Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What now?

Okay, you suspect or you have already confirmed your child is using drugs. What now? Phase one is usually anger. What? Not my kid? I'm gonna break him/her in two... and then....

Phase two... fear... oh bad is it, who introduced them to drugs???

Phase three... guilt... how did I miss this? What did I do wrong?

Phase one, two and three happen within minutes... even moments of each other. It is but a flash in time within your mind. Now it's time to settle down and think it through - before you react.

Today we will touch on Phase One... anger. Yes you will be angry, accept that of yourself because you are human. It is hard for parents to accept that drugs/alcohol have invaded their family's private space. It is so important for you to acknowledge your feelings of anger, to own that feeling for its 15 minutes of fame. Then be rational and settle down before you even begin to deal with the situation. I know from first hand experience that acting out while motivated by your anger serves no purpose but to further isolate you from your child and the issue at hand.

We simply aren't dealing with an average tween/teen issue here, is isn't about not cleaning their room. While in our parental mind we believe all we have to do is say "this is not acceptable, I taught you better etc." and the problem is solved. Sorry, but in most cases this issue will need to be handle, monitored in steps. Be prepared to be in this for the long haul. Preparing in multiple phases was something I was never prepared for thus I spent a great deal of time backtracking. Feeling like a hamster on a wheel. Expending massive amounts of energy and never getting anywhere.

So, acknowledge your anger - really feel it so you don't find yourself reliving the anger over and over again. Feel it and then put it away. As a parent your first hand experience with drugs is now official. Prepare for Phase two and hold on. Begin that conversation in your head. Process the situation... don't go off half cocked... a raging bull in an already fragile environment. There is a reason that your young blood has decided to bring drugs into their life. Deal with it you must... but not from a place of anger.

Phase two tomorrow


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