Children

Helping children with addictions

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In this video emotional fitness coach Cynthia Morton talks about the strategies parents can use to help children with addictions.

She says addictions often start in adolescence to deal with anxiety, and being “emotionally available” is the key to helping your children through this tricky stage of life.

“When we are gearing up to become a young man or woman we need to talk to someone who explains the awkwardness, because anxiety is a by-product of adolescence,” Cynthia says.

“We need to be talking to our kids about anxiety, talking to our kids about emotionally medicating. Many people I work with aren’t alcoholics but they use alcohol or the occasional drug to quell anxiety because nobody in their ever taught them how to manage anxiety in their adolescence.

“All anxiety is, is a yellow line of caution saying, ‘Slow it down, you’re new at this’.”

Cynthia recommends

1. Opening a dialogue or discussing your own anxieties with your children and how you cope with them.

2. Start talking to your kids before a crisis or emotional situation occurs.  When they do “go off the rails”, try not to lecture or go into crisis management but find out what’s behind it.

3. Try not to shut down superficial conversations (i.e. about clothes and fashion). Try to use the topic to find out more about what your teenager likes and dislikes.

“If we don’t get support in adolescence, we end up making it up as we go along and by midlife our anxiety has accumulated because we never learnt to sit with it,” Cynthia says.

Cynthia Morton

Cynthia is the bestselling Author, Blogger, Lecturer and Founder of the multi award-winning Emotional Fitness Program. Since 1995 she has helped nearly 30,000 Australians – from the leaders of commerce and industry, indigenous communities, elite athletes and teens - improve their emotional health and well-being. Her extraordinary work has been recognized with an Australian of the Year Award (Qld. Local Hero Category 2005), The Prime Ministers Award of Excellence Award, and The Pride of Australia Medal.

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