Moving Forward as a Family: A Guide

If your teenager suffers with hardships like addiction, it can be tough in the moment to feel like your lives will ever turn around and get back to the way they used to be. Struggling with these kinds of challenges are exhausting for everyone involved – your teenager is trying to overcome what is most likely one of the greatest obstacles in their lives, you and your partner are trying to parent them through it and keep your own feelings in check, and if you have other children, they probably are trying to make sense of it all as well.

Of course, like any obstacle, you can overcome it as a family. Here are some tips to help you and your family move forward and beat this together.

Stay strong

It will probably be the most difficult thing to do, but staying strong will ultimately help everyone. Your teenager needs someone to rely on now more than ever, and as a parent you want to be there for them and give them that support. It’s perfectly natural to feel a lot of strong feelings, like anger, disappointment, frustration, helplessness, and anguish, but try to keep them in check and not put them on your child. They need to know you are there for them, and that means staying strong, being positive, and looking to the future.

Be consistent

You and your partner need to be aligned on how to deal with this challenge. It’s imperative you act as a team and both put in the work required to help your son or daughter get through this difficult time. If you aren’t, you run the risk of sending your child mixed messages, which will only confuse them. They might even become defiant towards one of you and try and pit you against each other, which will hinder your efforts to help.

Offer professional help

You and your family aren’t superheroes – you can’t tackle the world alone. It’s more than alright to seek out a professional and ask for their assistance. Psychiatrists, therapists, and addiction specialists all offer valuable information and support, but if your teenager needs treatment, it’s best to take them to a treatment facility for teens like the Ignite Teen Treatment Center. Treatment centers have the resources to get your teenager back on track from even the most difficult places in their lives.

Give everyone attention

If you have other children, do your best to pay as much attention to them as you give to your troubled teen. It can be exhausting dealing with a teenager with addiction, and you may not feel like you have any energy left at the end of the day to give to your other kids, but you don’t want them to feel ignored or left out. They could start acting out just to get your attention, so keep them nurtured and feeling important too.

The same goes for your partner. Devoting all your energy to your teenager can leave little left in the way of romance or togetherness, but take the time to recognize their contributions to the family, the help they’re offering to the situation, and rely on each other in times of stress or when you need extra strength or reassurance.

Helping your child through a problem with addiction doesn’t have to be a journey you take alone. Your family is a unit, and together you can find the light at the end of the tunnel.