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Adolescent Addiction: 5 Tips for Helping a Teen with an Abusive Habit

Watching anyone struggle with an abusive habit is painful, and that experience is even more poignant when the sufferer is your teenage child. Instead of passing the habits off as a fleeting phase, learn how to help your adolescent overcome this affliction. It can be difficult to know how to do this in a sensitive way, but the tips below can help you know where to start.

Visit Facilities Together

If your family decides that treatment at a professional treatment center is the best option, you should not prevent your teenagers from participating in the selection process. Consider introducing them to a variety of options, such as inpatient treatment, religious-based treatment and art therapy; work together to pick the best fit.

Create Balance

Once you and your teenagers talk about their abusive habits, you may feel as though this topic is the only one on which you can focus. A lack of structure and routine can lead to anxiety or to continued abusive habits. While you will likely need to make some adjustments to your teenagers’ routines, consider still allowing them to engage in social activities. Continue your regular family routines, such as attending religious services or having a game night once per week, as well. Allowing your teenagers to continue playing a role in healthy relationships can help them feel less isolated.

Make It Real

Show your children examples of people who have overcome addiction. For example, you might discuss someone who struggled with abusive habits and then went on to succeed. You don’t need to go to counseling graduate programs to encourage your child to learn from others. Sometimes, younger people feel alone in their battles, leading to embarrassment, and hearing about success stories can give them the motivation they need to succeed. Simply knowing that others have gone through the struggles as well can be comforting.

Promote Healthy Activities

Helping your children to overcome negative habits often involves promoting positive ones. If they love art, find a painting class in the community. If they love to play sports, consider allowing them to join an athletics team at school. When you have hesitations about the safety of school sports, keep in mind that health regulations and safety practices among them are improving.

Seek Professional Help

Even though you know your children well, that doesn’t mean you know the best ways to assist them. You can start by speaking with guidance counselors at the school for recommendations and assistance. Seeking out therapists in the community who specialize in the area where your children is struggle can help them to learn about the usefulness of therapy. If they struggle with similar or other issues later in their lives, they will know where to turn.

Abusive habits are frightening for the sufferers and the people around them. When you see your children going through these issues, take immediate action to help them recover. Knowing that their parent is there to support them will mean a lot on their way to recovery.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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