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Can a friend do a better job helping a child rather than a parent?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by JoanMcWench, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Community Champion

    I've found that no matter how much a parent loves & is concerned about their child, it's hard to get through to them. This is especially true when it comes to a child facing an addiction to something. It makes them much more dismissive to a caring parent.

    So, the question becomes should the parent work with friends to help squash an addiction? Is it too hard to admit that as the parent you might have to let go?
  2. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I don't know if friends can do a better a job. I know for a fact that some children may have experience doing drugs and some of them might have managed to overcome their addictions but that in no way confers all knowledge about drug abuse, how to fight it, etc. Nonetheless if parents can't get through to their kids [who may deny addiction] then their only hope is their [kids] friends.
  3. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1 Community Champion

    The problem is that most kids listen more to their friends. Unfortunately they believe parents just do not understand. Though a parent hypothetically would be more helpful, they have less influence then a teenager's friends. Most adults wish they would have heeded a little more of their parents advice.
  4. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I don't think that's the case. Some children are receptive to other people's advice while others are simply stubborn and don't want to admit they're in trouble. Asking a friend to help you convince your child is a risk in itself. The friend may not do just as good a job as you. Also, what if your child has friends who cannot be trusted? Should you still let those shady friends do the convincing instead? That wouldn't be healthy.

    You're the parent. That is your child in trouble. You should take command and exert your authority. For as long as your child lives in your premises, you have no room to be permissive. Children eventually submit to their parents' authority. Of course, by exerting your authority that doesn't mean you have to nag your child or hover around him. You don't have to let them decide all the time. They can decide only after they leave your nest. Just take the reigns and do what's best for your child, with or without their consent. That's what parents do.
    Rainman likes this.
  5. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    You raised an interesting point and as a parent I know the difficulties that parents and children face when trying to reach each other. It actually works both ways. I honestly see nothing wrong with a parent soliciting the help of a trusted friend if the child is withdrawing.

    In an ideal world the parents connect to their children and in fact this is what should be encouraged. However experience says that depending on the relationship children have with their parents they may or maybe respond to direction.A loving parent will do everything it takes to save a child even when it means stepping back or calling in help.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  6. RingoBerry

    RingoBerry Senior Contributor

    I think it would be nice if parents can be more approachable like friends, for kids to be able to get along with them, joke around, open up. Its not always good to keep reminding kids of that thick line that separate them, and by strengthening that kind of bond then it will help lessen the possibility of their kids meeting someone that may turn out to be a bad influence.
  7. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    As parents, we owe it to our kids to bring them up in an environment that is conducive to their physical, mental and spiritual growth. Sometimes it gets difficult to monitor them when they are outside the confines of our homes but we should be ever vigilant and quick to react to any suspicious behavior. Our friends also play an important part in all this and with their help, this whole process becomes a success. Failure is not an option when it comes to discharging our parental roles as giving up on them will be tantamount to accepting ourselves as failures which we are not.
  8. rainbowguard

    rainbowguard Senior Contributor

    The only advantage of friends over family is the fact that they are closer to their children and as the result might understand more the situation they are in. Parents can have this advantage too but difference in age, occupation, and view of the world is not something that can be overcome so easily. On the other hand, friends normally do not care as much as parents do so if there is a need to find friends to convince your children to stop using, make sure that those friends are the ones that actually care for your children.
  9. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    Another aspect to would be, if the friends are just as concerned as the parent(s).

    Also parents do become defensive when approached with negativity about their children. The parent may also be feeling helpless in dealing with the situation and hesitant about reaching out for direction.
  10. KNH

    KNH Active Contributor

    I think it really depends on the situation but others here are right - the parent is the parent and should take charge.
    However, from personal experience I know that being lectured and "helped" by a parent is NOT always what a child wants. That said, the child may listen more to a friend. The important part of that is finding a friend who actually truly wants the child to get help and is concerned about him/her.
  11. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think it depends if what kind of parents and what kind of friends one will have.
    I do agree that some find it more comfortable to talk and share his/her thoughts to friends than parents. But there are also some who are open to their parents and will seek guidance if they think necessary.
  12. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think sometimes friends do tend to be more helpful but I don't think it should be the case. If the parent has done their job right then they will be able to communicate I their children no matter what, but chances are if they turned out to be addicts then they have already failed that part to begin with and in cases like these having a friend to take the responsibility is better than having no one at all.
  13. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    The empty nest culture in America is partly responsible for the increasing number of teenage substance abusers. I don't understand why many American parents are permissive toward their children. Does it hurt to be strict or at the very least authoritative? Kids would rebel for the silliest of reasons and just a bit of mean treatment from their parents would already cause them to commit unseemly acts.
  14. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    It depends on the child and it definitely depends on who the parent is. There are a lot of parents who are very hard for their kids to approach for help, even if they're asking for help that they desperately need. Sometimes it's much better to go to a friend who can help, or maybe a friend's parent that they really trust, or some other authority figure that they trust like a principle or a teacher or a doctor, something like that. They should feel safe, and sometimes it's a serious thing that their own parents don't make them feel safe unfortunately.
  15. ABC123

    ABC123 Member


    I agree that failure is not an option. Parents have to be active 24/7 in their child's life. They should know where, with who, and what their children are doing all the time. The children are their responsibility until they are deemed legally an adult. If parents were active more then the current day norm, then just maybe the number of children in such crisis would not be as high. With that said I know kids who have loving involved parents and still fall victim to such sin. I do not think the children's friends are equipped to aide their drug addicted friend. They are not equipped to handle their own needs. I had a teen befriend me when I worked at a children's entertainment facility. As an adult finding out he was on drugs, just broke my heart. He had so much potential as a poet/songwriter. I told him of my disappointment and we talked for awhile. But I was not his parent, I was not equipped with how to handle it, and I could not persuade him to get help. I did not know if his father knew. I ended up moving and getting a new job shortly after that time. Since he was a kid that visited the facility, I never got this personal information to follow up on what had happened to him. As I type this post I do wonder.
  16. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    As a parent you have an obligation towards your children.You have a duty to raise and protect them from imminent danger that they constantly face in their environment. Giving up on them is not an option and the best you can do for them when faced with such challenges is to seek professional help for them.
  17. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Community Champion

    I'm not suggesting you 'give up on them' in the least. Asking this question has more to do with parents who hold the reins a bit too tightly & do not afford others around their children to help. Sometimes you cannot help them. Sometimes a child has heir mind set that you will not be the one to help them. This is really what I meant by 'let go'.
    Winterybella likes this.
  18. lgdg090596

    lgdg090596 Senior Contributor

    I think both are essential.
  19. devinametallic

    devinametallic Active Contributor

    Sometimes it can be the case. It just depends on the person and how well they react to how people are trying to help them.
  20. Restore23

    Restore23 Member

    It is truly difficult when a parent finds out that their child is addicted to drugs.most of the time when we find our children doing the the wrong thing, we lush out at them.this always makes them distant themselves from us parents.
    I think the best thing is to try to handle the whole thing with a lot of wisdom.Showing them a lot of love and
    reassuring them that they can overcome the addiction will also help to give them strength.let us also pray for our children as parents, so that they may not lose their direction and that they may not involve themselves in doing the wrong things.