As mothers, we are always trying to do best for our kids. Way too many kids are falling into addictions these days, especially heroin. Because we love and care for our children, this (addiction) behavior often stresses us out to the max, especially since we usually have to balance time with the rest of the family, work, and self-care. So, what often goes out the door? Self-care, of course! Following are some tips for self-care and making the relationship you have with your addicted child healthier – for everyone involved.
Make time for yourself each and every day. Be a little selfish – of the self – not conceited! If you want to take a soothing, relaxing bubble bath, do so. If you want to go to a movie, do that. If you want to diffuse essential oils, by all means do it. Whatever makes you feel more human, healthier, relaxed, etc., go for it! Superior nutrition can fall under this category, as well. Your body and mind will handle all the stress better if you have enough nutrients.
Create realistic rules for your kids’ behavior and enforce them. Make sure your children know what the rules are and what the consequences are if they break them. It is not always well known that kids do better with an authoritative type of parenting style. This parenting style is filled with kindness and love, yet there are rules which are carried out and if broken, consequences are also implemented. See this interesting article here about parenting styles and adolescent substance use by Berge, Sundell, Ojehagen, and Kakansson. Please remember that additional studies on similar topics may broaden the scope of the findings.
Work at managing your emotions. Try to be assertive, but not demeaning, in your communications with your child. If you feel very upset, sarcastic, or perhaps irrational, likely due to emotional overload, then take a break from the situation at hand and come back when you have calmed down.
Remember that your kids, whether they show it or not, have lower levels of confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of personal power. Therefore, it is important to emphasize positives in your communication styles and emulate the behaviors you would like to see in your child. Your behavior is a stronger teacher to your child than your words are!
Build up and/or reinforce a positive relationship with your child. Whether child or adult, substance using people do not always tell the truth. This can tear down an existing relationship you have with your child. So, combat this with assertive (but not aggressive) communication. Remember to be nonjudgmental, open and honest. Use open-ended questions which are ones that you cannot answer in a word. One example might be, what did you do at school today? These type of questions open the communication channels, and your child has opportunities to express their opinions, feelings, and their hopes, too.
As a parent of a child in the throes of addiction, watch this short video about being part of a support group.
If you find yourself in the dangerous situation of being the mother of a child using heroin, please consider taking this course about natural approaches to treating heroin. There are a multitude of treatment approaches, mostly in the private realm, that will not cause toxic side effects. Also, an approach to treating withdrawal as well as mental health issues, amino acid therapy, either orally or by IV, together with other natural supplements and dietary changes, is actually healing the brain chemistry instead of manipulating neurotransmitters, as medications tend to do. As this healing takes place, talk therapy and behavioral change can occur much more easily!
For more information about healthy, holistic lifestyle choices – and getting well again – please visit Health and Wellness Online, LLC.