• Erik Frederickson - Life Coach and Recovery Coach

5 Tips for Raising Kids in Recovery

Updated: Oct 11

My wife and I have two boys under the age of three. They have never seen me arrested, intoxicated, or high, as was usual for 13 yrs of my life. I am forever grateful for this.

These days I know what it is like to be changing one diaper, while I hear a crash in the other room, while the dog is chewing on the table, and my son is squirming around in anti-diaper defiance. It’s called parenting and it’s not always sunshine and smiles, as any parent knows.

Your kids may be older and or may have seen you in some not so pretty moments of addiction, but the fact remains that parenting is hard work every day all day.

Coming up on 10 years of recovery I still haven’t reached a point where everything goes perfectly all day every day. I have a feeling none of us have.

Life happens and we don’t get to control everything. I can say that my life is 1,000% better, and I can say that the problems I used to have are all gone. But I’ve learned, and am continuing to learn, that my personal growth and emotional well being are completely up to me. No one else is responsible for my happiness, or sadness.

Here are 5 tips for maintaining healthy recovery in parenting.

1- Your Recovery is priority number 1.

If you are high or drunk you are not only setting yourself up for failure, but you are also setting your kids up for failure. If this means you need to take turns babysitting with another friend in recovery so you can each make meetings, do it. If this means you need to wake up earlier and pray and read, do it. If this means you need to find a friend in recovery to go to the park with so your kids can run around and you can be with someone that understands, do it.

If you are loaded, you cannot be the best parent possible, therefore you cannot show your kids the best way possible. Your kids need a healthy you, so you can show them how to live healthy themselves.

If I can do it, you can do it! Together we can show our kids how to live free the wrong lifestyles we lived for far too long. You got this!

2-Respond, don’t react.

Kids will be kids. Kids need discipline, but it’s important to know the difference between reacting, and responding.

If my 2-year-old throws a toy at my head and it hurts, it’s not the same as a 14-year-old throwing a toy at my head. Yes, a toy tractor to the face hurts, I speak from experience, but I don’t want my son seeing me snap back at him in anger.

He needs to know it’s not ok. I will talk to him firmly, I will take the toy away for a period, and I will make sure he understands what I’m communicating. But I won’t instantly snap back in frustration.