167 - Ask yourself these 3 things before speaking to your son or daughter about getting clean and sober!


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By Tom Conrad and Tom Conrad: Addiction Recovery Podcaster. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Today, I’ll be talking about three questions you want to think about and reflect on before deciding to speak with your loved one about becoming clean and sober. No matter if they are a daughter, son, parent, or friend, these are three critical questions that you want to have answered before you start the conversation on recovery.

Keep in mind that drugs and alcohol are not the only two forms of addiction. Food, sex, gambling, and shopping are all conduits for addiction. These outlets are no less of an addictive substance than drugs or alcohol as the process ignites the same pleasure systems in the brain.

Common Themes Parents Talk About with their Addicted Children

While deciding to have a conversation with your child about their drug habit is a good choice, you first want to consider if this is a fear-based or care-centered conversation. Parents who have conversations out of fear speak out of emotion, leading to a charged conversation with negative side effects. Words such as “need to”, “should”, “do you realize”, “how can you”, don’t belong in a conversation in which your goal is to get your loved one to rehabilitation.

What do You Want for Your Son or Daughter?

Many parents have a big plan for their children for what they want for their son or daughter based on what they want out of life. We want them to live a happy life with a caring partner, have children, and experience grandchildren for themselves. However, we must pause and reflect on what we are asking of them. Are we basing our children's plans based on what we want for them or what they want out of life?

I’ve experienced parents who have expectations of their children based on what they want for them, not what their children want. For selfish reasons, parents are looking for their kids to live a certain lifestyle because it’s easier for the parent, not the child. Evaluate your motives when you are thinking about what your children “should or should not do.” Give your kids space to breathe and space to make decisions on their own.

Do You Have Realistic Expectations for Sobriety?

I can’t tell you the number of parents who had no realistic expectations of their children for their recovery. Children are set up for failure when they can’t achieve their parent’s goals.

Understand that when your child enters into sobriety, they are most vulnerable. They must solely focus on themselves to successfully move ahead in the process and become clean again.

Check out our new website where you can download any episode right from my site along with other useful information for those in recovery.

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Show Notes:

  • [05:41] Conversations I have with parents about talking to their children about recovery.
  • [08:41] Negative side effects of having a conversation out of fear.
  • [13:38] Tom recalls the conversation with his dad in which he decided to become clean.
  • [17:37] Make sure your goals for your children are based on what they want and need out of life.
  • [23:50] How children decide who is involved in their recovery process.
  • [27:38] Reasons to reflect on these questions before you talk to your son or daughter.

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