No parent wants to see their child hurting or in harm’s way. Sometimes it can be difficult to ask our loved one what the money they are asking for is truly going to be used on. This is especially true when we think the individual may be addicted to drugs or alcohol. We begin to tell ourselves, “They’ll get it elsewhere. At least this way they aren’t doing anything illegal for this specific money if I give it to them.” However, while we are keeping them from hitting a dangerous rock bottom, we are also telling them it is okay to keep in active addiction and that the associated behaviors should be rewarded.
How Do I Say “No”?
Obviously, “No” means “No.” However, it isn’t always that simple. How do we tell our child who we love that we aren’t willing to help them anymore financially? First off, we must remind ourselves that we are doing this to break a pattern that truly is hurting them more than helping them. They may need to hit their rock bottom in order to finally seek the help they need to cease their drug or alcohol use. We can also be hurting our own selves financially by digging ourselves into deeper debt to provide money for our loved one’s seemingly never-ending addiction. In fact, 1/4th of older parents have been found to go into debt in attempts to help their children financially. This may not always be due to drugs and alcohol; however, it often is the case.
You know how to say the word “No” but probably need some tips to help you assert yourself in this specific situation.
- Be aware of what “No” truly means to you. Set your limits of when you will be declining your child’s request for money and when you will not. This will help your voice have the confidence it needs.
- Vocalize your gratitude that they came to you. This will decrease the chance that they will be upset with you or get defensive.
- Remember you are saying “No” to the behaviors of use and drinking, not saying “No” to your child being themselves or asking for help.
- If your child gives you the chance, clarify why you are declining their request for money.
- If he or she continues to give you grief about holding your ground, remember this gives you permission to be just as firm on your decision.
- Practice makes perfect. Rehearse situations with sober loved ones or even an empty chair.
- You are probably aware of how your child acts when coming up to you to ask for money. Give yourself permission to say “No” before the question even comes out of his or her mouth.
- Challenge any negative self-talk that arises afterward. Saying “No” does not make you a bad parent. Remind yourself why you are not giving in to your child’s request and how this may help him or her.
- Prepare yourself to be left out of certain situations or conversations with your child afterward. Often when an individual gets upset with another person, they put up a wall.
A Place to Aid in Helping Families and Those Abusing Drugs and Alcohol
At times we must buckle down and realize we are not helping our children as much as they truly need. The Discovery Place of Burns, Tennessee is an alternative rehabilitation center with trained professionals standing by twenty-four-seven waiting to help your loved one find, and maintain, sobriety. We are aware that addiction is more than just the addict: The family also plays an integral part in the maintenance of sobriety. We want to provide you the support you need to help you realize that you aren’t in control of your loved one’s consumption of alcohol, opiates, cannabis, or other illicit substances. Discovery Place’s family matters program can help you find this support. Call us today at 1-800-725-0922.