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When one of our kids abuses drugs or alcohol, it’s easy to doubt ourselves. But all parents make mistakes. It comes with the job, and we don’t have to be perfect to raise our kids well. By connecting with others and getting some training, we can learn from the common mistakes parents make. And we can parent with both grace and truth, even if one of our kids abuses alcohol or drugs. To get started, here are a few of the mistakes many parents make:
Mistake: It’s my job to make sure my kids are happy.
- Reality: If you give them whatever they want, what you really give them is a sense of entitlement.
- Parenting step: Being a parent includes saying “no” when appropriate and teaching kids to appreciate what they have.
Mistake: I can control their lives so they don’t make any wrong choices.
- Reality: If you try to manage their lives for them, it will add worry to their life.
- Parenting step: Like it or not, you can’t totally control your teenager. Instead, give them opportunities to grow and make mistakes so they mature naturally.
Mistake: It can’t happen to us; there’s no way our son or daughter would take drugs.
- Reality: If you believe your family is perfect and demand perfection, you encourage pride.
- Parenting step: It is quite possible one of your kids could develop substance abuse issues. Always deal with them with love and grace, even when they go astray for a season.
Mistake: If I ignore their issues, their problems may go away on their own.
- Reality: If you don’t talk about what’s going on in their life, it’s harder for your kids to develop self-awareness.
- Parenting step: Talk to your kids about the challenges teenagers face and build a supporting environment where they can share their issues with you.
Getting Some Help. STEPS Proactive Parenting provides training, coaching, and materials for parents to become intentional about protecting their kids from addictions. We can learn to raise our kids to be balanced emotionally, spiritually, and personally and, if we do, we can help prevent addiction.
Visit www.StepsProactiveParenting.com to receive the free weekly STEPS Proactive Parenting blog, learn about personal coaching options, and get information on seminars your church or organization can sponsor.
Executive Director, STEPS Ministries
Author of STEPS: A Daily Journey to a Better Life