5 Astonishing Ways Kindness Can Help You Heal
Thu, 10 Feb 2022 18:00:27 +0000
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Do you want to express more kindness to your struggling child?
Are you concerned that your kindness will lead to enabling behavior?
Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you. ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.
I remember when I was teaching fourth grade.
I used an activity to promote kindness among my students.
Each student would pass around a paper with their name on it, and all their classmates wrote something kind about each other. The best part of the exercise was when the students received their papers back. Their faces would glow as they read their list.
The math and history lessons are essential, yet, helping our kids feel good about themselves is crucial.
Do you think of kindness when faced with adversity?
Kindness can help to heal your family when substance use becomes an issue.
As your children grow, sometimes their problems grow with them.
Substance use, addiction, and even relapse can bring a host of unpleasant behaviorsYou may discover stealing, lying, yelling, door slamming, disappearing for days, and a host of other risky behaviors. The chaos causes stress and anxiety for family members, especially parents.
Hard as it may be to do at times, remaining calm and kind can bring the problem down to a human level. You cannot discipline your way out of substance use. It takes much more. Instead, peel back the layers and discover what is going on for your child.
You may feel scared to find out what is behind the substance use. It can bring up feelings of guilt about things you wish you had done differently. I understand because I felt the same way. Yet, when you work to understand the core of the problem, that is when the healing can begin.
Here are five ways to bring kindness into the picture when substance use has knocked on your family’s front door.
1. Don’t take your child’s substance use personally.
When someone is cruel, harsh, mean, to not take their words personally is one thing, but to hear the silent cry within those words is another. ~ Vironika Tugaleva
Family dynamics play a role in substance use. Yet, it is not your fault that your child became dependent. If you were able to help them, you would have. Your child has complicated issues. They were not able to help themselves when they needed to.
Dig down about why your child is using. It is a way to get to the heart of the matter. While your anger and hurt feelings are understandable, remember your child is using drugs or alcohol to escape their pain. They are not using substances because they want to make you feel bad.
Your pain is an unpleasant side effect of their drug or alcohol use.
Lisa Frederiksen of Breaking the Cycles calls it secondhand drinking (or drugging). Like secondhand smoking, the effect of your child’s substance use is an unhealthy habit. While not pleasant, don’t take your child’s negative behavior personally.
2. Treat your child with respect.
Calmness is a superpower. ~ Angel Chernoff
There will be times when you may not feel that your child deserves your respect. When you continue to treat your child respectfully and kindly, you are a role model for the behavior you want to see.
Responding with kindness is not the first thing that comes to your mind. And yet, when you react to situations that feel out of control with anger and emotional drama, the negative cycle continues.
According to Dr. Laura Markham, “If you are yelling, stop. Really. Kids lose respect for parents who yell, so you have less influence. They also learn that yelling is how to express emotions and solve problems, so they yell too.”
It applies to our young adults struggling with substances and may be emotionally still in their teen years.
You may feel that your child doesn’t appreciate your more thoughtful approach now. They will not forget how you treated them down the road when they were in the midst of their substance use. Treating your child with respect will remind them that you still value your child as a human being and a loved family member no matter what
3.Look for your child underneath the negative behavior.
There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you. ~ Steven Maraboli
The child you brought into this world is there. Hopefully, with time they will return to who they once were. You may even see a better version of your child that you didn’t know existed. Don’t lose hope. Substance use and addiction can sometimes last a long time. Yet your child’s life can get better.
Get out old albums and pictures of when your child was growing up. Remind yourself of who they are at their core before drugs enter their life. It will help remind you that your precious child is still there and hopefully will be back soon.
With willpower and determination, your child will be able to come back to themselves. When you treat your child with kindness, the chances are better that your child will open to considering recovery.
4.Notice what your child is doing right.
When you see something beautiful in someone, tell them. It may take you a second to say it, but for them, it could last a lifetime. ~ Unknown
Sometimes, it can be hard to see what your child is doing right because the erratic behavior is blinding. Take a breath and notice anything your child is doing well. Make a list, so you don’t forget. Read your list each day.
It will be a good reminder that things are not always black and white, but there is often a lot of gray. Your child has days when they want to stop using substances. Then there will be other days when they are drawn into drugs or alcohol again. Focus on the positive. Let your child know what they are doing well. It will build their self-esteem. Reinforcement will help everyone focus on positive behavior.
By practicing self-awareness and pausing before reacting, we can help create a world with less pain and more love. ~ Lori Deschene
Being kind and loving helps you create an atmosphere that supports your child’s recovery. Do not forget how much you love your child. While I’m sure you don’t like their current drug use, love your kid. Know that change is possible.
Your child is suffering. They are in pain. They need you to be there for them. Understanding and educating yourself can make a difference. Just like my former students, your child will begin to shine when he knows you recognize his positive qualities
Reach out to your child with kindness and love. You will have hope for a better tomorrow.
All In Solutions Counseling Center is an addiction treatment network. We inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment programs that are tailored to meet each client’s needs. Our specialized programs include:
- Christian recovery
- MAT for opioid addiction
- Art therapy treatment
- Male-only addiction treatment
- Women’s addiction treatment
Our locations include:
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