A Healthy Home Counters Addiction Genetics
There is substantial evidence that the predisposition for addiction can be found in our genes, putting some at a higher risk of developing an addiction than others. While this means that the children of addicts will be more likely overall to end up addicted to something, it’s not a pre-destination that overrules our own life choices and the environment that shapes us.
Studies are showing more and more that while addiction runs in families, much of a person’s path to addiction is environmentally-influenced and the home we craft for the children of addicts can significantly reduce the danger of them becoming addicts too.
If you’re a recovering addict with children in your home, then you know more than anyone how important it is to develop sobriety-enabling habits and mentalities that will set them up to be stronger in the future and resist the addictions you have battled yourself. As parents, we cannot control the genes we pass on but we can control the environmental factors that influence our children and their behaviors.
In order to set your children up for a sober life free of the struggle with addiction, it’s important to create a sense of belonging and acceptance in the family unit. Show them love and have fun as a family.
This does wonders for their self-esteem and will often be a deterrent to poor choices later on. Teach them to take care of themselves and their bodies by example. Care for yourself and make health a priority in your home. This will carry over into their own lives as they become adults. Knowing how to care for yourself and feel loved are two of the most important defenses against developing unhealthy addictive behaviors.
Lastly, it’s important that your children be able to talk to you about the various difficulties of life, whether it be sex, drugs, or bullies. Maintain an open window of communication with your children so they feel safe coming to you if an addictive situation arises in their life. This means having family time that is just about open communication, like around the dinner table. Turn off the tv and talk. But more importantly, listen.
With the right guidance we can help our children learn from our own mistakes and live a happier life because of it.