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This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.

Tracy and Teri discuss the tough topic of walking with kids who have an addiction. Teri shares insights from her own experience. This is part two of their conversation.

[Related: When Your Kids Have an Addiction (Part 1)]

Video Highlights:

  • Teri asked herself questions like, “What did I do wrong?” “How did I let this happen?”. She had raised her kids in church and she thought she had done things right. She also shared how important it is to feel supported through this journey. There were times that she felt alone and unsupported.
  • The hardest thing as a parent is realizing that you can’t make your child better. You can’t force them into sobriety. They have to want it for themselves and that can be a painful waiting game.
  • Teri cautions parents from shaming the addict by saying things like, “Can’t you just stop?!” or “Can’t you see that you’re tearing our family apart?!” The truth is, the addict already feels shame for their choices and the piling on by parents isn’t helpful.
  • Boundaries and tough love are easy concepts to talk about but very challenging to implement. As a mom, Teri talked about how hard it was to think that sending her child out into the cold with nowhere to go was just too much. The best thing to do is to communicate with your spouse and family about the boundaries that need to be in place and adjust as you go.
  • One of the important boundaries Teri and her husband drew with their kids was that the kids weren’t allowed to use in the home. She encourages people to seek professional help to discover the boundaries that will work best for their situation.
  • Teri cautions parents to pay attention to the other family members. You can’t stop building into your marriage or stop investing in the kids who aren’t struggling.
  • Teri shares about some of her tender mercies from the Lord. She shared about a conversation she had with a woman on a plane who encouraged her in a moment that she needed it and the strength she draws from prayer and reading the Bible. Especially Philippians 4:6-7.

[Related Series: Steps to Recovery]

[Related: How to Overcome Worry]

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Share your experience with addiction. What has proven to be the most challenging part so far? What kind of support do you have in place?
  4. Have you spent time beating yourself up over your child’s addiction? Explain. Why is it important for you to acknowledge that you can’t control the actions of another?
  5. In your opinion, why is shaming a common response to addiction? Why is it unhelpful?
  6. How has addiction negatively affected your family? What have you done thus far to rectify those things? What more do you need to do?
  7. What are some of the tender mercies or miracles you’ve received from the Lord?
  8. Read Philippians 4:6-7. What does this passage tell you to do? What does it tell you not to do? How do these verses both help and challenge you?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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