worried my young children will be addicts as well

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JMom, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. JMom

    JMom Member

    Now that I have accepted J's addiction and recovery (he's on an upswing ), I keep in the corner of my mind that I'm not sure if I can do this again if my daughter's go through this.

    They are 13 and 10. I teach high school and am finding out the new age of Marijuana usage is 9. Really? 9?! Who gives drugs to a 9 year old?
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    You can't worry about what MAY or MAY NOT happen. You will really go nuts.

    Our two older sons are not addicts and although they are not the product of my husband and I together (they are each from our first marriages) and there is addiction on both sides of our families.

    My advice is to keep those girls busy! I let my son quit sports in Freshman year (he had played football for five years) and I often wonder if we had made him keep playing if that would have made a difference.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yes your daughters are at a crucial point. The pre-teen and early teen years are brutal, especially for girls.

    Find a way to get them involved in activities they love that do not involve being with the same age group, and do not involve school. Give them "a life" to hang onto - dreams to chase - that take them away from school and peers.
  4. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I share your worry about my step-daughter. Her birth-mother is an alcoholic, as was her grandfather. She has the genes. It doesn't make it inevitable though. We bring her up with as much honesty and good-parenting as possible. What more can we do. I agree with RNO that you can't ruin your life, and their childhood, worrying about what may or may not happen in the future. Education about the reality of addiction and honesty about the problems of their parents and/or siblings are what you can give your daughters though. Don't be scared to talk about it.
  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    My mother was an alcoholic and died at 54. The age I am now. I like to drink socially myself but I know I would never be like that. It ruined her life (and my childhood).
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    There are no guarantees. Keeo a close watch on the peers they hang out with. That tells a story. It is a predicier of your childz values. My one drug abusing daughter, now clean, had shady friends and also no interrst in school or outside activities of any sort, although we tried.
    All my kids were raised the same but this one desperately wanted peer approval and found that a certain set of peers valued disinterest in school and school functions and valued drug use. The rebels tend to be most accepting. My daughter was anew student, very lonely, and was not interested in sports or any clubs. She was a gifted artist but her art continued during her drug use rather than detering it. The art just grew very dark.
    Try to catch red flags and do your best. That is all any of us can do.
  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Hi JMom,

    I've thought the same things about any future grandchildren (if any). I also have worried about my older son. He doesn't drink and it's because of his dad (recovering alcoholic) and his brother, Difficult Child (recovering drug addict). My brother whois 51 is an active alcoholic. My grandmother was a drug addict (legally through unscrupulous doctors). On and on.

    Every family has addiction and mental illness. It's genetic and there's nothing we can do about it.

    I do agree that keeping teenagers busy is good for many reasons. My Difficult Child's very abrupt slide didn't start until he was 19. He did some drinking (and who knows, maybe some other things) in h.s. but he didn't go full-blown and I believe a major reason was that he played on the h.s. soccer team, he loved it, and he really wanted to please his coach. I'm thankful in many ways, but wish I could have gotten him help before he was 18 because once they turn 18, you can't really make much happen unless they agree.

    But whatever. I mean, really, woulda, shoulda, coulda.

    We do the best we can. What more can we do? We can't do or know what we don't know to do.

    We can't put ourselves through the "have to control this" obsession. We can't control any of it. Can we influence our kids? For sure. Influence is what we need to be doing.

    Perhaps you can communicate with them the dangers of addiction, and/or have them meet with a family counselor and you to talk about their brother's struggles. Sometimes it's better that they hear it from an outside source.

    But please, be gentle with yourself. You know so much more know about what addiction is. I pray your precious daughters are never in the grip of this awful disease, but you know what to do if it ever did happen.

    Regardless, we're here for you. Warm hugs tonight.
  8. JMom

    JMom Member

    Thanks, you all have me teary. I'm about to take the 13 daughter on a date!
  9. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    Same with my son! He was the captain of the varsity soccer team as a freshman. As a sophomore he decided he was sick of soccer and wanted to quit. Me, his dad, the soccer coach, other players, everyone...all tried to talk him into continuing. We were shocked he didn't want to play. He was an excellent athlete. I told him he had to find something else to be involved in, anything. He chose drum lessons and played in a band, he's a very talented drummer. The drugs escalated from then on. Fast forward to today, 14 years later and he's a heroin addict. I don't know how we could have MADE him play soccer. We sure tried our best and that's all we could do. Over the years he's even admitted that he wished he wouldn't have quit soccer. Buy that's the past. All we can do, is do our best. I agree, try to keep them busy!
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm not shocked that good athletes don't want to play. There are a LOT of problems with organized sports (sorry, this is one of my pet peeves :soapbox: )

    Perhaps the biggest problem is that organized team sports enforce strict age groupings. So, you HAVE to play with your "own age". Except... kids can be total bullies, complete pains, and... it doesn't matter how good you are, if you are not "neurotypical" and "average" in your thinking... you ARE bullied. (Sorry. Parents and coaches and any other adults might catch 5-10% of what really goes on - it hasn't changed in 40 years.) The kids don't care about whether it's "good for" some other kid to play or not... either you are accepted into "the" group, or you are "out". We kept our kids out of ALL team sports, and have absolutely no regrets about doing so.
  11. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    The golden rule is that nothing is guaranteed in this world so because their brother became addicted it does not mean they will or they will not and the thing is every way to make them productive members of society that is proven only increase the chances of them becoming so but its not 100% and its never gonna be.
    At the end we have to take a leap of faith and hope they use what we teach them and are strong enough to resist bad influence.
  12. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I have to agree with the others. You just never know how someone is going to turn out. J dabbled with pot in high school, but didn't really get started on heavy drugs until he was 18. Alcohol abuse has worn a path up and down both sides of my family tree, but I managed to avoid it. My sister has bing-type tendencies, so has chosen to obstain. When I think about it, all but one of my cousins is doing really good, and have avoided the pitfalls of our ancestors.

    I think all you can do is try your hardest to be a good role model for you children and fill their toolbox with as many useful tools as possible. What they decide to do in the end is up to them.
  13. JMom

    JMom Member

    Thank you all for sharing. I really need to get them involved in sports or something
  14. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I have both of my younger steps in free activities after school. SS10 is in book club and SS6 is in basketball club. Both boys would have loved it if they had made the sewing or art clubs (I do fiber arts). Martial arts could be fun and a great self esteem builder. I've been think of that for the boys, but it's a bit pricey. Their cousin is 13 and enjoys 4H.
  15. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure about all this 'keep your kids playing sports' etc
    In my experience you can't force your kids to do anything once they get past the age of about 10. Trying to force them to do something often has reverse effects. My troubled son would list 'football club' as one of the negative childhood experiences that fed his depression and cynicism and fed his need to escape from the expectations of conformist society.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Nlj I was thinking the same thing. You cant force a teen to play sports, be in the band, anything. Plus jumper was a serious athlete but other not as serious athletes did use drugs and get into trouble. Heck some serious athletes did. It is a myth that this immunes kids from drugs. Many dont even start drugs until after high school, even in college. Even if good students.
    There comes a time when we cant do anything. We can be there but many teens and up are more apt to talk honestly to peers than us.
    in my opinion we have to just do our best. Some kids have no interest in activities. My daughter was one and she refused to go or would go and not pay attention. There is no magic answer which is why we are not to blame if things go bad. Some things are out of our control. If there were pat solutions we would all do them and there would be no substance abusers.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Given the list of diagnoses involved... are there any service clubs in your area that support kids being active and out of trouble? They generally will not fund "art", but might fund martial arts.
  18. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    For SS10? I'm not sure. I wouldn't even know where to look. I've never qualified for any help due to my income...even when I was a single mom.
  19. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member


    I worry about this with my two as well. There are so many alcoholics and addicts in my late husband's family. When I find my mind fretting over this issue, I try to shove it in box and shut it. There is no sense in worrying over something which may not happen. I also don't want my children to think that since their father suffered, they absolutely must have the same life path. I am envisioning my kids as having a more successful life free of those issues.

    I hear you about the young children. I work at a middle school, and the bathroom down the hall from the Special Education classrooms is the chosen location for drug deals. I find myself wondering where these kids get the drugs to sell. I suppose it's from parents who are struggling themselves. What chance do these young children who are already dealing have to succeed? I hate that this is happening right under our noses, and I am disgusted that the administration does little to stop it.
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Legal system doesn't do anything to stop it at that age either. What are they supposed to do - pull these kids into the foster system? That's not going to help either. Unfortunately, there are no good answers. So like admins everywhere dealing with the unsolvable, they turn a blind eye. Which also doesn't help but... nothing else does either.