Having an addicted father is not easy.
Addiction can tear a family apart and create serious turmoil. Young children suffer, not understanding what is happening around them. In the case of an addicted father, a child may see their dad acting strangely. Mom and dad fight for unknown reasons. Often, dad has to leave the home. If he can’t stop using drugs, he has to go.
It is never the child’s fault
Dad’s addiction to drugs is not something that his children can control. Children don’t always understand this. They cannot influence their father’s actions.
Dad’s addiction does not stop him from loving his children
Dad still loves his kids. Even if he is not around and he misses important events, he still loves them. The problem is that children don’t understand that addiction is a disease that changes their father’s behavior.
Dad’s Addiction: helping Children Understand Addiction
Carolyn Hannan Bell is the author of this excellent illustrated children’s book. You can find Carolyn’s books on Amazon. She is also a practicing psychotherapist in South Jersey. She works with families and individuals who suffer from the emotional effects of alcohol and substance abuse.
How to use this book
After you have purchased Dad’s addiction, the best way to make use of the book is to sit with your children and read it with them. Let them see the illustrations. Ask if they have questions as you read. This is an excellent way to open the discussion with your children about this difficult topic. This book can be useful for children of all ages. Even adults have found it to be helpful.
Understanding addiction helps prevent problems later on
When you help your children to understand that addiction is a disease, you are making an important difference in their lives going forward. Children must understand that they only have control over their own actions. There is nothing they can do or not do to change the behaviors of another person. Having this understanding helps to prevent children from growing up with co-dependency issues later in life.
I highly recommend Dad’s Addiction
Carolyn Hannan Bell has written an excellent book on the subject that is aimed at children of all ages. This book is an important tool for mothers dealing with this issue. While the book is specifically about an addicted father, the principles of the book could easily be applied to any situation in which an adult’s addiction affects a child. Please visit the author’s website here. To hear an excellent interview with the author, please visit The Rehab Podcast.