Talking to Children about Addiction and Recovery
Talking to your children about your past addictions and recovery can be daunting. How old should they be? How do you tell them? What should you say? Find out here.
Talking to your children and teens about your addiction history and recovery is daunting. How much do I share? Should I wait until they are older? What is the best thing to say? While avoiding the conversation altogether may be tempting, it is both necessary and healthy to talk to your kids openly about addiction and recovery.
Make it Age-Appropriate
It is never too early to begin having conversations about drugs, alcohol and addiction. This does not mean sharing every detail of your personal path of addiction. Instead focus on finding simple and direct ways to discuss the nature of addiction and your recovery process.
Use language tailored to the age and maturity of your child. With younger children you can talk about sickness, getting better, and choices. Older children and teens can understand more complex information about the process of addiction and recovery.
Talk About the Nature of Addiction
Explain that addiction is a disease and you sometimes need help to get better, by going to rehab, attending meetings or therapy. Try comparing addiction to other illnesses children may be familiar with such as cancer or diabetes.