When to Tell Children About Being in Recovery

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

If you have children, they are probably your primary motivation to get sober. Many parents shy away from talking to their kids about addiction and recovery, which is an unhealthy attitude. Even young children are more observant than you may realize. They have probably sensed something is wrong, even if they don’t understand what it is. By explaining recovery, you can reassure your kids that you are working on getting better.

Starting the Conversation

Children can tell when something is amiss. They might have noticed changes in your behavior or the household atmosphere due to your substance abuse. While you seek help to better yourself and your family’s life, your children might grapple with feelings of confusion, worry, or even guilt. Here’s how to have this delicate discussion.

1. Define Addiction in Age-Appropriate Terms

Start by explaining that addiction is a disease, and that you have asked God to help you heal your body and brain. Use simple, age-appropriate language and be patient with their questions. If they’re already aware that you have a drinking or drug problem, ask them to share their thoughts and feelings, creating an open and honest dialogue.

2. Stay Calm and Supportive

This conversation can be emotional, but try to remain composed. If you become overwhelmed, pause and take deep breaths. Remember, it’s also crucial to validate your children’s feelings, letting them know it’s OK to feel sad, angry, or scared.

3. Describe the Treatment Process

If you’ve decided to enter a residential rehab program, your children will likely have questions about where you are going and why. Reassure them that it’s a safe place and emphasize that you’ll return home to them as soon as you feel better. Explain that the faith-based counseling plan you have chosen is a necessary step for you to heal and become a better parent.

4. Address Addiction as a Family Disease

Acknowledge that your addiction impacts the whole family. By getting help, you’re also starting a healing journey for your loved ones. Tell your children that this is a positive step toward a healthier future for everyone.

Honesty Heals – The Impact of Sharing Your Recovery With Your Children

Discussing your recovery with your children is one way to rebuild trust and foster a healthier family dynamic. It’s an opportunity to teach them about resilience, the importance of seeking help, and the power of healing. Remember that your openness and honesty can build the foundation for a more connected family life after you finish your initial treatment program.

At Celebrate Hope, our accredited counselors combine decades of scientific evidence with thousands of years of Biblical tradition. We offer all clients an opportunity to confront the underlying causes of their addiction while strengthening their relationship with Christ. Contact us today to learn more about faith-based recovery in Orange County.

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