From the moment you give birth, an innate force within secures a powerful and concentrated intent at the deepest level to protect your precious child, protect them from harm. As a parent, you accept this role with reverence as it carries the highest priority.

Holding your child carefully, keeping them warm, nourished and safe, you show them the immeasurable importance of their place on earth. They feel loved and of great value, knowing that you care about their happiness, comfort and fulfillment. You are their greatest fan and root them on as they step into the world, deciding for themselves how they wish to engage in the life experience. Seeing them off, deep steadfast desires to protect surge through you still. As their caretaker for many years, this powerful urge does not ever truly end. You simply let go, hoping the years of love, guidance and care remain as the foundation for their own ability to keep themselves safe
from harm.

What happens when your child is involved in one of the most harmful behaviors possible and they fall away from the safety you worked so hard to instill, strengthen and ensure? How do you handle watching them sink deeper into a world that seems to swallow them into darkness, an unreachable place where you feel powerless - the world of addiction?

Addiction is dangerous and destructive to everything you have committed to keep safe. How do you protect your child? Your natural instinct is to shield them from harm, however in your attempts to do this, the addiction begins to engulf your life as well. This is when your child’s addiction becomes your own.
Three major reasons for this are:

1) Believing you have the power to change or control the person/addiction.

Feeling powerless, you strive for ways to gain a sense of control – life centers around fixing the problem and dealing with the addiction’s

Attempts to gain control are:

• Becoming a “perfect” parent, supporter, nurturer
• Being careful about everything you say and do
• Peacekeeping
• Taking care of the child’s needs over your own

2) Treating addiction as a moral, behavioral issue rather than an illness.

Expecting rational thinking from an irrational, altered state of perception - addictions cease to be rational by their very nature. Usual support and guidance are ineffective. When tried, there is a great sense of failure, frustration and hopelessness for all involved.

3) Believing the addiction means something about you.

Self-blaming causes guilt, anger, regret, and a sense of inadequacy as a parent. Identifying with your child’s addiction - either feeling responsible for fixing it or unable to face it. The key is not gaining control or changing the addiction. It is understanding you have no control over the addiction. You do, however, have power; the power to let go.

Letting go is:

• Supporting, not fixing
• Permitting another to face reality
• Allowing consequences
• Not taking responsibility for them
• Admitting the outcome is not in your hands
• Acceptance

In letting go, you truly embrace your parental power, by being the example of that which you wish them to do. The addict will be most positively affected by a healthy parent who takes care of themselves, has good boundaries, follows through, respects themselves and honors their life. You don’t need to control or change the addict’s actions, but you can learn to change your responses.

You best help your addicted child by:

• Reaching out for support of others who have been through it
• Expressing your feelings
• Letting your child solve the problems their addiction creates
• Focusing on one day at a time
• Not determining your choices by theirs
• Not doing for them what they can do for themselves

Remember, your child doesn’t need you to take them away from their journey towards discovering their light, they simply need to see your light shining as a reminder of their own along the way.

Author's Bio: 

Kristin brings a unique approach to healing, providing tangible and effective tools to use in all the many experiences of life. She guides you through self-exploration, personal growth, inner healing and changes that truly transform your life.

Kristin has 27 years experience as a holistic counselor, intuitive healer, teacher, speaker, crisis intervention advocate and author. She has extensive training and experience in Metaphysical sciences, crisis intervention, child abuse and domestic violence counseling, suicide prevention and rape victim advocacy. She is owner of The Spirit Awakening Holistic Counseling in Redondo Beach, CA., where she has been in private practice for over 14 years. She integrates traditional, cross-cultural and transpersonal techniques, using a variety of approaches, including inner child exploration, grief work, cognitive therapy, guided visualization and ceremony. Some of the issues she addresses are anxiety, fear, depression, emotional pain, addiction, anger, grief and loss. She is a spiritual growth expert, helping in awakening your true, original spirit, shedding the false self and actualizing the manifestation of who you authentically are in every area of your life.

She helps you be in peace, joy, creative energy, true power and passion, awake with purpose and connection. Be the instrument for which the Universal Life Force forges and expresses its most beautiful perfection and manifestation through you.

Kristin is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, trained in Advanced Neuro Dynamics and is a Usui Reiki Master. Kristin is completing her Doctorate and Ph.D. In Metaphysical Sciences and Counseling. Kristin also creates powerful and relaxing Guided Visualization Meditation CDs.

She and her husband of 33 years live in Redondo Beach and they have two daughters, 29 and 31 yrs. old.