Rebuilding Children’s Trust in Addiction Recovery

Addiction is a complex disease that affects not just the person who is using alcohol or substances, but also their loved ones. It is a challenging issue that can damage the peace of a family.

Family members of those who are struggling with addiction often experience fear, anger, frustration, and helplessness. They may feel responsible for the addiction of their loved one, which can lead to feelings of guilt and shame.

mom with teen daughters

In addition, they often have to suffer from the consequences of their loved one’s addiction, such as financial crisis and health problems.

Though addiction can create a rippling effect throughout the family, children will be the ones who will be most affected.

Children of parents who are struggling with addiction may feel vulnerable, which may have a negative impact on their physical, emotional, and psychological development.

They may feel neglected, scared, or anxious due to the unpredictable nature of addiction.

If you are a parent caught in the vicious cycle of addiction, it is likely that you have caused profound distress to your children.

You may have appeared dishonest, indifferent, and self-centered, even though you truly cared for them during your addition.

This might have caused them to struggle with their own emotions, leading to issues such as poor academic performance, mood swings, or even developing their own addiction as a coping mechanism.

Now that you are on the path to recovery, you may hope for your loved ones to open their hearts and give you the opportunity to be a responsible parent once again.

But that process can take time and effort. To help you on your journey, consider trying these necessary steps that could help you in rebuilding trust after addiction.

Apologize For Your Mistakes

The first and most crucial step to repairing your relationship is to apologize sincerely.

Gather all your family together and admit the things you’ve done wrong. Then, encourage your children to express their thoughts openly and share what they hope to see from your recovery program.

Remember that it might be very awkward to talk with your children, and you may experience hostility and suspicion from them.

If you feel like you need additional support through the process, Seattle’s best drug treatment program recommends looking into a treatment center near you that can help in rebuilding your children’s damaged trust.

Through family therapies and support groups that may treatment centers provides, your children will be able to express all the bottled feelings and tell you what they expect from you.

If you demonstrate a genuine effort to learn from your mistakes, your children’s trust in you is likely to increase gradually over time.

Consider scheduling regular sit-down meetings with them every few months, if feasible, as a way to communicate and maintain open lines of dialogue.

Make a Realistic Recovery Plan

Make a plausible addiction recovery plan and stick to it.

Make sure that you are going to the treatment appointments and meetings consistently, avoid people and places that trigger you, and develop better coping mechanisms.

Be honest, and plan only what you can achieve. By staying focused on recovery and sticking with your recovery plan, your children will be more likely to start to respect you again.

If you stopped working due to addiction, it’s a good idea to make finding a job part of your recovery plan, as well.

It is possible that your children might have suffered financially when you were addicted. So, you will need to demonstrate that you are capable of being in control and providing protection and care for your children.

Be Accountable

Even though sharing your struggles may not always be comfortable, it’s important to not hide your addiction recovery journey.

Let your children know what your short-term and long-term goals are, and let them see the progress that you are making every day.

Although you may not always succeed, it is important for your loved ones to see that you are truly committed to picking yourself up and continuing where you left off.

Become an Involved Parent

Try to get involved in your children’s life actively. Encourage your kids to share their concerns and listen to them attentively without criticism.

By demonstrating that you genuinely care about them, and respect their freedom and decisions, you may gradually alleviate their distress.

]You need to remember that re-establishing your role in your children’s lives will be a slow process, and you will need to be patient and work towards it continuously.

mom and daughter together


Rebuilding trust after addiction can be a long and challenging process, especially for children.

However, by listening to your children’s concerns, being patient, and showing them that you are capable of being a responsible and caring parent, you can gradually earn back their trust and rebuild your relationship.

It’s important to remember that this process takes time and effort. But, with persistence and dedication, you can repair the damage caused by addiction and build a stronger, healthier bond with your children.

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