Encouraging Thoughts for Parents in Pain

Discover the difference between helping and interfering.  Take a closer look at how you offer support.  Learn to detach with love.  This doesn’t mean disinterest . . . it is respect for another’s “personhood”.  – Al Anon

Learning from pain is our life-saving goal.  So, we need to be careful not to step into someone’s life as a continual pattern or else we interrupt the “pain message” and interfere with the real change or healing that is needed.  – Sharon Clark Pearson

As long as they are still breathing, there is still hope.  – a dear friend who has over 25 years of sobriety

Keep showing tough love.  It’s hard.  They won’t like it, neither will you.  But you must or nothing will ever change.

Keep taking one day at a time and enjoy your life.  Laugh again.  Enjoy your spouse, your other children, your friends, hobbies . . . your life.  You can.  It’s ok.  Don’t feel guilty about it.  Go have fun!

Say “I love you” often.  As often as you have opportunity.  They need to hear it.  Many feel so unworthy of it.  Unconditional.  “I just want to be sure you know I will always love you, no matter what.”  Even God still loves us when we are in rebellion.  He died for us in that condition.  (But be careful not to weaken and start enabling again!)

Show affection even if they don’t like it.  Maybe it’s a back rub, or a hug.  When you don’t know what to say, a hug says a lot.  They may be pushing you away, but inside they may be crying out for it. 

Learn your child’s love language. (if you are married it wouldn’t hurt to learn your spouses, either!) This way you are showing love in the way that is meaningful to them, not just what communicates it to you.  Been there, done that.  Not so good. 

 The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman available from Amazon.  He wrote a book on this subject for couples and for children.  Very, very helpful for understanding those special people in your life.


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