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Midwest Sue
09-17-2012, 12:03 PM
This is a place for parents and others living with teens to share challenges and solutions as we create new family frameworks free of alcohol.

What works for you when your teen pushes one of your buttons?

What do you appreciate today about your teen?

What are the unique benefits of sober parenting with teens in your midst?

ww43.
09-18-2012, 09:30 AM
Here is a classic example of why I’m glad I’m back on the sober road. This morning as my daughter left, she had on my sweater (why I don’t know, I’m 4 sizes bigger than her). I said, “Thanks for asking before you put my sweater on.” Her response, “I did last night, don’t you remember?” Many times, she would ask me to do things or for things when I was intoxicated and I would have no memory of it. Now, she instinctively uses it as her go to excuse thinking she can get away with it and that I won’t remember. She did not ask me.

_Erin_
09-18-2012, 09:39 AM
Hope I'm not butting in... I don't live with one, and I'm not the mom of a teenager - yet, although my time is coming (in 11 years). But I am the child of an alcoholic, and I remember pulling that with my mom! Most famously would be asking her for things that I know the answer would have been "no" to while she was passed out on the couch. She would mumble an answer and never remember anyone even speaking to her. Once I decided I wanted to change how my bedroom looked, so I went downstairs and said, "Mom, can I take the wallpaper off my walls and paint them a different color?" She mumbled, "I don't care," and went back to snoring. About an hour or two into my project, she woke up and called up the stairs for me, where she found me peeling my walls. She asked what I was doing and why, and I said, "I asked you, Mom, and you said you didn't care." Boy was she pissed, but not for long, because she didn't know for sure whether she had given me permission or not. Sly creatures, those children. :)

Midwest Sue
09-18-2012, 09:43 AM
Oh, I can relate to this! When we're drinking we lose our effectiveness as parents and we lose the respect of our kids who learn to use our brain fog to their advantage.
When we sober up, we're on a level playing field.

Millie
09-18-2012, 10:03 AM
Oh man, this is scary. Even more reason to stop now while they are still young.

Midwest Sue
09-18-2012, 02:41 PM
This is a poster that I need in my house:

"TEENAGERS!
Tired of being harrassed by your parents?
ACT NOW!!
Move out, get a job, pay your own way
while you still know everything!"

In all seriousness, I do believe that our teens are giving us the gift of letting go.
It's their job right now to separate from us and give us the motivation to send them out of the nest.

My 3 sons have all done a splendid job, I must say.;)

ww43.
09-18-2012, 04:55 PM
Hope I'm not butting in... I don't live with one, and I'm not the mom of a teenager - yet, although my time is coming (in 11 years). But I am the child of an alcoholic, and I remember pulling that with my mom! Most famously would be asking her for things that I know the answer would have been "no" to while she was passed out on the couch. She would mumble an answer and never remember anyone even speaking to her. Once I decided I wanted to change how my bedroom looked, so I went downstairs and said, "Mom, can I take the wallpaper off my walls and paint them a different color?" She mumbled, "I don't care," and went back to snoring. About an hour or two into my project, she woke up and called up the stairs for me, where she found me peeling my walls. She asked what I was doing and why, and I said, "I asked you, Mom, and you said you didn't care." Boy was she pissed, but not for long, because she didn't know for sure whether she had given me permission or not. Sly creatures, those children. :)

Thank you for posting this Erin! This just helps solidify the need to stop drinking.

ww43.
09-19-2012, 09:21 AM
Sue, I’m so glad you posted this forum. I just need to get out what I’m feeling. Hurt. That is the underlying emotion that I feel when I think of my older daughter. She tells little lies, splits hairs, looks at me with contempt, rolls her eyes, and is just plain rude to our family, primarily me. I will be the first to admit that I overreact frequently. Having said that, the only time she is pleasant to any of our us is when she wants something. It's frustrating to hear that this is to be expected during the teenage years.

I imagine I am mourning the loss of the little girl I once knew. I find no comfort when people tell me, “Don’t worry, this is just a phase. She’ll appreciate you when she’s older and you two will have a relationship again.” This is not entirely true. Maybe we won’t.

Within the last year, I’ve felt that I’m truly not that interested in having a relationship with my own mother. Sounds completely awful doesn’t it? So, what makes me think that my own child will want a relationship with me? I’ve realized that if my mom wasn’t my mom, I wouldn’t want her as a friend. Ouch, harsh . . . but true.

I think when I started working on myself and began my journey into sobriety a lot of things surfaced. I became tired of trying to still at age 43 be the perfect daughter. I also became extremely resentful of how my mother taught me to use alcohol as a comfort. Now having written that, please don’t think that I’m not taking complete responsibility for my own behavior. Basically, any time I’ve ever been with my mom starting before I was officially 21 years old we would always drink together in the evenings. Other incidents that just jump out at me are:

*10 years ago when I had my first bout of depression and began taking antidepressants I couldn’t sleep. My mom’s suggestion, “just make yourself a martini. That should help you sleep.” Me, “but, I thought I wasn’t supposed to take antidepressants and drink?” Her, “I’ve done it for years.”
*Over the years when I’ve shared that I don’t want to drink, she will always say, “well, you’ll still drink socially, wont you?” “No mom.” “Well one glass of wine won’t hurt you”. Me, “Yes, it will. I’ll want the bottle.”
*When we’ve been on the phone and I’ve shared that I’m stressed out over the girls, “why don’t you go have a glass of wine.”
*When I recently shared that I would be serving wine at a fundraiser, “Oh, maybe you can sample it too.” REALLY! Did I not tell you two months ago that I’m not drinking anymore because it has become a problem for me and I’ve started drinking when the kids go to school out of loneliness and boredom? Wouldn’t a mother say, “are you sure that’s a good thing?”

ww43.
09-26-2012, 08:41 AM
Given that so many of us have teenagers, I wanted to provide a website that I think might be helpful.

http://www.theantidrug.com/

They are at such a tricky age. My daughter says that at all the parties’ kids drink. She’s only a sophomore, so she personally hasn’t been to any yet. I know that when I was younger, my mom allowed me to drink because ”I was going to do it anyway” and might as well “do it in the safety of our own home”. I completely disagree with this logic. Allowing it in your own home condones the behavior. Alcohol is illegal until you're 21 (at least here in CA), pot and other drugs are illegal period.

I want to create an environment of love, trust, honesty, and communication in my home. I want to teach my girls the harms of drugs. We may not be able to keep our kids from using drugs, but we certainly can influence them. Too many tragedies occur when our children become addicted to mind altering substances, not to mention our own.

Midwest Sue
09-26-2012, 12:17 PM
Thank you for this website link. I recently found it myself.
My son, a senior in high school, says that 99% of the kids at his school use drugs and alcohol.
Until recently, we were in the dark about our son being one of those 99%.

I don't know what the answer is, but I agree wholeheartedly that we should never condone or enable substance use. We did enough harm by modelling addictive behavior during years 1-16 of his life.

I'm just glad that I can now speak up against alcohol use without hypocrisy.

We have entered the world of home drug testing and our lives have been altered. There is no way I could handle this well if I were drinking.

Midwest Sue
09-27-2012, 02:05 PM
I picked up this book at the library: "When Things Get Crazy With Your Teen" by Michael Bradley.
Very straightforward, easy-to-read, reassuring advice about many issues in a "what to do/what not to do" format.
From what I've read so far, I recommend it.

Midwest Sue
10-12-2012, 07:23 PM
A book recommendation: Uncommon Sense for Parents With Teenagers by Michael Riera

Midwest Sue
10-24-2012, 08:55 AM
I'm interested in getting feedback from anyone who has had experience dealing with substance abuse treatment options for teens.

When is it time to get professional help involved when the teen is not acknowledging the problem? What outcome should be expected from a treatment program?

Is it reasonable to be concerned that any group treatment program, inpatient or outpatient, may expose a teen to a new group of abusers (who may or may not stay straight at the end of the program)?

ww43.
10-26-2012, 03:44 PM
Is it reasonable to be concerned that any group treatment program, inpatient or outpatient, may expose a teen to a new group of abusers (who may or may not stay straight at the end of the program)?

Sue, you raise a good point with this question. I can only offer feedback based on my years working in residential treatment centers (and this has been well over a decade) and my own brother’s outpatient experience. When I worked with youth that were court ordered to be in treatment, many had no interest in helping themselves and would “walk the talk”, just to do what was required to get out of treatment. I also noticed that the kids would glamorize their drug and alcohol experiences. Many times, the less experienced learned tricks of the trade.

I think I would try one on one counseling first.

My brother, who did outpatient treatment for drugs, hated it. Thought it was a joke and again met people who ended up hanging out with each other and continued the lifestyle. I am proud to say that what he did learn there clicked and he was able to get it together and is EXTREMELY successful today.

I really think you should pose this question in the main forum. The larger audience will help. Maybe, someone who has been through more recent group therapy can provide some insight. The hardest part about what you’re dealing with is that it’s your son, he’s a teen, and he doesn’t see himself as having a problem. One thing that was highly effective is when we would take the residents to the Chowchilla Women’s Correctional Facility. It was kind of like a scared straight program.