How to tell Children about Parents Addiction?

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By admin

Children who grow up in households where their parents abuse substances may find life challenging, unpredictable, and confusing in many ways. They may even be led to believe that their alcohol or drug consumption is their responsibility. Dealing with this unpredictability and volatility can leave children feeling uneasy and unsettled. Furthermore, youngsters may hear contradictory messages from their parents. More than 28 million Americans are children of alcoholics. Children face a lifetime of challenges that other youngsters do not have to deal with. They have greater emotional, behavioral, and intellectual issues than normal children, and they are four times more likely to become addicts themselves. They are also more likely to experience abuse and neglect, witnessing domestic violence, and marry an addict later in life. It is highly important to talk to the children of addicts about what their parents are going through. Let’s discuss some easy ways to tell children about their parents’ addiction. 


Be Gentle and Use Reassuring Words

Children of addicts already go through a lot, so if you decide to talk to them, make sure you know the nicest tone and the most comforting words. Assure them that they did not cause the addiction and that there is nothing they can do to prevent their parents from drinking or using drugs. Assure the children that their parents still love them still but that they have a condition that may require assistance. Also, remind them that you care about them and are there to help them if they need anything.


Talk about How They Feel

Talking with children about the addiction of their parents can be helpful as it will give them a chance to open up about their feelings. It will also help adults to gain insight into the child’s mind. Rather than avoiding the consequences of a parent’s addiction, acknowledge the child’s experience and let them speak up about it. Apologize for causing distress and offer open-ended questions about how they’ve been feeling. Children should not keep negative feelings to themselves. 


Get Educated yourself and Keep the Conversating Age-Appropriate

Educate yourself about early stages of addiction so that you can answer any questions the child may have. If you don’t know the solution, collaborate to find one. Do not give any wrong answers. Remember, they will be thinking about this conversation for the rest of their lives. The language you use and the level of detail you provide should be age-appropriate. Break down the challenges as plainly and directly as possible before concluding with a message of hope. Don’t dumb down the talk for a teen and overwhelm a little kid with your words. 


Final Words…

Talking to a child about parents’ addiction can be hard, but this is a sensitive topic that should be handled with care. A child who has seen their parents abuse drugs does not think like other kids. They have seen the side of their parents that no kid should ever see. People who deal with addictions say and do things they probably don’t mean and won’t even remember. But the children around them are getting affected by it. So, if you have a chance to talk to a child about their parents’ addiction, use it wisely and be as gentle with them as you can be. Make them feel like they matter and you are here to help them come out of this mess.