We will never eliminate all the wrongs in the world, but we can put up a courageous fight for our families’ safety.
Addiction can be defined as a behavior we accept for temporary short term relief while dismissing and disregarding the adverse long term effects.
It is an attempt to escape from pain and reduce suffering from one’s life. We often think these addictions, whether drugs or alcohol, are intended to make us feel good, but actually, what they do is lessen our feelings.
What we now see in society.
We see addiction taking hold of people’s lives through alcohol, drugs, porn, working, gambling, and anything able to fill the emptiness from the outside. There is a constant effort to reduce and control these symptoms.
Restriction cannot cure the addiction by limiting the substance or problem. Some things need to be confronted and achieved to heal from traumas inflicted upon us as children.
For a long time, there has been an effort to see addiction as something wrong with the person. They are a failure, they are showing weakness, or they somehow need to harness some willpower and make better choices. This collective mindset that there is something wrong with you is manifested during childhood.
We fail to recognize the addiction is not the problem but an attempt to solve a problem we have buried deep inside us. We think that simply removing certain things from our lives can fix us, but I am confident that the root causes are from the traumas and abuses endured through childhood.
There is overwhelming evidence that children who have been traumatized, physically abused, neglected, and emotionally abused will deal with addictions in their lives.
Have we conditioned children to be addicts?
As a child, they want nothing more than a healthy attachment to our parents. They depend on parents for survival, and this gives the child a disadvantage in the relationship. If your parents never healed from their childhood trauma, how can they provide examples of a loving and functional family system?
If we are to support our child in growth, we must not have conditions on our love. If we abuse our children and subject them to the traumas associated with threats, aggression, and neglect, they become filled with emptiness and pain. No one’s brain can develop properly in these conditions, especially a child’s.
Listen to the Family Alpha podcast where Zac and I talk about the importance of creating strong families and how we can help prevent our children from addiction.
The environment a child has to endure will have a severe impact on the development of their brain. Early on as a child, we become trained to act and behave a certain way. If the child expresses preferences and is met with hostility and frustration, the parents force the child to suppress any wrong done to them. This is when the child desires acceptance but instead gets addicted to finding comfort.
The more we hurt our children, the more they will try to escape. Not from their parents, but escape from themselves. The child will feel deeply shamed and starts to think they might be a terrible person. They learn to avoid pain and seek comfort, even if it is temporary.
Because the child is not allowed to heal, they cannot properly learn how to deal with pain.
Substances will later soothe this emotional pain from abuse.
You cannot be there for your children if you cannot be there for yourself.
Since children lack the understanding to deal with internal conflicts and inner pain, we need to guide them through the process of healing. The best way we can do this is by improving ourselves to the extent that we can help rebuild our families.
It is difficult to be a child in a family that demands you conform to the pressures of the addicts that surround them. Think of the struggles you went through to accept yourself when everyone criticizes and puts you down for merely trying to find your path. Think how horrible this felt for you and now how it feels for your child?
You never want your child to think there is something wrong with them.
As a father, I became aware of this because it took a long time to heal this in my own life. I never wanted my kids to go through that unnecessary pain.
Do not start your kids off in life with the idea that they are broken because they don’t fit into your narrative. The language you use and the way you interact with your children impact them significantly. You have a choice to build them up instead of leading them to self-destruction.
If you do not provide healthy attachment in your home, they will fill that request outside the family. Their brains are wired to desire love and connection, and you must provide these virtues.
This wiring of their brains must not be of chaos, criticism, anger, and abandonment. If we start them off in life with a craving to escape these inner pains, we unknowingly push them towards addiction later in life.
Our goal should be to raise children who do not bend to the group’s unimaginative and lifeless pressures. We want to provide a strong foundation of what it means to be a good person, not just by demanding this, but by being the example and offering them the opportunity to grow into their own unique path.
We want children who are capable of going through the pain and discomfort to come out stronger. We want them to be happy about who they are becoming and passionate about their ability to create life.
We want them to be confident with who they are and never be addicted to the cheap love of lost souls.