Addiction Affects the Entire Family
Writer Edward Dreschnack once said “just about the time a woman thinks her work is done, she becomes a grandmother.”
Being a grandparent is said to be one of the most emotionally rewarding things a person can experience. Grandparents care about their children and get to pass on this love to a new generation.
What happens if your grandchildren become the children of addicted parents? Mental health issues could run in the family. Even if you’re no stranger to drug addiction or alcoholism – that doesn’t mean that being the grandparent of a child with addicted parents is easy.
We want to provide grandparents with some advice on how to navigate the emotional and behavioral struggles in a family of addiction.
Do Not Take Their Parents Behavior Personally
It’s naturally going to be an uncomfortable and upsetting feeling to watch your child struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism. On top of that, you have the responsibility of raising their children because they are not mentally or emotionally stable enough to do so.You may feel guilty. Remember that drug addiction and alcoholism are just as much behavioral as they are genetic. There is no guarantee that children of non-addicted parents will not become involved in substance abuse.
Do not take it personally if your child has gone down a path of alcohol or drug abuse. Fight this by being a positive influence in the lives of your grandchildren.
Look Into Family Therapy
Family therapy is a great way to take care of everyone’s mental health all at once. Therapy sessions focus on fostering communication and understanding between everyone involved in the situation.
When a parent is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you feel upset because your child is in a bad emotional state. Your grandchildren feel lost because they don’t know how to react to having parents that do not set a good example.
A family therapist will give everyone a chance to speak about their individual needs as well as what they need from each family member. They will also provide communication strategies that can hopefully help you intervene in the parents substance abuse.
Take Care of Yourself Too
While you are concerned for the mental health and stability of your grandchildren, do not turn a blind eye to your own emotional and behavioral needs. You might be wondering how you can do this.
Some self care tips as you help your grandchildren of addicted parents are:
- Keeping a journal
- Getting regular exercise
- Hiring a babysitter so you can spend some alone time
- Keeping your family on a matching sleep schedule
By doing these small tasks, you’re allowing yourself a break. If you put too much on your plate, you risk feeling the need to use alcohol or drugs, or just feeling too exhausted to know how to help your family.
You want to be the best version of yourself regardless of what is going on around you. You also want to be a role model for your grandchildren, as children of addicted parents can often feel alone.
Look Into Treatment Centers
It is understandable that you’re feeling overwhelmed with taking care of your grandchildren while you are both are struggling. Once you’re used to a new routine of being their caretaker, you might feel proactive and ready to
A treatment center will realign your child’s emotional and behavioral health so that they can resume their life and be a good parent.
Call us today at (855) 500-3609 for more information on how to find family support and help for your loved one.