What You Should Not Say To A Teenager In Addiction Recovery

It's no secret that being a teenager is not easy for anyone. This challenging but exciting time of life can be made to feel almost unbearable when the young person also finds themselves grappling with an addiction. A teen addiction program is the best choice to help them deal with this struggle and build a solid, happy future. As you support your teen in the recovery process, you may be tempted to speak your mind on a daily basis, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. However, never say the following things to a teenager in recovery no matter how angry you may be.

Stop! Don't say: Why can't you be more like your sibling?

There is often a sibling who seems to be the troublemaker within a family environment. If a teenager has an addiction, that's likely to be a role that they fill quite easily. However, the teen is likely to feel very guilty about the pain that addiction has caused the family already, and they may even suspect that they are the least favorite kid in the family as a result. Always avoid comparisons to siblings and never ask things that make them explain why they are different.

Stop! Don't say: People in your life are giving up on you.

An addict is likely already on the edge of giving up on themselves at several times throughout their addiction, and some also struggle within the path to recovery. Instead of threatening to give up on your teen as a misguided attempt to motivate them to get or stay sober, reassure them of your unconditional love. That doesn't mean that you will enable them or support the addiction, but you need to let your teen know that you believe in their power to change.

Stop! Don't say: You are a big disappointment.

Teenagers are likely all too aware of the ways in which they may be disappointing their parents. A teen who has battled an addiction is probably more aware than others. Never remind them of the ways that they have disappointed you unless it's under the guidance of family therapy. Even then, you don't want to refer to them as disappointments. Instead, only refer to certain behaviors as disappointing. Certain words cannot be unheard and may further damage a teen's self-esteem, which can make returning to an addiction all the more appealing.

Finally, keep in mind that nobody is perfect. Parents are going to say things that hurt the feelings of their teenagers and vice versa. That's life. However, if you can take the time to speak carefully to your teen at this particularly painful time in their life, you can help them embrace their sobriety more fully and ensure that they know that they can count on you for support. For more information, contact local professionals like Children's Home of NKY.