Having a child with behavioural health problems can be a hard thing to deal with. However, there are some positive and productive steps that you can take to help set up your children for success and improve their quality of life. These tips can be helpful for any situation, but it can be especially beneficial for families who have dealt with alcohol or drug addictions. In these cases, it is important to remember that a parent with an addiction must first help themselves by working toward sobriety to truly also help their families in this way. Here are 5 ways parents can help kids with behavioural health problems.
- Get The Help That You Need
As stated above, the first step to helping a child with behaviour issues is to eliminate all negative environmental factors at home. This can include a variety of things, but for this article we will be focusing mostly on homes where alcohol or drug addictions are present. You can not help your children overcome an obstacle like a parent’s addiction without helping yourself first in this case. Therefore, the first step here is to go through an alcohol or Austin drug detox and go through a rehab program. Once this happens you can move on to working through other issues that may affect your child’s daily life.
- Get Them The Help That They Need
After going through an alcohol or drug rehab program, the next step is for you to get your child the help that they need. This could also be done during your treatment as well, which may be a good idea if your rehab process takes an extended amount of time. This help could include various types of therapy, seeing a psychiatrist, and taking medication. No matter what help your child may need, it is important to get the advice from a medical and/or a psychological professional about what steps should be taken to improve your child’s psychological and behavioural health.
- Enrol in Family Therapy
Enrolling in family therapy helps with improving the interpersonal relationships among all of your family members. It may also help with allowing you and your loved ones to share thoughts and emotions openly without feeling fear of judgement. “Addiction and other tough life situations can be hard for both parents and children to deal with, so getting this extra help can be extremely beneficial for everyone involved’, says Mat Gorman, CEO at Nova Recovery Center.
It is always important to listen to your kids, but this is especially true if they have experienced things like trauma, mental health issues, and behavioural problems. Sometimes children act out because they feel misunderstood and unheard or are experiencing big emotions that are difficult for them to process. Being able to listen to your child will make them feel like their feelings matter, and it actively shows them that you care.
- Be Supportive of Their Efforts and Recognize Growth
Just like the journey that you took to achieve sober living, your child is on a journey to improve their psychological and behavioural health. Neither one is easy, so it is important that you understand that they are actively working on bettering themselves. Recognizing areas where they have improved through verbal recognition and rewards can help your child see that you are supportive and proud of the steps that they have taken towards improvement.
- Don’t be Judgemental
The final important lesson on our list of 6 ways that parents can help kids with behavioural health problems is to avoid being judgemental This includes things like expecting too much from your child and being judgemental of any diagnosis that has been made by a doctor or clinical psychologist. As mentioned before, it is always important that kids are provided the help that they need. It is also important that you avoid being judgemental during any talks that you have with your kids, especially when these talks have to do with things like addiction and mental health.
Working with a child with psychological and/or behavioural health problems can be very challenging, but there are some ways that parents can positively impact their children’s lives in these situations. The first is eliminating or working on environmental problems that the child may be around. When talking about alcohol and drug addictions, having the parent or close family member go through a detox and, when necessary, rehab is the best first step in the right direction. The next thing that needs to be done is providing the child with the help that they need. This could be access to various types of therapies and doctors. It could also mean access to medication in certain circumstances. The next beneficial ways that parents can help kids with behavioural health problems is to attend family therapy, listen to your kids, recognize and support the personal growth they have made, and avoid being judgmental throughout this process.