How do you Talk to a Child About a Parent’s Addiction?

Sometimes, people need to go to rehab, seek help and overcome their addictions. Parents also face addictions, so they must work through those problems while caring for their children. Parents may need to leave their kids in the care of someone else while they go to rehab if they end up in a severe situation.

If you need to care for a child while their parent faces addiction, you may question how to talk with the child. After all, they need some explanation of the situation, but you must tackle it differently since children won\’t understand it. As you prepare for the discussion, you can explain it to the child and help them through this difficult time.

Understand the Seriousness of the Situation

As you find yourself in a position where you must stay and talk to a child with an addicted parent, you must understand the situation. First, you should keep these emotions and thoughts in mind since most children will experience them.

  • They feel sad or angry their parents aren\’t around.
  • They feel confused since they don\’t know why their parents left.
  • They feel anxious about the future and what they need to do.

Since children will feel multiple emotions during the process, you must respond correctly. Ensure you remain honest with the child without going into too many details since you don\’t want them to worry. From there, you can keep the child informed and do your best to make them happy despite the situation.

Focus on What Works for the Child

To make the discussion more straightforward for the child, think about what they need. Focusing on the child helps you build empathy and find the best approach while discussing a delicate topic. That way, you can handle the situation appropriately while doing your best to comfort the child as needed.

Think About the Child\’s Age

Before you talk with a child about the situation, you must consider their age. For example, if you take care of a five-year-old, you need to approach the problem differently than a ten-year-old. Otherwise, you could leave the child confused or ask more questions about the situation. If they\’re younger, you can get by with vaguer responses, such as saying the parent is sick and needs to go to a place to get better. On the other hand, an older kid may know about the addiction. If that\’s the case, you can explain that the parent went to a place to overcome the addiction.

Offer Reassurance and Love

As you interact with the child, they\’ll feel sad and confused about the situation. While you should explain it based on what\’s best for the child, make sure you keep love in mind. Always do it lovingly to keep the child happy and help them through the process.

As you interact positively, you can reassure the child that things will turn out alright. From there, the child can have an easier time since they know they\’ll likely see their parent again. Make sure you point out that the situation is temporary so they don\’t end up worrying about the future.

Give the Child a Chance to Talk

Once you explain the situation, give the child a chance to discuss it. If you don\’t let the child talk, you may overlook some feelings and thoughts they face, so you want to avoid that situation whenever possible. However, if you finish the discussion and give the child a chance to speak, you can learn what they think and feel. Let the child also ask questions about the situation. From there, you can provide answers and do your best to help the child understand.

You can also see how the child reacts to the problem and do your best to help them throughout it. While you prepare for the discussion, make sure you focus on the child. After all, if you want to help the child through the situation, you must figure out how to approach the topic to help them understand. If you need additional help with addiction or helping people during the process, call 833-610-1174.

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