Every parent’s nightmare teen drug addiction. We all want the best for our kids and we want them to succeed but that is not always the case as drug use and abuse continue to rise, especially among children. Drug-related fatalities are on the rise as well, as dangerous drugs are becoming easier to get. Parents of children with addiction often bail their kids out of any trouble they get into because of the addiction. This is not always the best strategy as children will start to believe that no matter what they do, they will always get bailed out by their parents.Tough love is the term used to describe any act of parenting which results in the child experiencing some kind of negative emotions as part of a learning process and it’s usually very hard for parents to employ. Seeing our children suffer can be hard enough, but to put them through more suffering is often unthinkable. It’s never easy but tough love is usually the best solution; especially if parents truly love their children and don’t want to see them end up as another statistic in the failing fight against teen drug addiction.
Tough love can be administered in a variety of ways. One way is for parents to cut off financial support for a child that’s addicted. When someone is addicted, money is usually all they need to fulfill their addiction as drugs are so readily available and easy to obtain. Keeping up with the child’s activities and being more involved in their lives can help them find other ways to spend their time and also gives the parent more information on is going on in their child’s life.
Another way is for parents not to bail their children out of legal trouble. This enables the child to see that there are negative consequences for their actions and bad decisions. While most agree that jail is not an effective deterrent against drug addiction, it will show the child that they won’t always be bailed out of trouble and should make better decisions in the future.
Intervention is a popular form of tough love. This is when a group of family members and friends and sometimes medical or mental health professionals all come together and have a meeting with the addicted child. The child’s addiction is brought out and openly discussed as well as options and consequences the child may be facing. Usually the child is informed of the negative side of the addiction and attempts are made to get the child into school activities, sports or, depending on their age, a job. Something to keep their minds away from drugs.
Putting a child into rehab can be a very tough decision but should be considered if no other alternatives are working. Most rehabilitation centers treat the individual addiction and try to teach the children of the possible consequences of their addiction and how they can overcome them through better decision making. Tough love may not work for every child but it can save lives and should be considered as a possible solution by parents of a child with drug addiction problems.