Am I Teaching My Child To Be An Addict?

Lisa Partee By Lisa Partee, 9th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Parenting

What messages am I sending my children about this use of drugs/meds?

Am I Teaching My Child To Be An Addict?

efensive about our addiction and justified our right to use, especially when we had “legal prescriptions…”

~NA Basic Text: Who Is An Addict?~

One of the most important lessons I have learned from the fellowship of NA, is that when I share honestly about where I am and what I am doing in my life, I am exposing any “diseased thinking” I may be courting to the light of Truth and it is through that Process that I can become/remain Free.

I want to share about an experience I have had this week to firstly, expose any diseased behavior and thinking on my part and secondly, to get feedback and suggestions from other Recovering parents to help me be a better parent to one wonderful, very quirky, little girl.

This last Monday, when it was time for my daughter’s refill of Metadate ER, I discovered that the medication was on back order with no time frame for when it would be available. In. Every. Single. Pharmacy. I didn’t get overly concerned-we can do anything for a few days. Right? Okay…so Tuesday arrives and I get Olivia up to get ready for school. It was a little crazy; she forgot what she was looking for when I sent her to get her shoes and when I reminded her, she couldn’t find them. She was talk talk talking about everything but I manage to get her out the door and to the bus stop on time. I did notice that her book bag hung on her a little wonky because she hadn’t even noticed that every single zipper was still unzipped and it open wide -threatening to lose her folder inside. But hey-she got to the bus and the day went on.

I was standing on the porch when she got off the bus that afternoon. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing! I see this little person with wild crazy hair that had been taken out of her twists, getting off the bus talking loud and wreckless s*** to some kids as they were walking towards home! It was my kid! I quickly got her inside thinking that I was going to quickly diffuse whatever pre-tween madness this was! I’m big, she’s little–I got this!

So I stand her in front of me thinking I was going to start our daily “How was your day?” check list….”Olivia, where are your glasses?” I said. ”In my pocket…they might be broken cuz I was painting and I thought I should take them off…” she started to ramble. ”Let me see your book bag.” I said. I open the bag and inside was a flurry of wrinkled and ripped papers…some random crayons, and lots of little slips of paper with her “drawings” in various stages of completion, the home work she was supposed to have turned in that morning, and a library book about Christmas desserts. Refusing to let my face betray me-I can admit here that I was starting to get a little nervous. It wasn’t looking good for the home team, at this point.

Now instead of taking the time to address what I am looking at in front of me-I quickly give her the remote and tell her to “take it easy, watch Shake it up, Chicago for a little while…and I’ll be right back! I grab my phone and step outside to call the pharmacy. I get some young tech on the phone and after all of 10 seconds of conversation, I see that she obviously is not grasping the gravity of my situation here. So, what did I do? I lapse into some semi-terrorist/quasi-political rant in a thinly veiled attempt to bully and intimidate this young person into making my problem go away.

It gets worse. Worse because I have just enough Recovery under my belt to kinda know when I am showing my whole entire ass. It wasn’t pretty. But, not yet defeated, (actually still thinking of ways and means that I can somehow manipulate this situation into MY desired outcome…) I go back into the house. ”It’s all about teaching some coping skills,” I thought as I reached to turn the TV off.

Now I promise not to bore you with the decompensation of our evening, but I will share this: At one point, we were sitting at the table over homework. Olivia was crying and promising me with her whole heart that she had never, ever heard anything about suffixes before in her life and I was yelling and telling her, “WE JUST DID SUFFIXES LAST NIGHT TOGETHER AT THIS VERY TABLE, OLIVIAGRACE!” Suddenly, out of no where, my brain said, “Melatonin!! That’s the ticket! And it’s not bad because it’s a supplement…!” I hurried and called the pediatrician and told him what my brain said and he was like, “Sure. Whatever. Try it.” My brain is so smart, you see.

By the next day, I had to concede that I did not possess many or even some of the tools needed to parent a child that was not chemically restrained. My recovering self watched as I made a horrible mess this week. I started to see that some of what I had previously thought of as symptoms of ADHD were really just behaviors that I needed to swiftly and consistently addressed each and every time they surfaced. But I think the part that actually scared me to death was, what message was I giving Olivia about how we govern ourselves? Was I teaching her that even if she really needed medications in her life for certain maladies, she was still very much capable of learning how to cope and accommodate for many-if not any illness or disorder she may suffer from? Or was I teaching her to always look for something external that would tame or “fix’ the internal? And then my oh so smart brain remembered the literature talking about how we “always looked for that magic pill…” And here I was, teaching my daughter by my voice, tone, inflection, reactions…how to do just that. Now, I am not one of those Recovering addicts that thinks that when we enter into recovery that we dump all of our meds in the garbage and white knuckle our way through the rest of our lives. I believe that there can be better living through chemistry-if done responsibly.

So that’s what it looked like at my house this week. As always, that feels better out than in. I am looking forward to any feedback and suggestions I get here. I am grateful that we now have systems and support in our lives to teach us new and better ways to live…my name is Lisa and I’m a grateful recovering addict.

I’ll keep coming back….


Adhd, Behavior, Coping Skills, Family, Honesty, Medication, Parenting

Meet the author

author avatar Lisa Partee
My name is Lisa and when I wake up in the morning, I think about writing...everything I look at throughout the day tells me a story...and before I go to sleep at night, I thank
God for this "gift".

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