For normal families, the holidays are some of the best times of the year, a time to celebrate each other and be with friends and family. However, for families that have an addicted youth living under the roof, navigating the holidays can be like marching through a minefield.
You see, with the holidays come lots of extras. This is in the form of extra stress, extra high expectations, extra chores, extra travel time, extra obligations, and much more. With all of these additional factors, it can be easy for parents to be pulled away from their support network, and the recovering child will probably also be distracted from his or her own outpatient treatment program. These situations can often lead both parties to feel isolated, as well as physically and emotionally fatigued. This can create mood swings for people of any age, and that's never good.
However, with all that goes on within the holidays, there is really no need for you and your family to worry. We've put together a great list of things that everyone can do to prepare for the holidays so that your child's sobriety, and your sanity is safeguarded. Do you have a son or daughter suffering from problems with substance abuse? If so, maybe it's finally time to get them the help they need and deserve. Maybe it's time to bring in professional help like the kind found at Legacy Freedom! We offer the best Columbus OH drug rehab and alcohol treatment for anyone of any age that needs help with addiction. Call us today to learn more.
Holiday Addiction Recovery and Your Child
Start with a Personal Recovery Plan for Yourself
You might think that you should first start by thinking about your child's holiday recovery plan, it's natural. However, you need to put the focus on your own recovery plan first. You cannot save your child if you cannot save yourself. This means that you should have an action plan to keep you from participating in enabling or codependent behaviors. You do not want to get into a situation where you are unprepared and make a panic decision. Know that you're going into the holiday season with weak spots and vulnerabilities, and do the best you can to plan for them. Be sure you keep your own support network informed and communicate with them regularly. Let them know that you might need to lean on them for extra support. Just do not give up and know that taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give to your family.
Create a Pre-Holiday Contract with Your Child
If you really want to get ahead of the game, create a pre-holiday contract with your child that includes several mutually agreed upon points. These should include holiday rules, expectations, check-ins, curfews, etc. The check-in times can include times when your child is out of the house and inside. They should check-in at their agreed upon locations, as well as check in with you about how they are feeling, and if anything is bothering them. Keeping the lines of communication open will be very helpful for everyone. Keep your check-ins private, and away from holiday guests or other relatives.
Stick to your rules and agreed upon contract and make things go as smoothly as possible. Make sure you adhere to your end of the bargain and that your child does their part as well. Be sure to clearly outline any consequences that will be forthcoming if any of the rules are broken.
Rethink Giving Gifts
By this we are not suggesting that you don't give your addicted child a gift during your celebrated holiday. What we are trying to say is to rethink the idea of gift giving. Create a new family tradition instead. When you have all of the close family members together, share how much the gift of sobriety and recovery has meant to you. Use this as a time to be honest with one another, and as a time to heal old wounds, as well as to be thankful for what you do have. This is a great option as your addicted child might not have a job, or the resources to purchase gifts; which can bring on shame. Having a time of honest reflection is a healing gift that is worth its weight in gold.
Be Mindful of Holiday Traditions That Involve Alcohol
Do you have several holiday traditions that revolve around serving alcohol at family gatherings? If so, it might be time to rethink these traditions and start new ones. The choice might be a difficult one for some, but your child's sobriety is the most important thing. This does not mean that you have to absolutely forgo any alcohol, just shift the focus to something with more meaning. For instance, if your family tradition revolves around someone giving a celebratory toast while everyone has an alcoholic beverage why not shift that focus to something like a prayer of thanks? Everyone can take a turn going around the table and expressing one thing, or many things, that they are thankful for.
Encourage Your Child to Really Connect with Their Sober Support System
As we get closer and closer to the holidays, go ahead and arrange some get-togethers with your child and their sober network, including his or her sponsor if they have one. Having your child spend time with like-minded peers will do wonders for their attitude, and allow them to continue with recovery in mind. As a parent, you'll also feel much better knowing that your child is with people that take sobriety seriously. The holiday break can be long for some teenagers, so having alcohol-free alternatives to parties that even their young friends attend for fun times, will help create a positive environment that everyone should be comfortable with.
Focus on Others That Are Less Fortunate
By nature, most addicts are self-centered, or focused. This is because the alcohol or drugs take over the brain and body, and getting high is the only thing that matters. On the other hand, the holidays are the perfect time to refocus on others, especially those that are less fortunate. Create a new family tradition where you all spend time together doing volunteer work, or something for charity. Change the perspective away from giving gifts to each other and give the gift of your time and support to other people that could use a pick-me-up as well. Encourage your addicted child to really immerse themselves so they can have a better understanding of what some people have to go through every day.
Take the time this year to really do the things you need to do to keep all of your family members safe over the holidays, regardless of whether they have a substance abuse problem or not. Be thankful that everyone is with you and you are all together for another year. Concentrate on the blessings in your life and do not dwell on the negative.
Holistic Columbus OH Drug Rehab Center and Alcohol Treatment Facility
Do you have a child, or other family member that has a problem with addiction or alcohol abuse? If so, get them the help that they need and deserve, the help that your family deserves. Legacy Freedom is the top choice for teens needing a Columbus OH drug rehab center or alcohol treatment center. We offer a holistic approach to recovery that is unique. Our substance abuse programs use a variety of alternative treatment programs that you will not find elsewhere.
Drug addiction, alcohol abuse and other forms of substance abuse are controlling diseases that destroy families and communities. That's why you can depend on Legacy Freedom to personalize your treatment services to meet your needs, and not the needs of the group. The lives we've changed are a direct result of our care and concern. Call Legacy of Columbus today to learn more.