When you’ve successfully gotten your child into an effective and caring Christian adolescent rehab program, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Knowing your child is in a quality program, where they will learn the fundamentals of living a life according to God’s will, experience positive transformation in life, and develop quality coping skills instead of using their addiction to cope, you can take a moment to relax, be thankful, and be relieved.
But after that deep breath, don’t just sit back and let life run its course, because there is much work to be done to prepare for your child’s return. Let me give you 6 tips to take advantage of this time while your child is in rehab.
- Be grateful and happy. Your child is finally getting the help they need. This is definitely something to be happy about. Thank God for your teen’s present safety, the opportunity for recovery, and praise Him for the exceptionally caring and Godly staff that is working with your child. You adolescent will be shown and taught the tools to access the abundance of true joy, peace, and fulfillment, as they learn to break free from the slavery of addiction. Acknowledge this blessing from God, and use it as motivation to be hopeful and know this is still the beginning stages of a long journey.
- Learn more about addiction and treatment. There will always be things you can learn as you continue to deal with your child’s addiction. What stressors, losses, hurts, rejections, or pressures does you teen have trouble managing? What has led your child to depend on drugs or alcohol or behavioral addiction to cope with the difficulties in their life? What long-term effects does their addiction have on their brain? What life skills or steps of maturity did they miss out on because they relied on their addiction to “take a shortcut?” Educate yourself about treatment therapies that are being utilized for your teen, learn about relapse prevention, and find out how you can best interact with your teen when they come home. Your wealth of information will provide lasting benefits to you and your child months, years, and even decades down the line as they can even impact your future grandchildren.
- Participate in your teen’s rehab. Get involved with your teen’s program. Stay connected with their therapists and treatment professionals through regular meetings and phone calls. You know your child’s life, personality, experiences, and how they process life, and this information is vital for your teen’s treatment team to know. Your teen probably won’t or can’t provide this information, so the treatment staff needs you to. Along with providing necessary background and staying informed about your child’s progress and recovery, whenever possible, participate in family therapy with your teen as a way to heal past wounds between you and your teen, model therapist-mediated conflict resolution, and further connect with your teen and work to rebuild your strained relationship.
- Prepare for your child’s return. Whether you teen comes straight home or they go to a stepdown program after acute rehab, eventually they will be back home, ready to put into practice the things they learned in rehab. In order to make the transition a smooth one, you as the parent must prepare the house and your life for your child’s return. If you haven’t already done so, now would be the time to remove all temptations (alcohol, prescription drugs, access to substances) from the household. Devise a schedule for better routine and supervision. Be ready to follow through with the behavioral contract (rules, consequences, rewards, finances, privileges, earning trust and responsibility, etc.) devised in the family sessions. It is also a good time to bring in healthy habits like meals, exercise, youth group, school activities, sleep schedule, and family time. Putting time and effort into preparing your house and life for your teen’s sober living will make for an easier transition home.
- Transform your life. Just as your child is going through a transformation right now, you can work on your own positive changes. Has battling your teen’s addiction worn you down? Has your marriage been strained? Do you struggle with conflict or stress yourself? Is your spiritual life in need of rejuvenation? While your child is in rehab, you can clean out the old baggage that has dragged down your life, including negative relationships, poor attitudes, stress, and conflict, and replace them with healthy habits and relationships that are beneficial for the mind, body, and spirit. Incorporate Bible study, prayer, and connecting to fellow believers. Use God’s instruction and the Holy Spirit’s power and influence to control what you can control (yourself), and rely on God to control all the other stuff outside of you. By allowing your own life to be transformed in this way you are honoring God while being a strong role model, creating a healthy atmosphere, and providing support and encouragement to have the best chance of being a positive influence on your teen. Whether they use their free will to accept it is up to them, but you will be comforted knowing you have done all a loving parent can do.
- Download my free eBook – How To Help Your Addicted Child. I explain the addiction process psychologically and spiritually, and then provide many tips for your own healing as well as how you can best influence your child when they come out of rehab. This is a very practical and quick read for you and the other loved ones who will have significant role and influence on your teen’s opportunity for transformational living.
Isaiah 26:3 You give them perfect peace whose mind is fixed on Thee.
Understand and Find Treatment Options
If your teen is already in a Christian adolescent rehab program, you can rest assured that they are getting the help they need to start their transformational journey. If you are looking for a high quality adolescent rehab, or if you need help yourself, Lighthouse Network can help you navigate the system and find the best option for you. Contact one of our Care Guides at 844-Life-Change (844-543-3242) to learn about our different programs or for more information about your treatment options.