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How do you reply to a child who points fingers..

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by Teresa, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Teresa

    Teresa Senior Contributor

    I am curious to know if anyone in confronting their child/children about an addiction, if the child ( minor or adult child) has ever become offended and came back with a reply of " well you ( or dad, mom, whichever applies) used to drink all the time ( or used drugs ) . If so, how do you continue the conversation in a way that shows concern and is not seemingly pulling a "do as I say not as I do" line.
  2. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Hi Teresa. In the case of my friend, though she did not really get into addiction of any sorts, but had a child at 15 years old, told her own daughter her story even before she could point finger at her in that manner. She told her not to imitate her because she missed a lot of opportunities and would not like the same thing to happen to her. But she reassured her that the only thing she doesn't have a remorse over is having a dutiful and responsible child like her daughter. Somehow, her daughter understood. She just graduated from the University and has a stable job that she had when she was still in school.

    So, she already handled the issue even before it happened. Obviously too, her daughter would have known that my friend had her early because of their age gap.
    Teresa likes this.
  3. Teresa

    Teresa Senior Contributor

    That was a good idea for your friend to speak to her daughter before any issues were her daughter could say " but you did it..." I am glad her daughter understood. I thought hiding my ex's addiction and making excuses for his behavior, well not even excuses actually telling lies to cover for his behavior was protecting our kids, but the day I took my son ti sign into rehab he said "you know mom, its just pills, its not a big deal, not like I'm shooting dope into my veins and doing the doper down slump in the street like dad" I had no answer except to say that if he didn't want to end up like his father and also his uncle then he better realize it is a big deal.
  4. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    As parents some of us are quick to let our children know that even if we did the same things, we recognized our mistakes and changed our ways. Hence we don't want to see them have to deal with the adverse affects of wrong choices, hence the reason for our trying to point them in a different direction.

    In my experience that doesn't often work. A lot of the young ones I know are quick to let me know they are quite happy to make they own mistakes and learn from them like we did. I need professional advice on those kinds of reasoning.

    To another point. If a parent is asking a child to stay away from drugs and is still using, I say that is a whole different story.
  5. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    It was for her because her daughter understood. But for my other friend, it was a different story. Her husband has an affair which her kids are aware of. They have not told the dad that they knew. Anyway, the son has school problems even before the affair happened. Now, things have gotten worse with him. He's addicted to video and computer games. He does not study and ignores his mom when she tells him to. My friend thinks he somewhat got the license to behave that way because dad is not behaving himself, so why should he?

    I think it's all about the maturity level of the child and the relationship between parents and child. There was animosity even before so it was not a very good idea to have let the son know. I am just praying for them to sort things out especially about the son not to ruin his very promising opportunities. After all, he is a smart kid. :-(
  6. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    By the way, Teresa, my friend who told her daughter also told her the same thing that you told your son, that you didn't want him to end up like his dad or uncle. So you seemed to have handled it well. You know your son better; thus, you're in a better position to deal with him.

    However, there was an article I read that you should not tell your kids about your own addiction problems because they will think that if you survived it, why couldn't they. Or they'll think you're leading a good life now after what happened, so they also have the same chance. The author deals with teenagers, some of whom have parents who had past addiction problems. There was a study that proved parents who were into drugs but did not convey it to their kids, yet deliver a strong antidrug message, are more likely to have kids develop that kind of attitude towards drugs. But when they're told of parents' past addiction, the message seems to weaken.

    Still, some kids respond differently. So hope and pray for the best outcome with your child's rehabilitation. Good luck to both of you!
    Teresa likes this.
  7. Charles P.

    Charles P. Community Advocate


    I have a few questions, how old is your son, and what does he know about his fathers addiction? Was he sheltered from the addiction, or did he face it head on? I have been an Addiction Counselor for some time, and I have Clients that have walked in your shoes. I believe that I have some ideas that may help, but it would really depend on your son's age, and his experience.

    Charles P.
    Joseph likes this.
  8. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I guess the most you could do in this situation is not to tell or expect him to do anything. You could offer advice and you could let him know you'll be there for any questions or concerns but ultimately he has to make those decisions on his own regardless of what you expect of him. If he knows he is loved and cared for then hopefully he will make the right decisions.
    Teresa likes this.
  9. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    I'm confused and have to say the host didn't mentioned the sex of the child/adult in her post.

    Anyway, Teresa that's a tough call to make on a sensitive situation. I've never been in that position before. I can say that you have asked the right group for advice. It's all good - you just have to take what you want and leave the rest.
  10. Teresa

    Teresa Senior Contributor

    My son is 22, he was sheltered from his fathers addiction, he and my older son knew their father was using heroin when they started hearing and then saw for themselves that he was frequently seen in an area that is known for buying dope. They had suspected that their father took to much prescription meds before knowing about the heroin but also knowing he had been hurt in an accident it was easy to dismiss the prescription meds as necessary medications.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  11. Teresa

    Teresa Senior Contributor

    The child is a 22 year old son.
  12. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    Got it. I must have been replying when that response came through. Thank you.
  13. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I think before talking to your child about such a sensitive issue (there's no guarantee the son will be receptive to this kind of talk), it's important to make an effort to go to rehab first. That way, conversing with your child won't feel too heavy and you yourself would have enough confidence to continue the conversation regardless of your offspring's response. Knowing that you're doing your best to be substance-free, your son will be more understanding of your situation as opposed to talking to him when you're not even showing signs of effort.
  14. wulfman

    wulfman Senior Contributor

    I often reacted aggressively when questioned about my gambling addiction back in the day by my parents. They avoided the issue altogether until they saw my empty room from the stuff I pawned just to have gambling money. They were sick of it but surprisingly they didn't kick me out of the house. They made me see a therapist at the time. A lot of parents don't want that confrontation with their children assuming the worst but sometimes it is necessary even if they end up hating you. Most likely that will pass as they get better.
  15. muthoni

    muthoni Active Contributor

    This is a tough situation because maybe the child developed the desire to drink after watching a parent do it. I will be honest with this child and tell them that yes, I had a drinking problem. The reason why I do not want them to drink is because I do not want them to go through what I went through.
  16. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Since the child is already an adult and thinks it's right to use pills because one parent used some substance at some point, they may not see the reason why the "apple should fall far from the apple tree" so to say.

    Thing is you can't force your son to heed your advice but at least try to make him see that drug use comes with lots of negative stuff:

    He could develop heart problems.
    Start having seizures, etc.

    The negative effects of using drugs are many and pretty bad.
    But I think you were on the right track. If you know your son LOVES you enough to make a sacrifice for you then use it as leverage to get him off whatever he's using.
  17. Miles Hansen

    Miles Hansen Member

    My father tackled this in a really graceful way in relation to my younger brother. My dad used speed once or twice in his youth, and he smoked a lot of pot as well.
    He told him that he has no way of stopping him, if that's what he wants to do: But with that being said, his own experiences with drugs is what fuels his desire to stop his son from using as well. He felt on his own body what drugs can do, and he stopped for a reason.
    You can never stop your children from using, if that's what they really want to do, but you can talk to them about health risks, and the effects drugs can have on you physical as well as psychological. Besides that I think it's important to support your child if they ever do decide that they want to try drugs. Not condone their behaviour, but let them knoew that they can come to you for advice or help at any time.
  18. Teresa

    Teresa Senior Contributor

    Thank you all for your input. I know right now my son is focused on working, he has two jobs and the hours in between the two jobs he sleeps, He says he is not using anything right now and as he is not living with me I guess I have to have faith that he is being honest.
    Joseph likes this.
  19. Nate5

    Nate5 Active Contributor

    I think the parent should focus on the negative aspects of having an addiction. The child may think it's cool to take drugs, and that if mom or dad is doing it, then it's okay. I guess it would be good for the child to hear the story. Why did you start taking drugs? Has it made your life any better? I think the answers to these questions shows that it is not the right way to go. You have the opportunity to have a clean life, so don't squander it.
  20. Charles P.

    Charles P. Community Advocate

    When it comes to your son and addiction, do you have an open dialog with him? Meaning, are you free to talk openly about addiction, or do you have to walk around on egg shells when you are with him?
    Joseph likes this.