Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Parent Talking Points
Posted by:Ken Sutton--Monday, April 30, 2007

Lloyd talked about Parent Talking Points this week and it started me thinking and reviewing past roll plays for a list. When I got the list down they kind of naturally fell out into categories. Help me add to the list and wordsmith these points so we can share them with others – leave a comment!

I will do anything I have to keep your safe.

I will tell your probation officer everything. That means everything from 5 minutes late on curfew to a disrespectful attitude. No secrets.

I will call the police, your probation officer, the school or anyone else
I think can help me keep you safe from drugs.

Nevertheless, this is non-negotiable.

Yes, I put you in here and I will keep you in here as long as it takes
for you to learn the skills needed for recovery from drugs.

Your father/mother and I are on the same page on this. In fact, if you try to get in between us we are going to hold you accountable. No staff splitting. Do not ask one of us for an answer after you have been given an answer by the other.

You are right, I don't trust you. You have to do the work to regain that
trust and that will take time.

If following the rules associated with the cell phone is a problem I will
cancel the cell phone.

Nevertheless, this is non-negotiable.


You cannot use drugs and live in this house.

Do not use drugs ever. Do not drink ever. Do not hang around with
people who use drugs or drink.

Nevertheless, never bring drugs into this house. Never bring drugs to
school. Never take drugs!

Regardless, it is illegal. Never smoke weed, never bring it into this
house and never bring it to school.

If the pressures of living a drug free life are making you want to use
drugs you should call your sponsor or go to a meeting. Only you are
responsible for you.

If you are having suicidal thoughts I will call 911 immediately.

I love you and will continue to support you.

I am proud of you.

I forgive you.

How can I help support your program?

Not really a talking point but keep in mind that talking is overrated. Demonstrate by your actions.
Stop discussions when they get out of hand – walk away.

Set the date, time and location for meaningful discussions. Control the start and the end.

Make weekly calls to the probation officer where they can hear you.

Control who sits where in the car.

Control the car audio system and music selection.

Have the cell phone number changed.

Give hugs of encouragement.

Give small gifts to celebrate clean time.

Go to NA meetings to see them get key tags – hug them and leave.


Anonymous said...

BEHAVIOR, STRUCTURE & CONSISTENCY are important talking points for me. The "old" behavior of when she was using can happen in a second. I always call her on it & point out what I am seeing. Structure is what every addict needs-regardless! Consistency works both for the addict & the parents. Everyone involved needs to be consistent at all times. Parents have to be consistent with their actions & consequences. Here's what's going on with my addict:
She has a year of being clean & is working a good program. Within the last week her job wasn't working out for various reasons (??). She told me that she had lied to her Dad about being paid because she had spent the money on clothes rather than paying her bills. I made her tell her Dad as soon as she told me. There will be NO SECRETS. (Lying is an "old behavior") Glad she came to me but she has to stop herself from doing it in the first place!!!!

She was to get up today and look for a new job. This was discussed in detail & agreed upon last night. She was permitted to use our car to do so. She was still sleeping @ 11:00 AM.(Structure- addicts need to be on a regular sleeping schedule)

Now, the consequences come into the picture. My husband and I agreed on the following:
Car privledges have been taken away. This includes going to her therapist appt tonight & any NA mtgs.

Cell phone privledges will be taken away in 7 days if she does not have a job.

Thanks for the talking points idea!!!

Anonymous said...

I want to post a follow up to my previous comment. A good friend said taking the car away for mtgs & therapist appt might be a little much. I agree!!!!

I called the therapist back & now both my daughter & I will meet w/the therapist tonight.

Thanks for the advice. See why posting comments is so important? We all need advice.

Lloyd Woodward said...

Loosing the job is a big sign of trouble. Of course, old behaviors like lying are huge signs too. It is important that you sent him a message of disapproval by taking some privilleges. And it is good that you didn't buy into the secrecy thing by saying something like, "Gee, at least you came to me and told me what's going on. That is important- that we can talk about things. Well, I want you to know that you can talk too me about anything and if I restrict your privleges, you might not come to me, so I'm not going to tell your father THIS TIME, but don't do it again, because next time I'll have to blah blah blah." That is a trap. Secrets keep us all sick. You did the right thing by taking a stand.

A lack of interest in the job or irresponsible behavior on the job that leads to firing is a huge sign that he may be entering a mental relapse. Its great that you still have the counseling going on.

Do you still drug test? Drug testing does two things. One, it tells you if they used anything that the test can indicate. Two, it sends a message to your teenager that you care if he is using and that drug abuse is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

Lying is something I will not tolerate. I have been lied to way too much-we all have.

After we met with the therapist, it was clear that ONE lie snowballed & took on a life of its own. Lying is part of my addict, a part that needs to be "checked" at all times. Lying can be over the smallest & dumbest thing. I don't take lying personally anymore- I used to. I would cry & ask how could this person do this to me? Now, I just point out that as quickly as that lie comes from her mouth is as quickly as a RELAPSE could happen. It just can.

Working with the therapist is a huge bonus. We can both work together to "call the addict out" on unacceptable behavior. She reinforces what I say & vice versa. It's a great team. If anyone has a therapist, a PO, teacher, Policeman, whatever, USE THEM!!!!!!!!

Drug testing is still done but only by the therapist. That could change though... Thanks for the idea..


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