While the process of recovery from substance abuse is challenging for anyone, it is especially challenging for teenagers. Parents of teens struggling with addiction often feel discouraged and depressed, wondering if there is anything they can do to encourage their teens' recovery. Fortunately, one way that parents can help their teens succeed and maintain sobriety is by fostering leadership skills. Leadership skills can help your teen gain responsibility and control over their harmful habits and ultimately prevent release.
Leadership skills aren’t just for the workplace or group projects in school. Leadership is also part of character development and self-advocacy, which is useful for all situations in life. During their recovery process, teens can use leadership skills to gain back their mental, physical, and emotional health. Here are some ways that leadership skills can help recovery:
Teens who have been dependent on alcohol or drugs to either help cope with problems or fit in with social groups may be lacking in self-esteem and confidence. Learning how to take proper care of themselves while sober can help build a foundation of confidence, which helps develop healthy independence. A confident teen can have more power to resist drugs in the future by understanding that substance use is unhealthy and can contribute to long-lasting physical and mental health consequences.
Leadership skills help teens understand themselves and who they want to become. The consequences of addiction can lead teens to believe they aren’t worthy of good things. Leadership skills can help them move forward, without feeling shameful or guilty about their past, to achieve their dreams.
Many teens are introduced to drugs in social settings, perhaps through peer pressure. Leadership skills can help teens develop the confidence and strength to resist compromising their health to gain approval and acceptance. These skills can also have a ripple effect on others who may also be struggling with peer pressure, showing them that they do not need to give in to temptations at the cost of being liked. Teens can encourage one another in social settings that are centered around healthy activities that don't involve drugs.
Unfortunately, relapse is often a common part of the recovery process. If it happens, it doesn’t make your teen a failure. Leadership skills can help teens to overcome difficult hardships in life and teach them that these hardships do not define them. Even better, leadership skills can help prevent relapse from happening in the first place by fostering responsibility. When a teen can visualize the healthy person that they want to become, leadership skills can help them to stay on track during their sobriety and help them achieve the best version of themself.
Parents have a responsibility to raise future leaders, which requires taking the initiative early on. From a young age, encouraging children to introduce themselves to other adults can help them gain a strong sense of self. As they get older, they can learn additional advocacy skills as relevant situations present themselves. Is another child picking on them at the playground? Kids can learn to stand up for themselves by not tolerating the behavior and walking away if necessary. They can also learn to stand up for other kids. Similarly, young kids can learn how to gently confront peers who might have been gossiping about them or otherwise not treating them well. The opportunities to learn leadership skills are truly endless.
Substance abuse is particularly devastating for teenagers, who are already facing a lot of pressures, including the pressures of school, extracurricular activities, family responsibilities, and getting along with their peers, all while trying to figure out who they are and learning to love themselves. These are natural challenges of adolescence, although substance use exacerbates them. Left untreated, it can spiral into a lifelong problem accompanied by significant mental and physical health consequences.
Fortunately, a healthier path is possible. Clearfork Academy believes that a firm foundation of faith is essential for developing leadership skills in every sphere of life. These skills can not only help teens learn to say “no” to drugs but also “yes” to opportunities that will stretch, challenge, and mature them during their prime developmental years. Our residential programs, detox treatment, outdoor activities, and other therapies help teens develop these skills to cope healthier with life’s problems, learn to deal with rejection and failure, and ultimately embrace who they are meant to be.
Substance abuse recovery can be a long, difficult road, both physically and emotionally. For teens who feel overwhelmed by drugs or alcohol, finding the motivation to move forward can seem impossible. Becoming the person they want to be can seem unreachable. Clearfork Academy is invested in all aspects of recovery and growth: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Our treatment programs and therapies are designed to help foster wellness in all of these areas. From residential treatment centers for boys and girls, to detox treatment, therapies, and even outdoor activities, we focus on using treatment to heal the whole being of your teen. If your teen is struggling with substance abuse, please don't wait. To learn more about our treatment programs and other resources, call us today at (817) 259-2597 or reach out to us through the contact page on our website.