhibition. Using around kids is child abuse. For parents, the most important benefit of being drug and alcohol-free is becoming a better parent. Addiction can seriously affect families, and all relations in the family may be exposed to danger. You may neglect your responsibilities as a parent because getting high became more important.
In cases of legal battles over a children’s’ custody, people who use substances are prohibited to interact with their children until they become clean and sober. Once you’ve made a clean break, begin to talk with your children about how they feel, how your behavior influenced them and affected their lives. Honest conversations can help you rebuild the relationship that has been broken. It will take time, but the only way forward is to keep moving forward.
Why is Getting Sober Difficult for Parents?
Severe mood swings that can leave children unsure how Mom or Dad will be feeling or react on any given day can be avoided once the parent is sober. A lack of structure and routine because the parent is not dependable enough to establish and uphold household rules will create uncertainty and a deep sense of insecurity for children. The child’s self-esteem and confidence will begin to grow as the parent gets more clean time.
A child will have added responsibility for keeping the house clean, preparing their own meals and caring for younger siblings. These are not the memories a child wants to look back to and getting sober will allow the parent to pick up their own responsibilities. Emotional unavailability will cause scarring psychological consequences on the child since the addicted parent’s primary relationship is with their drug of choice leaving the child feeling lonely and forgotten. By getting sober this child can have their parent back which is the best give that a child can be given.
How to Regain a Child’s Trust After Getting Sober
The first and biggest step a parent must take is saying sorry for the damage they’ve done during their addiction. Make a realistic recovery plan and work it. Let the child know what the short-term goals are and let them see the everyday progress the parent is making towards them. If the parent breaks their commitment and the children have difficulty accepting their account of what really happened, don’t act self-righteous or use emotional blackmail.
Try to be actively involved in children’s lives. Be a role model again by allowing your child to soak in any beneficial life lessons you’ve learned in your recovery. Your children’s trust may be difficult to regain but knowing that those you love and care for the most believe in you can make your new life in sobriety that much sweeter.
Addiction Treatment for Parents
You can get help and lead a successful, productive life as a parent. The first step is acknowledging the potential problem and just by asking yourself if you want to be the best parent you can be, you’re already on the right track. Here at Garden State Treatment Center, we provide group therapy, individual addiction counseling, relapse prevention treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, 12 step addiction treatment and many other services that help teach you the skills you need to be a great parent. We believe in treating the entire person, not just their addictions. We personalize the treatment plan based on the individual’s characteristics. Our admissions team is standing by for your call.