Tag Archive for: my kid is addicted to drugs

Are You Teaching Your Kids Gratitude?

This has been a really rough week for me.  It was the two year anniversary of my daughter’s death and I’ll admit that her passing will forever leave a scar on my heart.  

Over the last 13 years I’ve spent countless hours coaching moms who are are lost in the quagmire of disbelief in what their kids are doing.  Many of their kids are doing drugs.  As parents we don’t want to imagine our kid would choose drugs and it takes us a while to even comprehend the extent of our situation.  We rationalize that we can fix it.  What we don’t realize is that the drugs alter our child’s brain in such a way that it typically throws the entire family into a crazy cycle that overtakes our lives before we even recognize it.  As my husband used to say, “It’s the first thing we talk about in the morning, and the last thing we talk about at night.”

If you are dealing with a kid on drugs, feel free to reach out to me.  I’ve walked the path and might have insight that you have not considered.  It is the legacy I want to leave as I reconcile within myself why God has allowed my journey to be so full of pain.

But what does this have to do with gratitude?

What I’ve learned is that gratitude can have an impact on us when we are dealing with difficult situations.  It’s brain altering.  Research has shown that being thankful can give us a sense of well-being and improve our physical health.  And when we are in the pit of despair isn’t that just what we need?  Why wouldn’t we want to take advantage of this way of thinking as well as pass the art of being grateful on to our kids?  After all, it’s cheaper than paying for counseling or going to the doctor.

So as I coach hurting parents, I’ve made it my mission to find something positive for them to focus on rather than the craziness of their world.  What can they be thankful for?  And part of our process is focusing on gratitude.  

So this week especially, I’ve focused on what I can be thankful for as I’ve contemplated by daughter’s death.  It is a tribute to her in what God has been doing in my life — and what He did through her and the lives she touched.

  • I’m thankful for the texts, the cards, and flowers of friends who remembered Andrea.  Only God could have made sure that several stargazer lillies were in the pink bouquet mix — my daughter’s favorite.
  • I’m thankful that God has brought joy through a 17 month-old grandson who kept me laughing on my day of remembering.
  • Thank you, Lord, that my daughter-in-law has been staying with us the last several weeks.  It is amazing how You brought her into my life from Germany and transplanted her in Cincinnati at a time when I needed a daughter to love.
  • I’m grateful for the stories that have come out of nowhere from my three boys this week.  They’ve been reminders that I was a good mother and came just when I wanted to doubt myself.

And what about you?  What can you be grateful for even if you have a son or daughter on drugs?  Can you be thankful that you are in contact with them?  Thankful that they are alive?  Thankful for what God will do in your life as a result of the trial?

And if you don’t have a child into drugs, can you praise God for that?  

No matter how difficult our circumstances, scripture says to praise Him.

I know it is easy to get frustrated with our tweens and teens.  We want to fix them, make them grow up, and sometimes wonder how they can do such stupid things.  Can we praise God in the midst of the frustration?  Can we just laugh at some of the things they think or do?  Laughter lowers our blood pressure and reduces stress. 

We need to laugh often as we raise our teens in order to survive.

The next step is to share with our kids what we are thankful for.  Sometimes I do it as I pray out loud with my kids at the dinner table, “Lord, thank you that ______ got that speeding ticket today.  Use it as a reminder the next time he realizes he is going over the speed limit.”  Another way is to just say something like, “Honey, I’m so glad your accident was only a fender bender and you weren’t hurt.  We have a lot to be grateful for.”

Another thing you might consider is a gratitude night around the dinner table.  Everyone takes a turn sharing 2-3 things they are thankful for during the week.  It is amazing what happens to the family dynamics when we start sharing the positives rather than staying focused on the terrible things that happen in our lives.

Psalm 34:1-4 (TLB)

I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace.  I will boast of all his kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart.  Let us praise the Lord together and exalt his name.  For I cried to him and he answered me! He freed me from all my fears. 

Praising God in the midst of the pain.  And feel free to share my story with other moms who trying to face their own difficult reality.

“Let go…and Let God”,

 

 

Time for a Different Strategy?

This has been a busy and emotional week for me–two marriages in trouble with people whom I love and want to support, a friend’s  husband ready for hospice care with a funeral to plan (she knows I’ve planned a funeral), and a mom and dad who want to help their recovering addict mature to independence (I’ve been there too).

Sometimes life gets hard and relationships and situations can derail our hopes and dreams.

We can get stuck in the quagmire not knowing which step to take.  It’s like standing in the middle of a forest where you can’t see the way out.  And we can get so bogged down with which way to turn that we just do the same thing over and over as if we are spinning on a gerbil wheel.

We go nowhere.

I’ve been reading a book by Michael Hyatt, Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals.  And as I’m reading it (know that I’m only in Chapter 4), I keep thinking about the places where we get stuck emotionally in our relationships.

What if we had a different strategy to become unstuck?

Hyatt classifies people into two categories, scarcity thinkers and abundance thinkers (pg. 37-39) as he talks about those who fulfill their dreams and those who don’t.  Imagine if we had the perspective of abundance thinking in our relationships with those we love?  What if we were able to look at life through the lens of possibility?

  • We’d be thankful rather than fearful.
  • We’d be more compassionate.
  • We’d assume that the people around us can learn and grow to a more mature way of thinking.
  • Our default would be set to openness and trust rather than suspicion.
  • We would be optimistic about the future of our relationship rather than pessimistic that things will never change.
  • We would see the conflict we encounter in the relationship as opportunities rather than obstacles.

Another thing Hyatt talks about is how we limit our beliefs about the people we love.  We can begin to think our husbands will always respond in a negative way, or the recovering addict will never overcome the addiction, or that out teens will never grow to healthy maturity.  These thoughts are what he calls “half-truths at best”.  Our thinking becomes a roadblock in our relationships.

These limiting beliefs impact our behavior as we interact with the people we love the most.  It’s how we see the world.

What if we shifted our thinking to that of an abundance thinker?

Trust me when I say that I fully understand the thinking of a parent who wants her teen to mature in different areas.  We think we can guilt them into making changes, or nag them over and over, or maybe we go the opposite direction and just overlook it.  And when we run into the same situations time and time again, it is easy to be pessimistic and think they will never grow up or change.

That’s where I encourage parents to figure out what is lacking in their kid and in the relationship.  What can you as a parent do to potentially turn it around?

We have the power to shape the future for our kids or our marriage if we are willing to put a plan in place with steps where we are working toward the goal we so desire.  Many have found that we have to set a different course, respond differently to the situation, and develop a strategy that will get us to the end we so desire.

And it won’t always be easy.

But don’t you want to see the success of your marriage or the future for your kids?

My husband is currently mentoring a young man barely out of his teens.  This individual is struggling, yet he’ll call my husband to talk.  My husband has told this recovering addict that he will do three things:  1) tell him he loves him, 2) tell him how proud of him he is, and 3) acknowledge to him what he is good at and encourage  him to grow in that area.  Then they talk about his strategy to get there.

This kid seems to be staying on the path.  He’s making progress.  As of now, he is working toward a year of being clean.  And they celebrate the milestones over lunch.

As parents we need to help our kids figure out what their hopes and dreams are and then help set them on a path to reach it.   We need to help them identify their strengths so they can grow and mature.  And we can put together a strategy to help them get there.

Romans 12:10

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Dare you to check to see if your new strategy is full of love and encouragement toward growth.

“Let go…and Let God”,

Helping our kids grow to a healthy maturity means we look at parenting through a lens of abundance.  After all, isn’t that what God gives us–abundant life?

If you are looking for that abundant thinking in your own life and the life of your kids, why not join us in our With All Due Respect eCourse?  We hope you will grab the book and join us.