Parents want what is best for their children, and as teens become young men and women, sometimes hard choices have to be made. If your teen has developed an addiction, a teen addiction center can provide the help they need. Your love and support as a parent is still going to be an essential part of both their short-term and long-term recovery. Provide support in the following ways to help your teen stay on the right path and feel the comfort of your love.
Express Your Love in Many Ways
Beyond intervention and a strong teen addiction program, there's nothing a young addict needs more than the love and support of their family. They are facing a tremendously difficult battle, so be sure to express your love of them in many ways. Try the following ways of expressing your love:
- Hug them when you see them and say that you love your teen more than ever.
- In the middle of an ordinary conversation, make a remark about how strong your teen is to face this battle and get help for it.
- Leave notes in lunch boxes that reinforce what your teen is doing in treatment. The notes may even say that you are proud of them.
- Say that you notice the efforts that they are making and think they're wonderful.
- Ask your teen how they need to hear you express your love. Directly asking that can be powerfully freeing for both of you, as it gives your teen the opportunity to discuss their needs.
Plan Fun Family Adventures
Spending time with all members of the family while enjoying something that has nothing to do with the addiction can work wonders for a teen's mood. Teens are stereotypically creatures who want the companionship of friends over family, but that is not always the case, especially after a teen has been through the trauma of addiction. Consider the following outings:
- Themed dinner and a movie - For example, if you go to see a French film, go to a French restaurant. You can also use the time to talk about the film and how it reflects the culture. Talk about what it made you think and feel. Learning more about one another as a family can help everyone.
- Go for a hike and camp out - Exercise is one of the ways to boost everyone's mood and battle depression, which can sometimes accompany addiction. Camping out under the stars can help your teen contemplate the beauty of the world.
- Train for a shared goal - You all may decide to talk in a 5K race together to benefit other teens in recovery or another cause that's important to every member of the family.
If your teen is in an inpatient program, these will have to wait until the teen is back home. Otherwise, plan fun family outings at least once per week.
Finally, keep in mind that it's important to set clear boundaries during the initial phases of a teenager's recovery. You may long to be their friends as well as their parent, but it's especially important to focus on being the authoritative parent during this difficult time. To learn more contact a teen addiction recovery center like Children's Home of NKY.