Contrary to what some may tell you, we aren’t all born with an inherent knowledge of how to raise children or even manage most modern day tasks. Activities such as check balancing and which groceries to buy are often times learned through experience, as is parenting. Just like with any other slow, learned process, it can sometimes be difficult to track our own progress when we are completely enveloped in it, especially when things get out of our own control. This is why Parenting Skills Training can be so helpful for parents and legal guardians of addicts and alcoholics, and even for addicts and alcoholics who are parents. Growing Pains As hard as it is to hear, addiction is a family disease. Many women who grow up to be addicts, were the children of addicts, and currently or plan to have their own children. In this cycle, many of the essential life skills needed to properly maneuver through and cope with life may be underdeveloped. But what about those people who were raised in completely functioning, loving households? The ones who had every opportunity to live a successful and happy life? What went “wrong”? These are questions that Parenting Skills Training can provide the answers for, and can help women break free of the cycle themselves. No matter the upbringing, nobody ever dreams of being an addict when they grow up. It usually starts out with experimentation, which leads to dependence, which leads to addiction. This early experimentation can often halt or stunt the understanding and development of crucial life skills for the individual, making the transition back into recovery very difficult. Mothers in Recovery A rough estimate shows that around 70% of women that enter treatment are current mothers, have been pregnant in the past, or want to be mothers in the future. In many situations, these women were raised in an alcoholic or addict home, or with some form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. For this reason, the loving and compassionate view of parenting has simply not been shared with them. This is the main goal of Parenting skills Training at Wayside House. Every mother in recovery deserves and is worthy of being able to provide a healthy and functioning household for her children, but this usually takes some practice and dedication. According to a study performed by the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health system, between the years of 2009 and 2014: 8.7 million American children aged 17 or younger were living in a household that had at least one parent with substance use disorder At least 7 million children, 17 or younger, lived in a household with two parents with a substance use disorder Among 1.7 million children who lived with a parent who had a substance use disorder within the previous year, 1.4 million lived with their mother, and only 344,000 lived with their father. It is no secret that women in our society are the inherent caretakers and givers in most households. This is often a reason why many women who need help from substance abuse, mental health disorders, and drug addictions, are never able to find treatment; they don’t have anyone who can look after their children. The Importance of Parenting Skills Training Many women in early recovery find it extremely difficult to leave the safety and serenity of treatment and go back out into “normal life”. Resuming parental responsibilities and finding employment, affordable housing, and even just paying the bills on time, can be real challenges. Balance Parenting and work are more than a full-time job and is a tall order for anyone. Adding staying sober and living a healthy recovery lifestyle throws a whole other obstacle into the mix. However, once a woman is able to find the balance, and begin to thrive in her recovery, she will find that is sometimes the only thing that can keep her sane. Parenting Skills Training helps teach women in recovery how to find this balance, without having to bang their head against a wall until they do. Self Assurance For many women, a lack of confidence and self-assurance is something that happens over the course of their lifetime. Especially with the way that society portrays women in the media, it is a constant game of comparison and self-degradation. Parenting Life Skills helps mothers in early recovery regain confidence through short-term goal setting, practicing acceptance and change, and learning how to develop a sober support network to help get through the tough stuff. Community Support Learning how to reach out when help is needed is one of the most challenging practices for many women to learn. For a long time, many of us relied on the idea that we had to be strong and self-reliant, and that asking for help made us appear weak. Throughout Parenting Life Skills training, not only do women learn the value of creating a healthy support network, but they learn through their own experience the comfort and strength that comes from having someone else on their team. Isolation is no longer an option for women in recovery – we have strength in numbers! Get Your Life Back at Wayside During addiction, despite their best efforts, many mothers are just not able to provide the level of emotional and physical care that their child needs. There are numerous threats to children of addicts, such as impaired development, behavioral issues, emotional instability and mental disorders. Many women in recovery have experienced the trauma of their own during their childhood or during their addiction, and when untreated, this trauma can be projected onto the child. Parenting Skills Training is designed to help women learn how to parent effectively, bond with their children, and move past their own guilt and shame in order to recover and become the parents they are worthy of being.