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Addiction and Parenting Offer Similar Lessons

Addiction and Parenting and Rehabilitation - The Bergand Group

If you are a parent who is simultaneously working through addiction, you know that the struggle can extend beyond your sole experience and into relationships with your children.  Though you may not have thought about it before, incorporating some similar strategies and mindsets from rehabilitation into parenting and vice versa can help to strengthen your experience with both.  Accepting how you feel, re-routing unpleasant thoughts and emotions, and accepting that you will make mistakes are all lessons that can be applied to both addiction and parenting.

Gain Self-Esteem in Addiction and Parenting

Though it may be difficult, particularly at first, to think of much beyond the difficulty that you are facing when you first enter rehabilitation, doing so can actually  boost your rate of recovery.  Lessons learned raising children and working through treatment can lend themselves to each other and aid you in unexpected ways.

Addiction and parenting are obviously two very different things, but each offers lessons to improve the process of the other, strange as it sounds.  Consider: raising a child means “listening… and validating his/her feelings… to [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][help] them avoid a life of self-doubt and internal criticism.”  Doesn’t this sound like something that you should also allow for yourself within therapy?  Accepting how you feel isn’t easy, but lifting some of the guilt or blame that may weigh you down can help you to reach a more complete period of recovery.  If you spend most of your rehabilitation being intensely critical of yourself, then it’s unlikely you’ll find the same kind of peace.  Similarly, if you were to bring up a kid while employing that same kind of heavy criticism, they would likely develop more issues and insecurities than they might otherwise.

Often times, emotions and resultant behavior are difficult to separate.  If a child is feeling anxious around unfamiliar people, he or she may hide behind the parent, refuse to speak to the other person, et cetera.  In many cases, it’s the behaviors that are addressed and chastised, but the feelings behind them go without exploration.  In both addiction and parenting, the feelings and/or reasons behind actions are crucial.  An addict may lash out at his or her counselor because they are afraid that they will not be able to really work through their addiction.  “Acknowledging [feelings] and guiding yourself towards healthier coping mechanisms” should be one of the focuses of recovery and in child-rearing since it applies to both.

“Accomplishments do not define a person’s value.”  Everyone trips and falls sometimes, no matter their age or situation.  Children should be taught that this is normal and natural and that it does not define them… and so should those working through therapy.  An addict faces intense temptation and difficulty, but he or she has chosen rehabilitation and thus have already taken the first step along a positive road.  Kids should likewise be praised for the attempt even if it doesn’t always result in “a win.”  Changing perceptions all around can help in this endeavor; if people begin to view “failure” as “growth,” then things seem a little brighter.  Everyone makes mistakes, but it takes a conscious decision to view them as learning experiences, to take the lessons from those times and to work with them to move forward.

If you are simultaneously working through the perils of addiction and parenting, you likely have a busy and complicated life.  Make things as easy for yourself and for your children as you can by employing some of these strategies to lessen the pressure that falls on you from both direction.  Set a positive example for your children by using your recovery period to become the best person that you can be.  To find a program that is right for you and your situation, get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center, and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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