Navigating the Complex Emotions of Children in Recovery
Understanding Your Child's Self-Perception
Children who have experienced trauma, especially in the context of family addiction, often develop a distorted self-image. They might see themselves as unworthy, unlovable, or even as the root cause of the family's problems. As parents, our first instinct is to shower them with positive affirmations. But as Sarah Naish points out, this might not always be the best approach.
The Pitfalls of Over-Praising
When we constantly tell our children they're wonderful, especially when they don't feel that way, it can create a disconnect. They might start to feel that we're not being genuine, leading them to trust us less. Think about those times when you felt down, and someone gave you a compliment that felt out of place. It's hard to believe, right? The same goes for our children.
The Power of Reality-Based Praise
Instead of showering them with generic compliments, focus on specific, real-life instances that highlight their positive traits. For example:
The Journey to Self-Acceptance
Recovery, especially from family addiction, is a long journey. It's filled with ups and downs, moments of doubt, and moments of clarity. As parents, our role is to guide our children through this journey, helping them see their true worth. Over time, with consistent, genuine feedback, they'll start to see themselves in a more positive light.
Celebrating the Small Wins
Every time your child starts to recognize their worth, it's a victory. It's a sign that they're healing, growing, and moving forward. Celebrate these moments, no matter how small. They're milestones on the road to recovery.
Family addiction recovery is a challenging path, but with patience, understanding, and genuine support, we can help our children rebuild their self-esteem. By "keeping it real" and offering reality-based praise, we can bridge the gap between how our children see themselves and how we see them, leading to deeper trust and a stronger parent-child bond.
Remember, every child is unique, and their journey to self-acceptance will be too. But with love, patience, and understanding, we can guide them towards a brighter, more positive future.
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