April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and during 2015 the campaign is focusing on talking to youth about addiction. Here are some pointers to get the conversation started in your house:
When you’re about to sit down and have the big, bad addiction conversation with your kids, you’re probably wondering: What should I leave out? What should I emphasize? Should I be doing this now?
Whenever the discussion happens—and whether it’s in reference to your own addiction struggles, another family member, or someone else close to your child— make sure to weave these must-haves into the talk.
1. Children need to hear that you love them—you always have and always will.
2. Children need to hear you are sorry for your behavior (or that they were witness to the behavior of another).
3. Children need to know that they are not at fault and inno way did they cause the need for you to drink, use drugs or engage in any addictive behavior.
4. Children need to know that you would like to have more openness and honesty in the relationship, and that you realize this begins with you.
5. Children need to hear that you will do everything in your power to abstain from the addictive behavior.
6. Children need to know that you will take responsibility for your behaviors and addiction and are now accountable for living differently and being accountable for your recovery.
7. Children need to know that addiction is a family disease, and it often runs through generations.
8. Children need to know that addiction in the family can skip generations.
9. Children need to know that you would like to break the chain of addiction.
10. Children need to know you will listen to their experiences and be available if they want to talk.