Codependency is a term you may have heard of but do not quite understand exactly what it means. If you have a child struggling in school, at home, or in their social life, there is a good chance there are some codependent aspects in play. Many parents have the best intentions for helping their child but end up taking on a codependent role in which they overstep healthy boundaries and try to fix their child’s problems themselves. A family therapy program can help address unhealthy family dynamics so that you and your child can enjoy a healthier relationship.
If you think you may be in a codependent relationship with your child, reach out to Venture Academy. Our family therapy program can help you establish healthy boundaries and improve communication between you and your teen. Call us today at 866.762.2211 or contact us online to learn more about healing from codependency with family therapy.
What Is Codependency?
Codependency is a condition in which a person puts the needs of a loved one ahead of their own needs. It can be a tricky concept because the lines often blur between what is considered codependent behaviour and what is simply caring, helpful behaviour. Many parents prioritize their children’s needs, but that does not necessarily indicate a codependent relationship.
How do you know if a parent-child relationship is codependent? Codependency refers to an unhealthy dynamic that develops when a parent sacrifices their own well-being to attend to their child’s needs. Their support and attention to their teen often do not produce positive results Instead, they leave their child dependent on them or take advantage of them.
Codependency is common in situations where the adolescent struggles with:
- Mental health issues
- Behavioural problems
- Substance abuse
Parents may not know how to handle these challenging situations and find themselves overextending themselves to help their children. Unfortunately, their help may be all for naught, as it can enable or worsen negative behaviours.
What Are the Signs of Codependency?
Parents are often surprised to learn that their honest efforts to help their children through their struggles are, in fact, signs of codependency. It is helpful to understand the difference between codependency and support so that you can provide your child with the help they need for positive change.
Some signs of codependency in your relationship with your child include:
- You make excuses for your child’s negative behaviours, blaming them on something or someone else and removing responsibility from your teen.
- You handle all of your child’s problems for them so that they do not have to suffer any consequences for their choices.
- You allow your child to speak to you inappropriately, looking away or ignoring insults or harsh language rather than addressing it.
- You give your child whatever they ask for because you fear they will be angry or leave if you do not comply.
- You know your child is engaging in harmful behaviours like drinking or using drugs, but you do not address it because you do not want to upset them.
It is natural to want to protect your child from emotional pain and consequences as a parent. However, your teen must learn there are natural consequences for their choices and that their parents will not always be there to clean up their messes. Sometimes, you need to step back and allow them to experience these consequences on their own.
Heal Together with a Family Therapy Program at Venture Academy
At Venture Academy, we understand that finding a healthy balance between codependency and support can be challenging. We know that you love your child and want to see them succeed, so we are here to help with our family therapy program. Your family can heal together and cultivate healthy relationships with appropriate boundaries. Call us today at 866.762.2211 or reach out to us online to learn more about how our family therapy program can help your family overcome emotional and behavioural challenges.