If your teen is suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism in Fort Lauderdale, you may feel understandably frustrated. It is completely natural for parents to feel overwhelmed, sad, and even angry. However, it is important to remember that your teenager needs your love and support as he or she enters rehab. Support from family and friends is essential to overcoming any addiction. Simply listening to your son or daughter is a key part of understanding his or her struggle. Below you’ll see a few strategies that can help you communicate more effectively with your teen during and after the recovery process.
Foster Safe Environment
Fostering a safe space is the best way to get your teen to open up about addiction or alcoholism. If your teen is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, he or she may feel understandably anxious about being punished. Instead of threatening your teen, create a safe space. Before beginning any conversation about drugs or alcohol, tell your son or daughter that you will not be discussing rules or discipline. Instead, tell your children that you are just there to listen, and there will be no disciplinary repercussions.
Ask Good Questions
Listening to your teenager talk about alcohol or drug abuse also involves asking good questions. If you simply sit silently, he or she may feel embarrassed—or as though you do not understand the situation. Even if your teen simply wants to vent, nod encouragingly throughout the conversation. When you do ask questions, calmly ask how he or she feels about losing friends, struggling at school, or having a hard time at home. Never attempt to speak for your teen or assume you know the answers to these questions.
Remove All Distractions
To encourage your teen to share, make sure to turn off your smartphone before beginning any conversation. If you are constantly interrupted by calls from your spouse, other siblings, or the office, your teenager will feel as though he or she has no support in the struggle with drug abuse or alcoholism.