When your drug or alcohol use affects the lives of your children it can be difficult to talk to them to let them know what is going on with you. Children struggle with a parent's drug or alcohol use just like anyone else, except in many cases they wonder if your drug use is somehow their fault. Unfortunately a large number of children with parents that have excessive alcohol or drug use grow up to also have substance use.
If you have made the decision to get help for your substance use and need to know how to talk to your children about going away to a drug or alcohol program, there are a few things to consider when you talk to your children. Chances are that your children know that you have a drug or alcohol problem. Whether or not they have seen you use drugs or alcohol or they have witnessed the effects of your substance use; your children may have asked you to stop your use. Telling your children that you are going to get help for your substance use that will help you get better may be well received.
The important thing is that you tell your children where you are going, how long you will be away, that they will be cared for and that you love them. It is good to tell them that you will be a better mommy or daddy when you get better. Talking to your children about your alcohol or drug use will be difficult. If you talk to them about how you are different when you use drugs and alcohol it will help them to understand that when you no longer have your substance use problem, you will be different. Try to be reassuring to your children that you are going away to get better so you can be a better parent to them.
It is not uncommon for children to think that their parent's drug and alcohol use is their fault and they may think that going away for help is also their fault. It is important that your children understand that going away is temporary and that you will be back. Some may suggest that you mark the date that you will return on the calendar and tell them that each night before bed they can put an "x" on the date to mark off each day until you will return. If they can see a date, then each day the date moves closer which helps children to understand that you will return.
They may become emotional, but you need to try to remain calm when talking to your children about going away to a drug or alcohol program. While it is difficult to tell them goodbye, you should also remember that it is temporary and that you need to do this so that you can be a better parent to your children. Over reacting to their emotions whether the emotion is sadness or anger that you are leaving, you need to keep your emotions in check.
Remember that you are making the choice to turn your life around and to make a better life for them too. If you need more advice on speaking with your family about leaving for a program call 1-888-424-2626 today.