Dear Aggie: heavy moments for mom
My stepson has started abusing drugs. Recently his mom found a prescription pain pill in his pocket. She drug tested him, and he came up positive. His biological parents blame other kids and believe his claims that he only took the drugs once. I have some power as stepparent, but what I say during serious matters falls on deaf ears. I’m worried for our family because there could be serious repercussions if things spiral out of control. What can I do?
This situation can be rough for any parent. As a stepparent, you might feel as if your say has less weight with your stepson’s parents. Fortunately for you, the fact that you have been his stepparent for so long means he might be more receptive to you than he would have been otherwise.
You should not stop trying to get through. Though it will be a tough and arduous road, there are a few ways you can help the process move along.
First and foremost, you have to encourage a trust relationship – not only between your stepson and yourself but also among the family as a whole. The key is to achieve the understanding that you are all in it for the benefit of your stepson. If you all have that common goal in mind, you can make the first steps toward making progress.
The next thing to do is to start open and honest dialogue. Without being accusatory, you need to talk with the parents and with your stepson about the problem and why it needs to be addressed with hopes of correcting any problematic behaviors. Remember, though – dialogue includes listening. Someone to listen to him may be just what he needs at this time.
There are various resources you can use to assist this dialogue. Any or all of you can look into seeking counseling, whether from counselors in the Student Wellness Center or from other family therapists. Aside from that, the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network has a variety of materials to help you with whatever you may need in this process – literature, videos, counseling and the like. For more info on the Prevention Network, visit wmpn.org.
Regardless of the route you take, remember one thing: your main goal is to help your son during a tumultuous time in his life. If you work with him and allow for open and honest dialogue, the situation might be that much easier to solve.
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