Life Lessons You Should Unlearn

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 8:11 AM, July 15th, 2017

Some life lessons are really helpful, while others can make moving forward difficult. Martha Beck introduced 10 life lessons she had to “unlearn” in order to grow in her life.

As the parent of an adolescent who has been involved with drugs, here are 5 life lessons you might want to unlearn.

Problems are Bad

Why This isn't HelpfulAll problems carry with them the beginnings of a solution. If we didn’t have anything to work through, life would be boring.
How This Applies NowAs a parent of a child in recovery, it is easy to focus on how the drug use has negatively impacted your life. Instead, refocus on how this opportunity can bring about a sense of closeness you once had by spending more time together and trying harder to understand each other.

It’s Important to Stay Happy

Why This isn't HelpfulIt is totally possible to be unhappy but still feel good about something. Many people who try to stay positive all the time end up more stressed out when dealing with a difficult situation.
How This Applies NowWhen you give in to being OK with being sad, angry, or frustrated, we give ourselves permission to deal with our feelings.

I’m (or You’re) Irreparably Damaged by the Past

Why This isn't HelpfulFeeling like you will never recover will keep you stuck where you are. Simply questioning habits and thoughts helps many people get “unstuck.”
How This Applies NowEncourage your teen to reexamine his/her life from the perspective that any belief you hold might be wrong. Listing three reasons your beliefs might be wrong allows your brain to begin to let go of the belief.

Success is the Opposite of Failure

Why This isn't HelpfulWorrying about making mistakes can actually make us more prone to shutting down the process of learning.
How This Applies NowKnow that success is built on failures. Trying to relax, allow the process to happen, and continually improve your performance (whether recovering from drug addiction or learning to play an instrument) will breed success. Remember: Practice Leads to Progress.

We Should Think Rationally About Our Decisions

Why This isn't HelpfulPeople aren’t rational most of the time. Complex problems are often solved more easily by examining our physical response to a choice. Often, you will need to make mandates to keep your child in recovery.
How This Applies NowKeep in mind that your child isn’t rational, especially when s/he is using alcohol or other drugs.

Finally, know that change never happens overnight. Continuing to practice these new life lessons will keep your child on the road to recovery.



ASAP is Cincinnati’s premiere outpatient treatment center for teenagers and their families struggling with substance use.


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