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Advice from Ozarks Teen Challenge: How to Stop Enabling

Tips from Ozarks Teen Challenge to Help You Stop Enabling

Is your teen acting suspiciously? If you’re starting to notice signs of addiction, then it’s important not to panic. As a parent, you will need to be able to approach the situation as calm and collected as you can be.

In order to ready yourself to confront the issue, reflect. Have your behaviors also changed? Despite your suspicions of your son’s behavior, have you perhaps been making up excuses for his behavior in your mind?

At Ozarks Teen Challenge, we’ve seen this happen a lot. It’s common for families and people close to addicts to become pulled into the cycle through enabling. As the behaviors of the person struggling with addiction become more erratic and difficult to justify, loved ones may find themselves afraid to confront the issue. Instead, they may excuse the behavior and continue to offer support, even to their own detriment.

If this describes your situation, Ozarks Teen Challenge wants to help you, too. Ozarks Teen Challenge provides literature on our programs for troubled teens for families, too. Today, we offer some tips for addressing and changing enabling behaviors.


Don’t go it alone. If you think you may be enabling a loved one struggling with addiction, talk. Seek the support of peers, people who’ve seen the situation from the outside. Chances are, they’ll have some useful insights into behaviors you were thinking you had been hiding.

Communicate with your loved one, too. Let him know that you recognize how your own behavior has been affected by his. Let him know that you will no longer participate in his habit.

Be Decisive

In many situations, ceasing to enable a person struggling with addiction may leave that person homeless, hungry, or broke. Enablers will have to stand their ground here if they truly want their loved one to receive help.

Be Prepared

If your situation is dire, the person struggling with addiction may try sustaining his addiction by seeking the help of others who might enable him. Left empty-handed, he could resort to further criminal activity to support the habit.

Be Persistent

Removing support for your loved one’s habit will likely strain your relationship. Do not hesitate to remind your troubled teen that you are acting out of love. Be confident that you are doing the right thing.

Ozarks Teen Challenge

Ultimately, your troubled teen may not display the desire or the ability to get better. As his parent, you have a choice. While it is important to recognize if you’re playing a role in his negative behaviors, simply ceasing to reinforce them may not be enough. A program that offers drug treatment could help.

Ozarks Teen Challenge offers troubled teen boys a space to grow in community and faith with others who struggle just like they do. Together with our team of skilled and caring mentors, it becomes possible to break the cycle of addiction. For more information, call Ozarks Teen Challenge today at 417-272-3784.

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