When a teen is participating in activities you don’t agree with or abusing substances like drugs or alcohol, you know you need to step in. Parents often find it’s hard to get their teens back onto the right path, though. Part of the issue could be that you’re enabling your child’s behaviour. This can be a hard habit to break, especially if you’re not aware that you’re enabling them.
We at Venture Academy have put together more information about teen substance use and enabling, so you can stop enabling your teen and get support for your family.
What Is an Enabler?
An enabler is a person who helps someone else continue to participate in self-destructive behaviours despite knowing the negative outcome or seeing how the other person is negatively affecting themselves or others. The behaviours of an enabler are often intended to help, but they don’t. Instead, they enable the other person to continue making bad choices that have negative consequences.
3 Signs You’re Enabling Substance Abuse in Your Teen
If your teen is struggling with substance abuse, you’re not alone. Teen substance abuse is widespread. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that by Grade 12, two out of three students have tried alcohol, half have used marijuana, and around forty percent have smoked cigarettes.
Teen substance abuse can be treated. The right family therapy and teen treatment plan make a world of difference. Before you can get your teen into a program, though, you need to know if you’re enabling those behaviours that you disagree with.
Here are three signs that you’re enabling your child to continue down this path.
1. You give your child money despite knowing that they’ll spend it inappropriately.
The first thing you might notice if you’re enabling your teen is that you’re giving in to what they want despite knowing that your actions will lead to more bad behaviours. For example, if your teen asks for money and you know they’re using it to buy drugs at school, then you’re enabling that bad habit.
For you, the first step is to put your foot down and refuse to continue to play into this behaviour. Continuing to give your teen what they want is only encouraging them to continue.
2. You’re unable to say no, even though you know they aren’t being truthful.
Another sign that you’re enabling your teen is that you cannot say no despite knowing that your teen is lying to you. For example, you may say you’re not going to give them more money. Then, your teen might promise they’re not going to buy drugs or use the money to make inappropriate purchases. You know that’s not true, so if you give in, then you’re still enabling your teen’s actions.
3. You’re putting your teen before others because of their actions.
In many families, the need to protect a teen with behavioural, mental health, or substance use issues is put in front of all other needs. Parents might do their best to shield the teen from the potential legal or social consequences of their actions.
Look around at your situation. If you are putting all your time, energy, and money toward helping your teen or trying to cover for their behaviours, it’s time to stop enabling them and to put that effort into getting them the appropriate treatment.
Get Support Now from Our Team at Venture Academy
At Venture Academy, we know that it can be difficult to connect with your teen. If they’re struggling with substance abuse, then it’s time to go through family therapy and to stop a cycle of enablement. Our teen treatment programs vary based on your teen’s needs, so they get the help and support they need. Call today to schedule an assessment at 855.281.5813.