23 Jul Are You Raising a Grandchild? Tips for Raising Children of Addicted Parents
Whether you are a grandparent who recently gained legal custody of your grandchild or have long ago joined millions of other grandparents who are in the same boat, this article was written to give you some helpful tips while your adult children (hopefully) receive treatment for their drug and alcohol addiction. As an experienced parent, you already know how to raise children, but you probably didn’t know that your kid(s) would grow up to develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol. This is not the time to point fingers and blame yourself for their addiction; life happens and any number of factors could have influenced your loved ones in the wrong direction. Well, now you’re in this boat where you have to take care of one or more grandchildren. You want to make sure the next generation of loved ones will make it in life successfully and not follow their parents’ footsteps. What should you do?
Keep an open mind to new parenting techniques
While your adult son, daughter, or in-law receives help for their alcohol use disorder or other substance use disorder, a substance abuse counselor will most likely provide guidelines for all family members who are involved in your loved one’s recovery journey. These guidelines will be important because they are developed out of an understanding of your loved one’s causes and consequences of addiction.
Set boundaries with your grandchildren
Kids need boundaries, and especially now that their parents are no longer able to take care of them, they need some type of structure that involves close monitoring. Structure helps them to develop boundaries. Be bold and get involved with your grandchildren! Get to know their friends and their friends’ parents. Set curfews. Expect homework to be done on time and to be done well.
Teach children to make the better choice
Instead of telling them whom not to hang out with or what not to do, teach them to distinguish what’s bad, good and best for their lives. Talk to them about choices and consequences. Teach them to prevent problems before they start, and if you must discipline them, always provide a rationale for your disciplinary action.
Pick your battles
If you don’t agree with your grandchild’s style of clothing or hairdo, try to accept them anyway. Unless their style is completely unacceptable (e.g., sexually provocative), allow them to express their personalities through fashion. When you are tempted to argue with them, try hearing them out first before you say anything out of anger and frustration. Rather than having yelling matches, calmly discuss things with them, and express your views as gently and directly as you can.
In keeping with structure and boundaries, set up a regular “family time” with your grandchildren when they will know they should be home for dinner. Make sure the TV and all devices (including phones!) are turned off. Encourage lively discussions about your day. Don’t be too “buddy-buddy” with them but foster an environment of trust so they can feel safe with you if they run into trouble. Children will either run to their friends or their family when they face danger; it’s better that they feel like they can run to you rather than risk them running to the wrong people for advice!
Are you looking for effective dual diagnosis treatment for your loved ones?
New Method Wellness is one of the nation’s best centers for alcohol and drug rehabilitation. Recommended by Dr. Phil for the effectiveness of their holistic programs, New Method Wellness is dedicated to delivering the highest quality of care possible in substance abuse treatment. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment addresses all aspects of recovery – body, mind, and spirit – so that the whole person is healed. If your loved one has been in and out of detox programs and nothing seems to work, you have come to the right place at New Method Wellness!
Seeking help for alcohol and drug addiction for a loved one? Call 866.951.1824 today!