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Love for your child is an unconditional feeling that is often unparalleled to any form of love that you have experienced.

But, when your love takes on the form of co-dependency, you are not only negatively impacting your life, but are negatively impacting your addicted child’s life as well.

Codependency can be an extremely dangerous way to live because you begin to rely on someone else, someone who isn’t stable.

Andy Bhatti, Professional Canadian Interventionist, says it’s important for a co-dependent caregiver or parent to realize they need help.

“If they’re co-dependent on an addict, the addict is not going to push to get better. They will use this co-dependency to their advantage. A co-dependent needs help themselves before they can help an addict.”

The Negative Effects of Codependency  

Your child has a drug or alcohol problem and you’re trying to figure out how to give them the life you always dreamed for them. You listen to your parental instinct of what you should be doing for your loved one, but sometimes, those instincts are enabling your child’s addiction instead of helping them become sober.

Here are some examples of how this codependency can cause major negative effects on your child’s addiction.

Enabling behaviour

Codependency can be so hidden that you don’t think you are dependent on your child. Let us break it down for you, co-dependency happens when you are controlled by the addict’s addictive behaviour. You have learned to believe that love, acceptance, security, and approval are needed when taking care of an addict in the way the addicted wishes.

You begin to enable the addict when you encourage the addict to continue using drugs or alcohol, either directly or indirectly. There are many ways you encourage an addict to continue their addiction without even realizing it.

Whether you know it or not, your addicted child can see that they can play mind games with you because you’ve fallen into this co-dependency trap. This excessive caregiving behaviour tends to foster even more dependency.

Close-up of psychiatrist keeping her hands together while listening to her patient

Financial assistance

One of the most common methods of codependency is providing money to your child. You probably think that by giving your child money, they’re most likely to use this to feed themselves and not steal or engage in dangerous activities that they could make a profit from. But, in the end, if you give your addicted child money, they are going to use that to feed their addiction, not their stomach.

When you give your child money, you are telling them that their addiction is acceptable to you. This pushes them even further away from getting help.

Making Excuses

While your child is under the influence they’re going to make life-altering mistakes. If you try and make an excuse and try to cover for your child’s behaviour, you are preventing them from getting help.

It’s important for your addicted child to reap the negative consequences of their actions. This will teach them that when they use, they have to suffer their personal side effects.

When you’re co-dependent on them and when you hide their mistakes, they’re never going to see those side effects.

Codependency Treatment for You

Codependency is just like an addiction, as you may feel the need to feed your co-dependent needs with your child by giving them money, hiding their mistakes and standing down in the fear that you may lose them.

When you figure out that you’re codependent on an addict, you need to get yourself help. Andy Bhatti helps parents and caregivers of addicts move on from being codependent with the help of family counseling.

Once you put an end to your own codependent behaviours, you will be in a better position to help your addicted loved one.

To learn more about how codependency treatment can help you, contact Andy Bhatti today.