Punishment. This is proven to have limited, if any, benefit for both parent and child. Your goal is to help and losing your temper will not assist someone who is suffering. You need to be practical and take steps to help your teen turn around their lifestyle. You could move them to a new school, take your child to a professional counselor or have them join a support group. You could have your teen move to another area provided they were living with a trusted friend or relative.
Discover the truth. You must be able to freely talk to your child. What have they been doing? How often? With whom and why? Become a good listener. Forget the blame game and seek honesty and truth.
Professional help. Drug addiction is serious and potentially deadly. Serious treatment is required and finding the appropriate health professional is vital. Someone with experience in working with teens who are addicted may be ideal. The therapist will know what to do immediately and in the future. You and your teen need expert advice.
Self esteem. One by-product of drug addiction is a low self esteem. The addict doesn’t care and behaves almost without a conscience. This attitude must change dramatically. You must build your child’s self-esteem. Encourage them to become involved in healthy pursuits, in sports or other worthwhile outdoor activities. Help fill their time with hobbies or pursuits which give them confidence and take away the child’s opportunities to become involved with drugs. Make your teen feel important and important. Show them they are much loved.
Care for yourself. Living with a teen with an addiction to drugs can be soul destroying and physically exhausting. You must take care not to go under. Your teen will hardly get any support if you are so worn out you cannot do much to help. Make time to relax, to enjoy the things you enjoy and look after number one.
Set rules. Letting your teen do as they like is not a good idea. Put rules in place. Ask where are they going and when will they be home. Curfews may be essential. It’s called tough love but without it, you are allowing your teen to go from bad to worse.
Drop the blame. It is so easy in such a difficult situation to start handing out blame. You can blame yourself, your spouse, your child, almost anyone. But blaming someone or something is self-defeating. It’s not part of the solution and in fact makes things worse. Dump the blame and instead get on with building the solution.
Remember your teen’s health is the most important thing but take care that your health is not damaged. Both of you need to come out of the situation stronger and better people.
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