Parents struggle with this question all the time. They see the destruction addiction has caused in their child’s life, and wonder if things can ever go back to how they were. Many parents start to lose hope and get so beaten down as they see their adolescent continue on in their addiction, and they wonder if it is too late for their child.
Thankfully, the answer is clear: Hope always exists, no matter what “rock bottom” they seem to be hitting. Never give up praying, hoping, dreaming, and planning for your child’s recovery. Our gracious God loves your child more than you do and will give them (and you) the power to get through this. That being said, I will list some tips you as a parent can follow to help influence your child’s willingness to accept God’s power and understanding of how to apply it for a successful recovery and transformation.
Get help immediately. Nobody prepares us parents for how to handle these incredibly complex and heart-wrenching situations of addiction. So parents often make the mistake of trying to handle an addicted adolescent on their own. Denial or minimizing the problem and hoping it is a just a phase they will grow out of is the usual starting point. Then comes trying to deal with it in-house and not letting anyone else know. Keeping your child’s addiction a secret is not helpful and usually results in a more serious addiction that is more difficult to treat.
The next phase involves trying to not offend or push away their teen, so parents try to negotiate and then plead with their child, followed by letting their child dictate, or avoid, the treatment they are willing to accept. After that fails, the parent tries to set stricter rules and attempts to restrict activities in their teen’s life before they get exhausted and finally reach out and ask for professional help.
Never underestimate the power of getting professional intervention as soon as you learn of your child’s substance use or addictive behavior. Instead of trying to hide your child’s issues, admit there is a problem, you are in over your head, and get help right away. Bringing light into darkness only helps, and the more light you allow in, the quicker the problems can be identified, addressed, and solved. Lighthouse will help you bring light into this dark situation so hope and answers will emerge.
Find a Christian program. Your child is being controlled by drugs or alcohol and is in need of a life transformation. The only way to create true and lasting change is with the help of our unchanging God. Through study of the Bible where God gives us instructions for abundant life, your teen can understand how they’ve strayed and how God can help them get back on the right path for living. Christian adolescent rehab is beneficial because it focuses on the truths of God’s word for living, His forgiveness of all their past mistakes, and His ability to heal all our afflictions. Click here to read the Prodigal Son story that your child could become.
A rehab program incorporating Bible study, prayer, guidance from Christian mentors, and practically applying God’s instruction manual to your child’s life is the best possible treatment option for your adolescent. Most importantly, a Christian program accesses the divine power of God and the Holy Spirit to work on your child’s mind and in their heart to give them power over temptation and a mindset to follow a plan to achieve their amazing God-given potential. Read more about the benefits of Christian adolescent rehab here.
Get Involved. You have spent days, weeks, months, or possibly years in deep concern for your child. Now that you have committed to getting them professional help, there are things you can do to help. Get involved with your child’s treatment by participating in therapy sessions and family programming. Through this type of positive participation, you will learn how your actions unintentionally have impacted your addicted child and even contributed to their addiction. You will also learn how to interact with your teen in the most healthy and God-honoring way possible to prevent relapse while supporting their recovery and full life transformation.
Help yourself. Don’t let your child’s struggle with addiction define who you are. The best way to ensure your own physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual wellness is to take time to get help for yourself. Even though not caused by a bacteria or virus, your child’s addiction is infectious and has contaminated and harmed the people close to them.
Attend support groups, go to counseling yourself, or talk to your spiritual mentor about your struggles and concerns, and learn how you can become a happier, healthier individual yourself. Your healing and ongoing health is vital for your marriage and your other children. Most importantly, your child can feel safe coming to you when they need help and encouragement and you can be a source of Godly influence and support for your child.
Educate Yourself. Finally, it is important for you to learn about your child’s addiction and how to effectively parent your addicted teen. By educating yourself, you will learn hope, although important, is only the first step for your child as you will also learn the best ways to influence, support, and help your teen. You will learn that saying ‘yes’ isn’t always the loving answer, forgiveness is a freeing gift you give yourself, and many other life-changing and life–saving tips and unique insights in our Parenting Addicts page here, as well as by reading my E-book, How to Help Your Addicted Child. Download your free copy of this E-book here.
Taking the First Step Toward Hope
Parenting an addict is not easy, but with the right kind of help, hope can be restored so you and your child can get through this difficult time and get back to a healthy and fulfilling life of peace and joy. Although your child’s future might seem tainted right now, don’t despair. Lighthouse Network’s experience and expertise is in navigating the system and connecting families with the best treatment options for teens and young adults. We will work with our national partners to help you find the best program that integrates Christian faith with expert treatment while fitting your insurance or finances and will get your child back on the road to complete healing. Contact our Care Guides at 844-Life-Change (844-543-3242) today.