Both addiction and recovery can affect children more than most people may be aware of. Particularly in the developmental stages of growth, children are more aware of changes in your behaviors, moods, and proclivities than many adults. Talking to children about your addiction and recovery is a very important part of making sure your entire family is aware of and will support your recovery efforts. These are some best practices to ensure that your children are as receptive to information about your particular situation as possible! The first directive here is to make sure your conversation with your children is as age-appropriate as possible. While this may seem obvious, it pays to remember that children respond quite differently to information at different ages. In fact, being older does not actually mean that a child will be more receptive to what you have to say. The younger the child, the more likely it is they will have an easier time comprehending and adjusting to your new information. By being honest, speaking with respect, and allowing questions, you will make it easier for your children to understand exactly what is going on. You may even be quite surprised by their level of cognition! You also want to ensure that you are as prepared as possible to have a healthy conversation about your particular situation. If you have recently decided to head to addiction therapy, detail why you are going, what you hope to accomplish by going, how long you will be gone, and even what you will expect from them in your absence. By including them in your decisions and allowing them to voice their concerns, apprehensions, or issues, you will find that they will be a lot more receptive to what you have to say. Experts also stress the importance of using time limits when talking about these subjects. Although it is natural for us to assume that the more we talk, the more we explain, studies show that for children, the opposite applies. The more short and to the point we can be, the easier it will be for children to understand. As with any other subject that is not familiar to your children, using more and more words can just confuse them and cause them to either tune you out or shut you down. In order to make sure you know the right words to say, take some time to educate yourself on your particular situation. The more you know, the more knowledgeable you will be for your children.
Addiction and treatment are heavy issues to talk about with your children, but entering treatment will feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. Ready to get started? Call Oceanfront Recovery at (877)279-1777 today!