Rebuilding a relationship with your child after drug rehab is a unique journey because it involves someone you love. In an ideal parent-child relationship, your son or daughter should trust you. But, because you have hurt them through your addiction, you must find ways to rebuild this trust and restore your connection.
When you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you are not the same person. The drugs and alcohol change your brain’s chemistry and trick you into lying and manipulating others to feed your habit. It’s these actions that often lead to hurting those you love, including your children.
By following the tips below, you can reconnect with your child and enjoy a healthy relationship in the years to come.
Discuss your options with your spouse and therapist.
If you have a young child, talk to your spouse and therapist first. They can help you plan what to say to your child while taking certain factors into consideration, such as their age and maturity level. It’s also helpful to have different perspectives, especially because you may have been in drug rehab in for several months. Things can change a lot in this time.
Let your child know they are not to blame.
Young children have a hard time understanding addiction, and rightfully so. It’s a complex disease that makes people do things they wouldn’t normally do. As a result, some children think they’re to blame for the addiction. Remind your child that you are responsible for your actions - no one else. Depending on their age, you can also explain that addiction is a brain disease and not a lack of willpower.
Be open to answering questions from your child.
As your child looks to restore their relationship with you, it’s important to be open and honest. If you try to cover up the truth, they might think that you are lying to them again. So, be as honest as possible and try to answer all of their questions. You do not have to go into detail, especially if your child is young, but be willing to sit down and address their concerns.
Continue counseling and 12-step meetings.
After outpatient rehab in Agoura, you should continue with your aftercare plan, which will include individual counseling and 12-step meetings. The goal of an aftercare plan is to provide structure and guidance as you transition into everyday life. By following this treatment plan, you can stay engaged in your recovery and show your child that you are making every effort to stay sober.
Join a family support group or family therapy.
It’s also helpful to join a family support group or family therapy in early recovery. Addiction affects the family unit, and it’s likely that everyone is still fragile from this experience. By attending family therapy with your child, you can improve communication, reduce conflict and have a better understanding of healthy boundaries and family dynamics.
Your child deserves to have a safe, stable environment, which you can provide to them as long as you maintain a drug-free lifestyle. It takes time to rebuild relationships, so be patient and continue working on your recovery. In time, your relationship will strengthen and your addiction will be a bump in the road - not something that defines you and your family.
Awakenings Treatment Center offers drug rehab in Agoura Hills to those struggling with substance abuse and mental illness. We provide education to the family and have an excellent family therapy program. Contact us today to learn more.