Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kids and Parents

"Great kids come from great parents." This was a comment I saw on a Facebook post. Everything about this statement is complimentary. I am sure there is pride and gratitude. It is a well deserved compliment when we see children doing wonderful things for themselves and others. The praise is deserved.

But, what about the other side to my opening statement. If my opening statement is true then is it an natural conclusion that, "Bad kids come from bad parents." I have thought about the parents of James Holmes, the shooter in Aurora, CO. I don't know anything about them, they could be terrible people or they could be the most wonderful people in the world, I don't know. I'm sure we have all been at each end of that spectrum at moments of our lives. It is so strange that we can quickly attribute the actions of any person no matter the age or life experience to the success of failure of parenting skills. I'm going indulge in an assumption, I believe the parents of James Holmes are probably living a nightmare of heartache, just as each of us do when we hear stories our addicted children, maybe multiplied 1000 times over.

As parents of an addict where do we all fall in that spectrum? Where do you see yourself? How does society see us? I'm sure most of us know how many in society views us and our parenting skills. I bet every parent of an addict can cite examples and tell stories of "I would have..., They should have...., If it was my kid...." that tore you apart inside. Many of them may even come from family or close friends.

There's not a lot I can say here to change the perception of others. Sometimes life experience is the only way many of us truly learn and I wouldn't wish the experience of being the parent of an addict on any parent.

There will always be people out there that believe a drug addict or alcoholic is nothing more than a POS. I'm not wasting my time on those people. It's personal, that POS is my POS and regardless, I hate what he is doing of has done more than anyone but as a parent I can see past that and still love the person. It's OK to separate the two parts.

I'm not going to indulge in a lot of speculation but I am going to share one solid belief that I hold close and that I believe to be an absolute truth. If you are a parent of an addict and you are out researching and searching for help for yourself and your child. You are reading this blog. You love your children regardless of their illness. YOU ARE A GREAT PARENT. Great parents do what they have to do because they love their child even when they are suffering from a disease and doing things we cannot fathom. Great parents help themselves to be healthy, strong and loving.


23 comments:

Mark Kastleman said...

The best thing you can do as a parent is be positive, and try to set a good example for your kids. Putting too much pressure on them to stop will only push them further away. Love is the best treatment they can receive.

Sheri said...

Thanks Ron for this post and your supportive and insightful comments.

Dawn said...

Well said - You always say the right thing Ron - seriously you have a way with words! I too have thought about the parents of the young man in Colorado - they've got to be devastated.

Barbara said...

I'd like to post THIS on my Facebook wall! I completely agree with you and know that I am a good parent regardless of what society or certain "friends" may think. Thanks, Ron. You rock.

Anonymous said...

Firstly there is no right way to parent. There are as many right and wrong ways to parent, as there are parents in this world. Secondly, I believe that before pointing our finger as others, we should point it towards ourselves.
My eldest son is an addict and I have learnt to let go with love, and also to let go of any expectations I may have of him. Thats all we parents can do. They have to make their own choices and live with the consequences. In my tough and challenging journey through life I have learnt that suffering increases your inner strength, and my son has taught me alot,and greatly increased my personal wisdom. All we can do as parents is to do our best and do it according to our own inner standards.
Thank you Ron for your wonderful words of wisdom. Love and brightness to everyone.

Dad and Mom said...

Barbara, Feel free to repost if you want too.

Tori said...

Several years ago I was contacted about some neighborhood watch where the neighbors would walk around and catch the "taggers". This was prior to my son in his full addiction of H but he was doing everything else at that time.

I had a knot in my stomach when this neighbor who had never met me or knew anything about me said, "We want to make sure that the Parents are held accountable for these taggers as they raised these disgusting children and it is their fault. We want the Parents to spend time in jail and think about how they screwed up raising these pigs."

I wanted to cry as I already felt so much of what he was saying.

I will never ever forget how much of a failure I thought I was.

I feel bad for that Guy's parents. I can't imagine that they are not guilt ridden and horrified. What an awful thing for all those families involved. A tragedy to say the least.

Bonnie LaFlower Corcoran said...

I am a parent who is in recovery from drug addiction. And yes, to answer the question, my parents where in fact neglegent in the care of their four children all a year apart. What can one say, it was the 70's. A time when the term "latch key kids" was first used. But as an adult with children of my own, I can't blame my parents for my middle age addiction, no matter how badly they parented. I am sober 3 years. I have a blog www.lifeafterhector.blogspot.com it is a tell-all. Please endulge me and visit. Bonnie

Ming said...

Good post but what is 'POS'? I am not familiar with that acronym. Thanks

Dad and Mom said...

POS - piece of shit

Meth Addiction-A Mothers Perspective said...

Well written message that so many of us needed to hear. Thanks, Ron.

Anonymous said...

My first thought when I heard the news of the shooting was of his parents and how much in pain they were feeling. Never did I think they were bad parents. I immediately viewed them as good parents hurting. Guess you have to be a parent of an addict to have that reaction because we (parents of addicts), know we are good parents, we did not cause our childrens addiction. These parents did not cause their son to shoot and kill people. He obviously has a mental illness just like our addicted chidlren have a illness.

Anonymous said...

Great website you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article?
I'd really like to be a part of community where I can get advice from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Kudos!
my site :: Childrens Factory Archives

Anonymous said...

And now we have Garrett Reid, the son of the Philadelphia Eagles coach, who passed away apparently due to his addiction.

I made the mistake of reading through the comments posted on the ESPN blog. There was an unbelievable amount of hateful and vicious comments blaming the parents. As a parent of two addicts, just as those parents are, I was sickened and heartbroken by the ignorance of others.

Thanks so much, Ron for keeping the blog going even while things are going well. It's good to hear positive and hopeful things and know that are some situations which do not end with jail or death.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this.

Anonymous said...

Thank God I have found your blog. It has given me hope. Thank you - Mother of 2 H addicted sons.

Anonymous said...

This blog or article was written with a lot of thought and reflects so much integrity from the author. To go through this is truly heartwrenching and to keep this simple and clear attitude of love towards those that speak out of haste or inexperience, is a true testament to the example we all would benefit from following. Thank you for these wise words and outlook. Nobody's dream when they are you is to be grow up to be an addict.
Sincerely, A parent,recovering addict and unworthy judge of anyone.

steve castleman said...

Addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disease. The more people know about the science of addiction, they less they will stigmatize addicts and their parents.

Education is key. For a not-for-profit website that discusses the science of substance use and abuse in accessible English (how alcohol and drugs work in the brain; how addiction develops; why addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disease; what parts of the brain malfunction as a result of substance abuse; how that malfunction skews decision-making and motivation, resulting in addict behaviors; why some get addicted while others don't; how treatment works; how well treatment works; why relapse is common; what family and friends can do; etc.) please click on www.AddictScience.com.

steve castleman
AddictScience.com

Anonymous said...

I am a mental health/ substance abuse professional and a parent. It is only by the grace of God that any of is is not the parent of an addicted child. Unfortunately, the truth is that one can have wonderful parents and turn out with a myriad of problems or have "terrible" parents and do extremely well. I know this may frighten some of us, but my professional experience proves it to be so. We all can only do the best we can for and by our children. Sometimes, we can love our child, but not understand him or her. To be a good parent, we only need to support them the best way we know how. Sometimes this means by being there and sometimes by being careful not to enable them. No one, not even your own child can tell you whether or not you are a good parent. Your child may think you were not when you were or think you were when you were not. You know if you love your child and if you have done your best for him or her. The doing our best regardless of how difficult it is is what makes us a good parent. God Bless all who of us who have continued to be the best parents they can be despite the troubles of our children. Be at peace knowing that you love them and despite what they may say when they are angry, know that they know it too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Just, thank you.

Joanne said...

Some day I hope to see society responding to drug addiction like it responds to any disease. My adult children have been sober for 12 years now. I know they could just as easily be out there still getting high and I would still be the same parent. You cannot "out parent a disease".
I have written a book about my experiences when my teenagers were users called "A New 'Normal' Now" by Joanne D. Some parents might find it useful. Thanks for making a difference in people's lives.

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Jay said...
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