How Being a Codependent Parent Can Hurt Your Addicted Child

The love that you have for your child is often unparalleled to any other form of love that you have ever experienced. However, when your love takes the form of codependent behavior, you are not only negatively impacting yourself, but your child as well.

Codependency can be extremely dangerous, as it forces reliance on another person rather than on yourself. Many parents who experience codependency do so as a result of their child’s illness or addiction.

Negative Effects of Codependency on Your Child

When your child has a drug or alcohol addiction, you might not know how to give them the life you always dreamed for them. You try to do what your parental instincts tell you to instead.

Oftentimes, however, listening to this instinct can cause you to enable your child’s addiction rather than help them get sober through needed addiction treatment. Some of the many examples of how this codependency can cause negative effects that enable your child’s drug or alcohol addiction include the following:

Codependency is just like an addiction, as you might constantly feel the need to feed your codependent needs with your child by doing things such as giving them money, covering for their mistakes, and standing down in fear of losing them.

Codependency Treatment for You

If you are struggling with codependent behaviors that are enabling your child to continue in their drug or alcohol addiction, then finding codependency treatment for yourself can be an excellent option.

In treatment for codependency, you can learn how to cope with your impulses to please your child, as well as begin working on new ways to show your child love without encouraging their addiction. Once you put an end to your own codependent behaviors, you will be in a better position to help your child getting needed addiction treatment.

Darlene Lancer, LMFT says:

Thank you for this important post. Codependent parenting and enabling can stand in the way of his or her maturity and recovery from addiction. Sometimes, a child receives treatment, but unless parents stop enabling, the child relapses. You may like two articles on this subject on my blog. One on enabling: http://www.whatiscodependency.com/are-you-an-enabler-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/
and one on codependent parenting that lists 7 essentials for good parenting: http://www.whatiscodependency.com/are-you-a-codependent-parent/
Darlene Lancer, MFT

Holli says:

This is an interesting article. My husband is a co-dependent parent but the problem is that he thinks that letting his kid hit rock bottom is “old school” and he keeps enabling this kid. I would think that many co-dependent parents are in a lot of denial and unwilling to get help. It seems like a sickness and my husband is NOT present in my marriage.