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Last month I wrote a post about a mom, Linda Lenz, who lost her son to addiction…
What Linda is doing really touched me and I want to share it with you because I really feel if we all pull together we can save lives.
Well, Linda is continuing to get her story out to the world in hopes of helping our kids to be informed and to STAY AWAY from drugs.
Linda’s latest accomplishment was being on Fox News this past Sunday evening!!
Check it out…
Below is a link to a post on Fox News where Linda is interviewed as well as 2 High School athletes who were drawn into the dark world of drug addiction. Please read, it’s really an eye-opener and very informative!
Heroin addiction considered “an epidemic,”and anyone can be impacted, even student athletes written by Tom Pipines.
Linda’s story: A Mom’s Gift To Her Son
Together we CAN make a difference!
Please leave a comment with your thoughts…
Have you noticed in the news that heroin addiction in our country is taking more and more lives every day? There are also so many more deaths that aren’t reported on the news.
Heroin addiction is becoming an epedemic…..
A lot of kids start with using opiate pain medications in school to get high and have no idea what this use could possibly lead them to. Once addicted and taking many of these pills a day a lot of our kids are switching to heroin because it’s less expensive.
Opiate addiction can also happen to you or someone you love just by being legally prescribed opiate pain medications from a dentist or a doctor. Sadly there are many people who become addicted after being over-prescribed opiates for pain.
Of course other types of drug use and experimentation can also lead to heroin addiction too..
While heroin addiction is hard to beat, recovery IS possible!
It’s very important that we as a society and as parents, are aware of what can happen and the danger of thinking “Not My Child”. It’s important to have an understanding of this disease. Awareness and working together is key in the fight against heroin addiction!
Heroin addiction doesn’t discriminate! It CAN happen to anyone’s child, even YOURS. It can even happen to YOU!
Every addict is someone’s child, and many moms of addicts are fighting for their children’s lives.
In an effort to raise awareness of the heroin epidemic in our country that is killing a lot of our children, I want to share with you a loving mom’s efforts to fight against heroin addiction.
Linda Lenz is a mom who lost her son Tony two years ago to heroin, and she is determined to NOT LET HEROIN WIN as a gift to her precious son.
You can read Linda’s story here: Why I Will Never Let Heroin Win!
Here’s the link to Linda’s website: Stop Heroin Now
Also please check out and “like” Linda’s facebook page: Stop Heroin WI
Join Linda and thousands of others in the fight against heroin addiction! Don’t let heroin win!
How do you feel about the fight against drugs?
Also check out Do They Know?
“Do they know?”
Moms of addicts often wonder if the rest of the world knows what it’s REALLY like to have an addicted child…
Have you ever thought about how it feels to be the mom of an addict?
Have you ever thought to yourself “Wow, that must be so hard for her!”
Have you ever “put yourself in her shoes” and realized what her life must be like?
Most likely you haven’t.
But I’m sure a lot of you have a friend, family member or co-worker who has child addicted to drugs…
And more than likely you get tired of hearing about the problems and drama that a addict’s mom “complains” about (often on a regular basis).
Maybe you’ve been at work and a co-worker is constantly bringing up her addicted daughter and what she’s done now, such as lying, stealing, in jail, relentlessly calling her while she’s at work.
Are you polite and just seem to listen while you’re really thinking “I wish this woman would stop complaining so much, it’s all day every day and I’m tired of hearing about her problems!”?
Do you gossip with other co-workers about her “problems” and imply that she is to blame?
Or maybe you have a friend who whenever you’re around her all she can talk about is how upset and worried she is about her addicted son.
Maybe you avoid her so you don’t have to listen to her problems? Or you rush her out the door? Or you stop calling her as much and tend to ignore her calls at times?
Maybe it’s a cousin whose child is an addict, and you just think you must have done a better job raising your child than her because your child didn’t become addicted to drugs.
OR your friend might even be quiet about what’s going on with her child and it’s eating her away inside.
Well, I am one of those pesky mom’s! That’s right!
I’M your annoying co-worker, friend or family member!
My child is an addict, and I don’t keep quiet about it because I need my friends and family to care about me and what I go through.
Some moms keep their child’s addiction a secret because of the social stigma regarding addiction, while they silently suffer deep inside.
Us moms of addicts want the rest of the world to understand what it’s like to be US, and what we go through. We need your kindness and support….because it could have been YOUR child.
We don’t want you to FIX our problems, believe me when I tell you that we’ve tried everything under the sun to save our child!
What we DO need is your kindness and understanding.
We don’t need to be judged…how would you feel if you were judged?
Having compassion and empathy for others would make this world a much better place!
If your child were ill I’m sure you would need the support and kindness from friends, family and co-workers. Right?
Have you ever feared for your safety at the hands of your own child? Can you even begin to imagine feeling that way?
Well, a lot of moms have experienced this fear, and some have suffered actual physical assaults by their child. And yes….some have even been killed by their own child. I’m sure you’ve seen things like this in the news before, felt bad about it for a minute, then didn’t think twice about it as you went on about your day.
I personally have never been attacked violently (not physically anyway) by my daughter, but when she lived with me I DID keep my bedroom door locked at night. Because quite simply she could be very scary, and there were threats made by her at times. I sure wasn’t going to take any chances!
Can you imagine raising a grandchild or grandchildren? Addiction is the #1 reason so many of us grandparents have had to start all over again raising kids.
Do you know what it feels like to also be worrying every single day, and the fear that your child, your baby that you raised, could DIE from an overdose at any moment?
It hurts – A LOT!
Do they know how it feels to not want your own child in your home?
Do they know how helpless we feel that we can’t make things “all better” for our child?
Hopefully you’ll develop a more loving and compassionate view of what we go through and how strong we really are.
We are moms who love our children very much, just like you love yours. It kills us inside to see our children taken over by drugs.
So if you are a mom who doesn’t have an addicted child, then count your lucky stars….
And always remember…
It could’ve been YOUR child.
Part One and Part Two are written by me, a mom of an addict and are based on my feelings and experiences. There will be more to come…
Click the following link to read Part One: “Do They Know? Part One“
Please feel free to leave a comment or even your own “Do they know?”…
Are you missing out on precious life moments because of THIS?
Yup, all of our “techy” toys seem to be taking over our lives and the lives of our children.
Most of you probably own some kind of smart phone, some type of computer or tablet, a video gaming system, mp3 player, ipod etc…
Where are the kids?
Even YOUNG children know how to use all of this “techy” stuff, and a lot of VERY young children have tablets and gaming systems of their own. Kids are now starting to play Play station or Xbox when they’re 3 and 4 years old. Really?
What happened to playing outside?
Kids used to play at the park. They used to run and laugh and roll down grassy hills with their little friends. Now they’re on their very own tablets playing games!
Parents allow small children to play games on their cell phones, then complain that their child broke their phone? Of course they did, you let them play with it, kids drop things, and this is a surprise?
I have always kept my cell phone out of my grandson’s reach, he knows he’s not allowed to touch it. It’s our only phone and I sure can’t afford to replace it!
Now for us ADULTS…
Everywhere I go I see adults on their cell phones. Someone’s either texting, talking or playing games. In a restaurant everyone’s checking their phones. At a birthday party we’re texting someone…or making a call.
When we’re home we’re doing all kinds of things at once, surfing the web while texting and talking, while our kids are playing games on one of many different “techy” things.
A scary thing that I’ve noticed is that a lot of parents are so busy on their cell phones that even when they are home or take their kids to a park to play they are not even watching their kids!
For our family and friend’s birthdays a lot of us send texts or post on Facebook. Same with holiday wishes.
No more sending cards or having a conversation with the people we care about….not even on a special day…
That’s so SAD!
Of course not EVERYONE is doing this.
Sure, I have a few friends and family members who don’t have a lot of technical toys, some don’t even have cell phones…. They send cards and they call. Wow, what a concept!
I find this to be especially sad….
I’ve recently seen and heard stories that there are parents out there that take pictures of them and their child(ren) and post on Facebook as if they’re actually playing with or spending time with them. But all they really did was post a photo and a status (if you think about it, if you are actually spending time with your child(ren) at that time then how would you have time to post a bunch of photos and a status? Aren’t you busy playing with your child?)
That’s a REAL life story that I’ve seen happen.
I’m not referring to anyone who posts photos AFTER activities with their kids. I LOVE seeing the pics after your home and post them!
I have to admit that I am guilty of some of the above. I used to love talking to my loved one in person or on the phone, but not so much anymore. A lot of people I know would rather text so I guess I’m getting used to it, but my fingers start hurting when I have to type an actual conversation. That’s just way too much typing!
It’s like no one answers their phones very often anymore (yes, another one I’m guilty of).
It makes you wonder how the heck we ever survived without all of our electronic gadgets…but we DID survive, and we had FUN!
Aren’t the people who are important in our lives worth a visit or a phone call? A real conversation? It should really be a priority to spend time with our loved ones.
That’s how memories are made.
Texting and posting on Face book is NOT living in the moment and creating a great memory. You need to take the time to enjoy and savor the special moments!
I’m so thankful that my grandson prefers playing with friends and the outdoors rather than sitting in front of video games all day. He LOVES being active!
“Look UP”, not DOWN!
It’s very sad though that our relationships with our family and friends are suffering because we are never “looking up”.
Most of us seem to be looking down – at whatever “techy” thing we are playing with at the time.
Check out this video – it’s so very true! We are missing so much!
Beginning now I’m going to start changing from ‘looking down” to “looking up”. I don’t want to miss out on all of the precious moments and memories.
I actually went outside today to play with my grandson and didn’t bring my cell phone out with me, and I survived without it! It was a great feeling to be “in the moment”.
How about you? Let us know what you think!
I’m always open to any good advice about raising kids, especially if it’s helpful enough to make me and my grandson’s lives happier.
All of the yelling, reminding and nagging…the stress of it all can really get to ALL parents at times.
Besides, if you’re a grandparent like me and raising your grandchild(ren), I think you’ll agree that we could use all the help we can get! Yes, we’ve raised children before, but it IS a little different nowadays, so it doesn’t hurt to be up to speed with things.
So what is Positive Parenting Solutions? It’s a parent education course that shows you different ways to handle situations and behaviors involving your children (and others!).
These small changes you make in your approach leads to a happier, healthier, less stressful outcome for both you and your child.
This course cover all ages from toddlers to teens – a HUGE plus!
What will this training cost you?
Positive Parenting Solutions offers a Free Quick Start Guide which includes parent education, as well as free webinars, and an awesome newsletter.
There is no obligation and no credit card required to receive the Free Quick Start Guide!
There are also 3 levels of paid Parent Education Courses…
GOLD level pricing is $29.95/month or a $299.00 one time payment. This is for lifetime course access and also includes coaching calls, forum, and mp3 course recordings.
SILVER level pricing is $24.95/month or a $249.00 one time payment. This is for lifetime course access.
BRONZE level pricing is $19.99/month or $199.00 one time payment, and is good for 1 year of course access.
The creator of this parent education program, Amy McCready, was featured on the Today Show, and in my opinion is extremely knowledgeable.
Keep reading to see WHY I’m convinced!
Does this REALLY help?
Well, I went through some of the parent education courses and actually learned a lot. But of course what I learned had to pass the “ultimate” test – trying it out on my grandson! Best way to find out if it’s something that works, right?
What I learned was to substitute the word “if” with the word “when“. For example, “When you are finished your homework then you can play your video game”, instead of saying “If you finish your homework you can play your video game”.
So what’s the difference? Well, when you use the word IF then what you’ve said sounds more like a bribe than if you use the word WHEN. If you re-read the sentences above you’ll actually see the difference!
Why does this matter? Well if you’re clear in what you say, and say it calmly then walk away (yes, I learned that too!), then your child knows that they have to complete what you’ve asked them to do before they can do what they want to do.
If they don’t do what you told them they need to do first then they don’t get to do the activity they REALLY wanted to do. (Warning: You HAVE to follow through on this to see results!)
This simple word switch actually prevents a possible power struggle (which ultimately leads to all that yelling, nagging stuff we’re trying to STOP doing!).
Did this work when I tried it out?
Amazingly enough it DID!
The downside to this is that it doesn’t work in every situation (yes, I started saying “When you do this or that” then there was nothing that made sense to come after that…I probably sounded ridiculous!lol).
The good thing is that you’ll be able to learn about other “tools” available to you for other situations you’ll encounter over your years of parenting.
Will you mess up and forget to use “when” instead of “if“? Yes you will, constantly! It takes practice but I can honestly say just that one little thing made a big difference (and avoided a bunch of bickering I’m sure!).
Should you try this? Well, it sure won’t hurt, and you’ll be very surprised how much it’ll help!
To access the Free Quick Start Guide and also receive a really great newsletter, which I also found very helpful just click here.
I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did! Please let me know what you think and if the tips work for you too!
Are you a yeller? I hate to admit it, but I’m a yeller. Not all the time, but enough that it bothers me. Many of us are “yellers” whether we’re younger or older parents. As far as raising grandchildren maybe we tend to lose patience more easily as we get older?
I know for sure I had more patience and yelled at the kids a lot less when I was younger. Now I struggle with having patience and not yelling. Does this sound like you?
Well, I decided I didn’t WANT to be a “yeller” anymore. If you are raising your granchild(ren), or any child for that matter, and tend to yell then you really need to find ways to stop. Yelling causes everyone, adults and children, a lot of unnecessary pain and hurt.
No one feels good while they are yelling or when they’re being yelled at. Yelling is harmful to children, it scares them!
Think about it. Wouldn’t you find it scary if someone so much bigger than you was screaming at you? Definitely scary stuff to a child.
I know that I certainly don’t like being yelled at, so if I don’t like being treated that way then what gives me the right to treat my child that way?
You’re the adult and you are responsible for managing your emotions, and it’s up to you to teach your child how to manage theirs.
Kids learn what they know from US. If you’re constantly screaming at them they’ll learn to scream at you. If you show them empathy,they’ll learn empathy. And so on….
Why do we yell?
Well, maybe you’ve had a bad day and everything is just getting to you? For me, if I’m under a lot of pressure and feeling stressed I tend to yell more. Or maybe your child isn’t being a good listener at the moment or doing as they’re told? And the list goes on and on…
Maybe we should stop to consider that children also can have a “bad day” just like us, or something could be bothering them, or they could just be testing the limits as children tend to do?
I know that when I end up yelling it’s not something that I’m doing to deliberately hurt my grandchild, it’s a reaction I’m having.
Of course you don’t want to walk around feeling angry and yelling, so it’s not something you do on purpose, it just kind of happens. Maybe it even becomes a bit of a habit?
Whatever our reasons might be, screaming just isn’t a healthy way to handle things. Children have feelings too and we need to show them that we respect their feelings.
How is yelling harmful to children?
As I mentioned above, children become afraid when you’re yelling and screaming at them. If you yell often enough they’re likely stop listening to you until you start yelling. It’s sad that they’ve come to expect that behavior from you and being yelled at it what they’re used to.
Your child is also more likely to back away from you emotionally and develop a defiant attitude as they get older.
Another problem that can develop is that your child might more easily cave into peer pressure. None of us wants that to happen!
Do YOU feel secure and valued if you’re screamed at a lot by someone you love?
As parents or grandparents raising children we need to be more aware of the effects of yelling at our kids. It’s up to us to provide a stable, loving environment where our child isn’t afraid to come to us and feels loved for him or herself.
So how do we break the “yelling” cycle? Here are some ideas that work..
Give yourself an “Adult” time-out! This actually works wonders! Just remove yourself and go into another room, sit down, take some deep breaths. Scream into a pillow, cry, whatever it takes!
When you feel you’re ready to deal with the situation without yelling then you can come out and have a conversation with your child or grandchild, without “losing it”.
If a child is very young then you could put him/her in the crib or ask another adult (if possible) if they could just sit with the child for a short period of time until you’re calm.
I just practiced this one tonight. My grandson gets so overly excited and a little on the wild side when he has a friend sleeping over.
It seems that anything I’m saying to him is being totally ignored. If I’m telling him not to do something you can bet that the next minute he’s doing what I said not to do.
So….I went to my bedroom for an “adult” time-out. It was only a very short time out, but it worked! When I came back from my time-out I talked with my grandson calmly and things were fine after that.
If you are in the middle of yelling just STOP, take a deep breath and remove yourself until you are calmer. (See “Adult” time-out above!).
Understand your child/grandchild. If children feel understood it is easier for them to learn to manage their emotions, and their behavior.
So how about asking them what they’re thinking or why they think they might be behaving a certain way?
Maybe it’s just been a bad day or they’re feeling like they need more attention, or a friend hurt their feelings, etc.
We need to set an example for them. We need to acknowledge their feelings, and show understanding. If you’re concentrating on communicating with your child you’ll be surprised at how quickly the urge to yell passes.
Listening goes a long way. Listening helps you to understand what’s really going on with your child. This is one of the best things you can do instead of yelling. You’ll never know what’s going on with your child if you don’t take the time and dig deeper to find out.
Your child could be needing more of your attention, or could be really sorry for accidentally breaking something or for whatever reason you were yelling about.
You won’t know unless you listen!
Admit you are wrong. If you do lose your temper and scream and yell make it a point to apologize to your child or grandchild. Tell him/her that you shouldn’t have screamed and that you’re very sorry.
Let your child know that you’re working on stopping this behavior. Saying “I’m sorry” shows a child that you are willing to admit when you are wrong and and also that you really mean what you say about taking steps to change.
This is a very important life lesson for them!
This DOESN’T mean that children should “get away” with bad behavior. You still need to follow through with consequences for their actions if the situation warrants it.
The point is you can do this in a calmer way.
Also, don’t expect to just totally stop yelling instantly. The whole process will be very hard and challenging!
You WILL mess up a lot, but as long as you keep trying it WILL get easier and easier.
You’ll start seeing a huge difference in your child and you’ll both be so much happier! So don’t be too hard on yourself if you catch yourself yelling sometimes, just say “I’m sorry I yelled”, and keep trying to stop!
I want to set a good example for my grandson, and I’m sure you all want to do the same for your children!
Do you have any tips for us on how to stop yelling so much? If you do please share them with us!
Drug Addict Thinking
There are many grandparents who are raising their grandchild(ren) these days, and the number one reason for this is drug addiction. If you are the parent of a drug addict (or alcoholic, yes, alcohol IS a drug!), then you are most likely familiar with the “roller coaster” of emotions we all experience as a result of the drug addict thinking.
When our child first starts using drugs our first instinct is usually that we want to “save” our child from this horrible path. I felt that way when my daughter started, kind of like “Supermom to the rescue!”.
It’s very difficult to finally realize that your child is an addict, I know that MY heart was broken into a million pieces. It was and is so hard to see my “baby girl” struggling with addiction. After years of trying to help my daughter, I was left feeling helpless since I was unable to “fix” her. If I had the power to fix another person’s life, then my daughter would have been “fixed” a long time ago. Can you relate to this?
Although we can’t change the way our addicted child(ren) perceive things while on drugs/alcohol, there ARE ways we can cope and at least get ourselves off of THEIR roller coaster.
The Addicts Way of Thinking
As I’m sure you’ve experienced, a drug addict’s thinking is enough to make you crazy! It feels as if suddenly all of the addict’s logic and reason have flown out the window! All kinds of drama starts going on in our child’s life, and nothing we say makes any sense at all to him/her anymore. Oh, and let’s not forget the part where all of this “drama” seems to spill over into OUR lives and causes us tons of stress.
Isn’t it just so frustrating when you are saying logical things to your child and they look at you like you have lost your mind? Then you wonder “Where is my REAL child? What happened to his/her mind? Who is this selfish person with no conscious? Why does my son/daughter not understand that what they are doing is wrong?” etc… It’s almost like an alien from another planet took over the mind and body of your child, and you feel like screaming “Get out of my child NOW!!!!”).
So what causes this to happen? From what I learned at the billions (well, maybe not “billions”, just feels that way!) of “orientations” I’ve had to attend at a very long list of drug rehabs, the drugs can cause a chemical imbalance in the drug user’s brain. Although their are many people in the world who can drink and use drugs socially without becoming addicted there are also many who end up addicted beyond all reason.
Once this happens the only thing they care about is their drug(s). So if that’s all they care about eventually this will all start interfering with their home life, work life and relationships. Not to mention the totally illogical way of thinking that eventually occurs, and the affects that this will all have on you and your grandchild(ren).
I’m not going to pretend that all of this makes complete sense to me, because a lot of it doesn’t. While I can understand the addiction part, I just could never wrap my brain around the part where that line is crossed and the addict loses everything and cares about nothing but the drug(s). I guess it’s one of those things that you can;t completely grasp unless it’s happened to you.
So What Can You Do to Get off of this Crazy Roller Coaster?
Realize it’s okay to say “NO” to your child! This can be difficult because addict’s are great manipulators and tend to lay on the guilt trip. Your child knows deep down inside that you love him/her,which makes it much easier for them to push your buttons to get you to (hopefully) do what they want.
Do not give your addicted child money… And be aware that your child will not take kindly to this. Try not to take whatever words the addict may throw at you personally. Always remember that this not your “real” child, and it is the drugs talking.
Even if you don’t think they spend the money on drugs that is EXACTLY what they are doing with it. I sure don’t want to be responsible with providing my child with money so she can do something that is hurtful to her and slowly killing her. It took me way to long to stop doing this! I always wanted to believe if I helped that things would change.
Do not provide bail money. I have never provided money to bail my daughter out of jail, and asked others not to. I always felt relieved when she was in jail because she was actually safer and I knew where she was.
I understand how you could feel bad that your child is in jail and want to believe any promises they make while begging you to bail them out. Most of the time they have no intention of following up on their promise to get help if you bail them out. It’s important that our child take responsibility for their own actions brought on by their behavior.
Don’t lie or cover things up to protect them. As a parent you have a natural instinct to protect your child. But lying for them will not help them, it actually hurts them in the end and enables them to keep on the same path. So if you’re child asks you to lie about anything for them…say NO. They need to handle their own situations themselves.
Don’t let the drama affect you. Dramatic calls and situations from our child will happen often. If they want something from you and you say no then you’re likely to hear all kinds of mean and hateful things coming from their mouths. Or they could be calling because they want to complain about others or how no one cares about them. Or it could be millions of other things, including manipulation tactics.
Ways to deal with the drama..One way I have learned to deal with these calls is to simply say “I’m sorry but I am not willing to stay on the phone and be treated badly. I love you, goodbye”, “I’m sorry you are felling so angry, but I need to go, I don’t allow drama in my life anymore.” This has been a very hard one for me, but I am much better at it now, and life is much more peaceful this way. Hanging up the phone is OKAY!
The whole point is to not have drama, get drawn into an argument, or be caused STRESS. If you have to unplug the phone or even temporarily block their number then do it. You are not the addict and it’s not your drama, so let the addict own their own drama.
Don’t completely cut the addict out of your life. This does not mean to accept unacceptable behavior. You have every right to not allow an abusive, manipulative person in your home. Your addict may have also stolen from you in the past, so you do need to take precautions.
Unless you have been attacked or threatened it could be a good idea to keep the lines of communication open. How is this possible when everything is so crazy? Well, there was something I read years ago that has always stuck with me….”As long as the addict knows there is someone out there who loves him/her then there is always hope”.
Since I read that I have always made sure that my daughter knows I love her. Even if I am in the process of hanging up on her I will say “I love you” before disconnecting.
If you need to get a restraining order or call the police….then DO it. If you and/or your grandchild(ren) have been threatened or have endured abusive behavior at the hands of your child then you need to protect yourself and your precious grandchild(ren) at all costs.
Understanding How to Help Ourselves Live Calmer Lives
It is very important to take care of yourself emotionally and physically. A support group (including understanding friends and family) is essential because it helps you keep your perspective and helps you to stay strong.
Exercise and nutrition are important too. You need to be able to provide your grandchild(ren) with a stable home environment, and keep the stress as low as possible. Try your best to promote peace in your life and your grandchild’s.
Being the parent of an addict and raising your child’s children is a lot to take on for grandparents. I am sure you all worry about your daughter or son as much as I worry about mine. It’s so hard isn’t it? We raise our babies and want the best for them. For now the best we can do for them is to give their children a chance at happiness and a good life.
Other than that, there is NOTHING we can do to help the addict unless he/she wants to be helped. I have come to this conclusion regarding addiction and it’s helped me to stop lecturing and trying to fix my daughter:
“We make as much sense to our addicted child(ren) as they do to us”
If you give in to your addicted child please do not beat yourself up about it, it happens! This all takes practice and we don’t always know what to do. Go easy on yourself!
I would love to hear from you as always, and your suggestions and comments are always welcome. We’re here to help each other!