Why you feel frustrated when your child that’s struggling with addiction won’t listen to you

The other day I was watching a video for my Reiki certification and one of the slides said if you want to keep pushing Reiki on someone who doesn’t want it then you need to look at yourself and why you want them to do it so bad.

Of course that got me thinking about how we try to control our kids addiction.

When you repeatedly try to force your advice on someone who doesn’t want it, it’s because you’re trying to get relief from fear by controlling someone else.

Frustration is a signal that what you’re doing isn’t meeting your needs.

I want to walk you through this because if it what I’m saying sounds familiar, this post will help identify why you’re taking the actions you are, why it’s not working, and what does work.

Your need – Relief from the fear that something will happen to your child because of their addiction. Fear is often underneath controlling behavior.

Your solution that isn’t working – Try to control them by telling them what to do over and over so you can feel they’re safe when they do things your way.

The result – They don’t listen. You still feel fear. Additionally, you and your child are both frustrated. Your desire to control is also pushing your child away.

You’re caught in the trap of trying to relieve your fear by controlling someone else. You probably don’t even realize that fear is driving your controlling behavior.

At this point something has to change so you can experience relief from the frustration

This is a critical fork in the road because you have two choices to relieve the frustration, but only one option fixes the root cause of the problem.

Relief scenario #1 – You get mad at your child for not taking your advice and you stop or limit communication with them.  This only provides relief from the frustration of them not listening to you.  It doesn’t relieve the fear that motivated you to try to control them.  This scenario keeps you in a vicious cycle of emotional pain and powerlessness because you need someone else to change so you can feel better.

Relief scenario #2 – You provide your own relief.  You ask yourself what’s wrong.  What’s underneath my desire to control? Why is it so important to me that they do things my way?  If you’re open and honest with yourself then you’ll be able to see your fear for your child’s safety.

Scenario #2 gets to the root cause of the problem because you take the critical steps of figuring out what your needs are and how to meet them on your own.

Your feelings are signals and not a nuisance.

There is power in knowing the message each feeling has.   

The emotion of fear that you feel in your body is real. 

It’s a physical feeling, but the thought that causes the feeling of fear might only be based on thoughts that you’re having.

You’re thinking about all the worst-case scenarios.  All the things that could go wrong.  You’re in the future and not the present moment.

You have to be aware of the fear, acknowledge it, process it, and then intentionally decide how you want to think about that situation in a way that serves you.

There’s never going to be a thank God it’s over moment where you suddenly have the piece of mind you had before your child’s addiction.

You have to intentionally process and create relief from your fears about your child’s addiction on your own.

Addiction effects the entire family system. 

Family recovery is the answer.