Guest Author - Chinedum Ify Obikili
Dealing with teenage rebellion has never been an easy task for anyone. However, it is a phase virtually all parents go through. How we as parents go through this phase with our kids or wards, greatly determine their outcome. This is also not different from dealing with your teenage addict. Most often, your teenage son rebels to get your attention. He will go to different extent to prove a point, if he feels that's what it'll take to get your attention. Bear in mind also that at this point, he'd likely engage in different harmful behaviors to get to you. These are the behaviors which become habits and then addictions. Here are helpful suggestions for dads dealing with teenage addiction.
1. This is not the time to apportion blame: From my part of the world, it is common to see fathers who drop the blame at their wife's doorstep. Hard as it is to watch your beloved son wallow down the path of addiction, you are not helping him or the family for that matter, by apportioning blames on someone else. All you will achieve by doing that would be a temporal relief that comes from exonerating yourself of blame. But did it give you son the help he needs? The answer is No. In the same way, blaming yourself for failing in some ways would also not get him the help he needs.
2. A time to show love and support: If bulling our kids gets them off the wrong track, then issues like addiction won't be a thorn in our flesh! The fact that your teenage son is already an addict is a big enough problem as it is, and you really donít do him any service by trying to bulling him out of this obsession. On the contrary, it is a time to show him support and understanding. Make him see that you are on his side, that you are neither judging nor condemning him as a person. Even though you strongly condemn this bad habit he's sown into. Try talking to him in a loving way. The chances are that you may learn how he got into this behavior in the first instance. You may even get to learn where he gets his supplies from. If he isnít neck deep into it yet, there is a great chance that you could restore him before he goes further into it.
3. Get him the help he needs: Again, depending on what your son's addiction is, or on how deeply addicted he is to it, it is always smart to know when to seek for external help. This help may be something as simple as having an uncle or aunty he has respect for talk to him. A friend once sent her teenage daughter's to me, to help talk to them about their unhealthy interest in boys. Much as she tried to give them healthy advices to help keep them safe, they stuck to the notion that mom simply did not want them to have boyfriends, when all their mates have boyfriends. It wasnít difficult chatting with these lovely girls because they already had so much respect for me and I liked them very much too . They expected me to out rightly ban them from having boyfriends, but I didnít, go that route. Their mom already did, and it didnít work. What I did was redirect their focus to other creative activities I told them they needed to engage in to build their esteem and stand out from every crowd. That did it. They had new goals, and the idea of building their esteem totally knocked off the boyfriend craze. Again, church pastors, spiritual directors or counselors can be of great help to your kids. They may have better ways to redirect your son's focus off drugs and onto some other creative stuff. Note that at the end of the day, your son alone can pull himself out of his addiction. Spiritual directors, counselors or relatives would only direct them and put them on the path of recovery.