It can be hard to know how to celebrate Father’s Day with your father when you know his normal routine was about having a cold one just like he did every week. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 25% of American kids grow up in households where substance abuse is present. It is important to use this day to celebrate your father’s accomplishments and find sober activities to do with him that will make this day memorable.
When you have a parent who is struggling with substance abuse, you feel like the roles of parenting are reversed. Instead of your dad taking care of you, you have to take of him so that you can still have a father in your life. This can mean taking over the household chores and responsibilities, making sure to call 911 when your father passes out, or financially covering up for him. Because your father may be having bursts of aggressive which causes you to worry, this could mean that you are having trouble studying and getting your schoolwork done. You could be experiencing low self-esteem because of the mean things your father may have said to you while under the influence. There is also a greater risk that you may want to experiment with drugs or alcohol because they see that their father, who is supposed to be a role model, is engaging in it with no consequences.
One of the best gifts that you could give to your father for Father’s Day is your forgiveness towards him. Once you do your own research about what addiction is, you will see that addiction is a brain disease. It may have been your father’s choice to experiment with drugs or alcohol, but it was not his choice to suffer from addiction. Know that all of the bad things that he has done or said is not his fault as addiction makes your number one priority be to acquiring ways to get your next fix. It has nothing to do with you. Remember that he chose the path of recovery. Being there for his family may have been what played a big role in choosing treatment. Whether your father comes back home or he is still in rehab for Father’s Day, give him your attention and let him know that you forgive him. That you know this will be a tough journey for the both of you, but you are willing to start fresh with him and be on this journey with him. It will mean a lot to him knowing that Father’s Day will be a new day for both of you.
There are only so many ties and mugs that your father probably already has. Instead of spending all of your time shopping for the perfect present for your dad during his sobriety, make him a gift of your own. You can make your father an engraved medal that congratulations him for passing a certain stage in his recovery. You can draw him a picture of the favorite memory of the two of you together that he can bring with him to rehab. When your father keeps looking at this picture that you made for him, it will further motivate him to get better so that he can be there for you. You can also make him a mixed CD of the songs that will bring him back to the fun times you two had together as another motivator to get better.
Another thing you can do is write your father a heartfelt letter that he can read whenever he is thinking of you or something to make him feel better during any bad days. This letter can be about the progress you see in your father as he is in recovery. You can remind him about what he was like when he was under the influence compared to how much better he is now. Pride him for his accomplishments and let him know how proud you are of him. This will give him confidence in his recovery going forward. You can also include in your letter a thank you to your father for choosing towards the path of recovery. Your father will be able to bring this letter everywhere with him. Every time he reads this letter, he will know that he has a support system when it is time for him to come home. These positive words that you wrote to him will be a powerful tool to get him through anything.
Father’s Day should be about having fun with no alcohol to be found anywhere. You can barbeque with your dad by grilling your favorite meats like chicken, steak, veggies, etc. The two of you can also go to the beach together whether it means getting a tan by the sand or swimming in the tranquil, blue ocean. You can also plan a camping trip where you can go kayaking, fishing, hiking, etc. Going bowling can also be fun as you both congratulate each other on the number of pins you knock down just like you congratulate your dad for all of his successes. By focusing on having fun with your father, you will make him very happy on Father’s Day.
Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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