Kids are resilient in many areas. The place where they are not resilient resides in their emotional lability. Kids suffer more ups and downs than any other age group. Factored into t his is that their hormones raging, their self-esteem is bouncing, and, among many other things, they haven’t yet figured out or matured enough to know who they are or where they want to go. The live in the moment – quite a dangerous place to live. These days, they are facing obstacles that those of us who are 30 or above never even dreamed anyone would have to face – especially small children. I’m talking about gender identification. This society and culture has robbed them of their childhood and their God given sexual identification as male or female. It’s not just a mess, it’s a natural disaster. I don’t see it getting much better until Jesus returns and fixes all the brokenness for good.
Here are a few ideas that can help when talking to your kids
- You never want to say or do anything that would break their spirit. Trying to make them something that they aren’t is no exception. Listen, God knows what He’s doing, so encourage them to embrace who the Lord made them to be.
- If necessary, pull them out of public school and do whatever it takes to home school them. That’s exactly what I would do if my kids were still young and at home.
- Always maneuver your speech to be encouraging. When you tell a kid, ‘no’, it means, ‘yes’. Help them to formulate their own opinions by asking questions rather than making demands of them. Let them know how much you love them and share your feelings with them. Don’t just listen… really hear them. Repeat what they say back to them and ask them to explain further. Let them know you are hanging on every word they speak.
- Always speak the truth to them or they will learn to speak lies.
- You can say words like, “I hear you”, as they talk to you.
- Ask them about their goals and dreams. If they don’t have any, try and encourage them to set a simple goal, and work with them on steps to achieve that goal, so that they know the empowerment of reaching it.
- Let them know that, no matter what it is, they can tell you anything – without judgement. Then, work out a solution together. Perhaps the solution can be a goal setting and reaching teaching.
- If something they are doing breaks any law(s), tell them that, together, you will work it out the right way and not hide from the reality of having to be law abiding.
- If they have drugs in your home, dispose of them together that very moment. Let them know that you won’t report this to the police, as long as they get rid of them in front of you and that they never appear in your home again.
- Don’t make their drug use a reason to scream, rant and lose it on them. Discuss it with them and find a solution for detox as a family, telling them they you will do everything possible to help them get detoxed and enter a recovery program; however, you will do nothing to keep them in their addiction.
- Have many teaching moments with your kids. Give them the statistics on addiction and overdose and teach them about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Don’t leave this type of education in the hands of teachers at school; it’s a family issue.
- Bring them to the foot of the cross, Jesus Christ. Have Bible studies at home with them that are age appropriate. Let them know and understand that they were created specifically by God for a purpose that only they can do. Frankly speaking, I can’t imagine any addiction healing without them knowing how precious they are in God’s sight.
- Get them off their phones and computers and have a sit down family supper together everyday. Let them help you clean up after and make that time a time to talk about their lives. Play a game with them a few times a week – away from their devices.
- Please, please, please let them know that addiction is NOT a disease. Tell them the TRUTH that addiction is just a symptom of problems they are wrestling with. Offer them a Christian life coach or pastor with whom they can talk about all the things that bother them that they may not feel comfortable sharing with you. Always keep the gate open to discussion. It’s how we process life. People who believe the lie (adults & kids) of addiction being some (theorized) disease, don’t heal because they keep saying that their disease makes them use. The world has it all wrong because the disease theory brings megabucks to doctors, Big Pharma and rehabs. Set them FREE, not to go back into another bondage.
- Command their respect, but at the same time, give them respect as well.
- Always be a person of your word. Never threaten, just let them know, with parental authority, what you expect. Make sure you say what you mean and mean what you say. You expectations must be met… end of story!
- Never stop showing how much you unconditionally love them and tell them that there isn’t anything that can’t be done when you work together.
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