Sober Parenting Through the Holidays

By November 8, 2021Recovery
family celebrating the holidays while holding burning sparklers

Parenting is hard. Whether your client is a stay-at-home parent or one who works, parenting is a full-time job that leads to emotional instability and burnout. The unspoken part of taking care of children is that it is neverending, leaving parents worried about the health and welfare of their children. Because of this immense pressure and anxiety, some parents turn to alcohol and substances to help them cope with their feelings.

Caregiving can emotionally drain a person; however, not every day is laborsome. There are days when seeing a child find happiness or success instills pride and joy. However, some parents can turn to their substance of choice to help them unwind, even on good days. There can come a time when a parent recognizes their substance use patterns and makes a life-altering choice. Those who choose to become sober can only do so once they realize using is an emotional crutch that affects those around them, including their relationship with their children.

Become a Sober Parent

When your client decides to stop using a substance, they must learn new skills to help them cope with stress, anxiety, or depression in order to successfully achieve and sustain sobriety. In some cases, the decision to become a sober parent includes entering a detoxification program to stop using a substance safely and under the supervision of trained medical staff. While in detox, they can begin to process their mental and physical well-being. In addition, therapy can increase awareness of mental health disorders, which could be the culprit behind their substance use.

A person who pays attention to their emotions can begin the healing process to become a better version of themselves. Parents who turn to alcohol or drugs aren’t bad people; they’re parents who can benefit from replacing substances with healthy coping skills acquired from treatment. Seeking professional around-the-clock care can help your client uncover suppressed feelings such as childhood trauma or spousal abuse. One-on-one, family, and recreational therapy can equip them with the skills needed to enhance their parenting abilities.

Healthy Coping Skills

Working on change means finding new ways to process, reset, and move forward when stressful situations occur. Parents who turn to substances must tap into their inner-being to guide them through difficult moments. Many find incorporating breathwork or meditation into their response system to be beneficial practices. However, moments of mindfulness aren’t limited to well-known exercises.

Parents can find peace by simply interacting with their children. There may be times of turmoil, but instead of counting down the minutes until it is acceptable to have a drink, parents should try focusing on their children. Children provide insight into underlying issues. Sometimes acts of reading, playing, or getting messy are relaxing and fun; your client might even distract themselves in the process.

Parents who actively engage with their children can find a sense of peace, creativity, or a greater bond with their children. One great thing about children is their ability to view things with fresh eyes and active imaginations. Parents who can immerse themselves in their child’s world can deepen their bond and even discover things about themselves.

However, not every coping skill needs to revolve around children. Parents who find time for themselves can increase their sense of inner peace. The goal is to find an activity that will help your client relax and improve your emotional well-being. Social groups that focus on individual interests or parent groups can increase a sense of self and community. Sober parenting may include removing toxic or triggering people from your life; it also includes connecting with those who share common interests, such as sobriety. A supportive network of friends can help guide your client through difficult times.

The Holidays

Sober parenting during the holiday season can present unique challenges. Travel, gatherings, and schedule changes can disrupt any routine. It may even lead to feeling pressured to make everyone happy. Life can quickly become overwhelming when children have school parties or recitals to attend during an already chaotic holiday season. Additionally, children have the ability to push buttons, which can lead to meltdowns for all parties. No matter where a parent is in their sobriety, instances like these can test their strength and patience.

Some ways to cope with the holidays are:

  • Maintain healthy coping skills
  • Take a break from the stress
  • Delegate responsibilities
  • Attend therapy

The key to being a sober parent is to remember why sobriety is vital to your unique situation. The holidays can test anyone because they are a flurry of events, meltdowns, schedule changes, and responsibilities. Encourage your client to spend time partaking in family traditions or make new ones while viewing the holidays through their child’s eyes.

Being a parent is a challenging job. No one understands the complexities and responsibility of being a full-time caregiver. Some parents experience anxiety, stress, and depression, especially heading into the holidays. Consuming alcohol and using substances can create a fleeting feeling of relaxation, but the issues remain after the effects wear off. Sober parenting is the decision to seek help for a substance use disorder. If your client wants to learn more about sober parenting, you can guide them to a detox program where they can begin treatment. Alta Centers is equipped with the care and support your client needs to become substance-free. Our medical staff understands the difficulties of detoxing safely and comfortably. Our center, located in the Hollywood Hills, is serene and private, the ideal setting for healing. We understand how substance use and addiction can be isolating. We can help your client reconnect with their inner self and rebuild relationships. For more information call (888) 203-2583.

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