How Can We Educate Our Children on Addiction and Mental Health?

One of the most important things we can teach our children early on is that we have much more control over our thoughts and emotions, and therefore our lives, than we often tend to think. When it comes to addiction and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, we often think they are these formidable, unstoppable forces that we can’t possibly contend with, that we are victims to. While they are powerful and destructive, we can learn to reclaim the power they’ve stolen from us. When teaching our children about addiction, we want to teach them how to hold onto their power. Knowledge and mindfulness are invaluable tools for these important lessons.

Educate your children as much as possible on the manifestations of addiction, the different kinds of addiction and the root causes. For many of us, our addictions and mental health issues developed from unresolved emotional pain. Teach your kids about the importance of facing their problems head on and handling their emotions honestly rather than suppressing them or avoiding them through different forms of escapism. Education about addiction is also education about courage and self-mastery. We want to teach our kids to be in control of their emotions and their impulses, and to never let anything or anyone take their power away from them.

Being in control of our thoughts and emotions takes practice, and this is where teaching our children mindfulness comes in. Teach your children early on how to meditate. Sit with them and practice focusing on your breathing or a visualization. When your thoughts stray, keep bringing your attention back to your focal point. Meditation helps us to handle our emotions in healthier ways and to have calmer, more balanced emotional reactions. When we meditate on a regular basis, we have an easier time connecting with our intuition, solving our problems and maintaining a positive outlook. Meditation helps us to navigate all of our challenges with more ease, all of the things that make us want to resort to addiction – our addictive urges and compulsions, our overwhelming sadness and fear, our panic and anger. When children learn how to meditate early on, they are creating a habit that can stay with them and serve them for the rest of their lives.

We want to encourage our children to be healthy and happy, to be courageous in facing their emotions, and to consciously and mindfully manifest good health.

Riverside Recovery believes in the importance of holistic healing and education, mindfulness and mind-body-spirit wellness. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.