The Drug Class Blog

Sep 24

Divorce and Kids


One of the interesting things in my world is that people contact me and ask if they can help.

I have been working with Rosanne for a few months and she has contributed many very good things to Drug Class. 

I am blessed.  Thank you Roseanne!

Divorce As An Early Trauma Can Contribute To Adolescent Drug Use

With my divorce from ex-husband being finalized it lead me to reflect, as I have so often during this process, on how our divorce is affecting my children. Divorce is often a fundamental trauma that can later lead to addiction in early adolescence  and this is something that no parent wants for their child.


I have done my best in attempting to offset any trauma that may be caused by the divorce but doing so can prove problematic if both parents are not on the same page as to how to go about doing this. In fact, my main goal in all of the proceeding has been to try to help my children process their father and mine’s separation and soften the blow as much as possible.


Most children on some level believe that their parent’s divorce is their fault. Regardless of how many times we tell them that it has nothing to do with them, they find this very difficult to believe and often times they carry around guilt that is not theirs to own because of this.


One psychologist offers an explanation for this common occurrence, in saying that just telling our children that the divorce is not their fault is not enough, because they watch our actions after this initial conversation to see if it is true. If you sit your children down and tell them that none of this is their fault and then go out the next day and argue with your soon to be ex about who will do what for the kids, like bringing them to practice or school, you child could internalize this as the fighting is about them, the divorce is about the fighting, so therefore the divorce is about them.


This means that in order to offset the feeling of guilt that many children of divorce feel, we as parents have to try our best to not give them any reason to suspect that the divorce is about them. Guilt is a very powerful emotion and one that not many kids can adequately deal with. Constantly feeling guilt over thoughts that you may have broken up your family is enough to drive any child to experimentation with drugs


As it has been shown in numerous studies, children of divorce are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol than children whose parents are married. With that in mind, it is important to take this into account when moving past your divorce and rebuilding your life with you children a new.


Divorce is incredibly confusing to children and often times we as parents cannot necessarily help them untangle the emotions involved. We are too close to the situation and whether we admit it or not have a vested interest in the outcome. Getting professional help from a therapist, one that your children can see on their own and with you is a great way in helping to deal with this confusion.

This is something that I am currently doing with my children and it really seems to be helping. Things between my ex and myself are not great right now and there is a lot going on, so having an outside influence on the situation can hopefully bring some clarity to my kids that neither I nor my ex can offer.


Being in recovery myself I can also offer some personal experience to my children as to the dangers of drug addiction. I am not naive enough to believe that my words alone will keep them away from drugs, but I believe having a parent who has dealt with addiction and came out the other side is a good way to help broach the subject.


Many times drugs are not something that we really discuss with our children. In schools, there is a lack of education about drug usage and the only message is don’t use them. As parents, we can sometimes follow suit and only offer that same advice. But by doing this we don’t offer our children the ability to have a dialogue and doing so we cut off any real chance to be helpful in this situation.


My children are still young so I don’t go into great detail about my substance abuse history, but what I am doing is trying to have an open dialogue with them where they feel comfortable sharing things with me. If the time comes when drugs tempt them, they will hopefully feel safe sharing this with me.


Having this type of open dialogue I also feel is important for my children because it allows them to express themselves in this confusing time they currently find themselves in. Many kids shut down and don’t talk about what is going on with them, but by having a nonjudgmental space in which they can tell me anything; they hopefully won’t bottle their emotions up inside.


Dealing with divorce is difficult for everyone in the family. It is difficult on the parents because the life they started the build, the one they believed would last forever has come to an end. It is difficult for the children because they are now torn between two homes. They are not sure where to put their allegiances and they blame themselves for what happened.


As a parent myself I am aware of what this can mean for my children and I am doing everything I can to help offset this. I try to be open with them and in return allow them to be open with me. I have gotten them professional help in order to deal with their emotions and confusion, and when the time comes I will let them know about my own experiences with drug addiction, in the hopes that I can save them the pain and hurt that marred many years of my own life.



Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.


You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram


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