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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. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Adrianna... Wow. Your comment has me just shaking my head. "Unfortunately the parent is more than likely part of the problem." Really??!! When you say things like that, and like "The parents probably did some seriously derogatory things to the child to cause it," you are just being ignorant. As the parent of a son in long-term recovery from heroin addiction, reading your comment makes me sad. I know so many kids who struggle with addiction and come from the best possible homes. Their parents loved them, were kind to them, and encouraged them every single day of their lives. They raised them in a healthy, loving environment. And their children still managed to be afflicted with addiction. My son was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety disorder at the age of 15, and started self-medicating to try and feel "normal." Should I assume that my wife and I were the cause of his depression, too???

    Until you've walked a mile in my shoes, please don't judge me. Or any other parents of children struggling with addiction. You really have no idea what it's like.

    Al-Anon teaches us that we didn't cause it, we can't control it, and we can't cure it. And they're right.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, @Adrianna. But I am also entitled to disagree.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
    Joseph and mayasupernova like this.
  2. mayasupernova

    mayasupernova Active Contributor

    Well, it is possible that a friend can help in these situations. However, it cannot be just any friend helping. It has to be a person who is close to the family so that children are also familiar and feel relaxed next to that family friend, but also someone who shows some authority. Because if a kid is too close to a friend, seeing it as their own friend, not as a friend of their parents, I am not so sure that a kid would just listen to that friend more than it would have listened to its parents. However, that does not mean that a friend has to be strict. Quite the contrary, he or she has to have some ability to relate to whatever the kid is going through, with a kid in question, and approach the problem accordingly.
    Parents can be very subjective and because they worry about the health of their own kid, they can make many mistakes using different techniques, none of which perhaps bringing any solution to the problem. Therefore, when a parent chooses a friend that can help a kid, or at least try, they need to be sure that the friend has all those qualities I mentioned beforehand. Sometimes, using a person who has been through the same addiction can also be of a great help, just to set an example from which a kid may deduct some lesson.
  3. jazzyjazz

    jazzyjazz Member

    I think getting your kid's friends involved is the best option. Kids listen to their friends way more than their parents' Maybe it's a psychological thing but advice coming from a friend doesn't feel as revolting as coming from parents.