How to Deal with Having a Gay Daughter

When the news comes out that your daughter is gay, the best thing you can do as a parent is to be as supportive as possible. You can’t make it about you and you can’t make them uncomfortable. It took a lot of courage, guts, and strength for them to do what they did. Because of this, you need to stay in their corner, let them know you love them, and that this does not change the way you look at them. You love them just the same. It might be a shocker at first or you might have known all along. However, it is up to them to decide when to come out and on their terms.

As a parent, you cannot judge them, think of them differently, or make them uncomfortable. The key is to listen to them and let them get everything off their chest. Chances are they have been holding this in for a while, but they were waiting for the right time to come out. They have not felt comfortable or at ease about it. When they finally do it, it is up to you to make them feel at ease and like they can talk to you about it. The last thing you want to do is alienate them from you.

Now, with things like this in life, people are going to react in a variety of ways. Not everyone is going to accept it, understand it, or like it. However, as the parent, it is up to you to let them know they are loved unconditionally and nothing is going to change in that regard. If anything, you will love them even more as you will have a better understanding of who they are and what makes them tick. For the time being, it is best to not ask them too many questions or overwhelm them.

When they are ready and they feel comfortable that is when they will tell you what is going on with them, how they feel, and how they came to this conclusion. You have to treat it like business as usual. It is a big milestone, yes, but chances are they do not want a lot of attention surrounding it. They want to keep it as low-key as possible for themselves. Once they feel fully comfortable in their skin, there will be backlash. In the end, it will make them stronger people.

You also have to understand this does not change the fact they are your daughter. If you are old fashioned, you are going to have to get used to the fact that some girls are going to be coming over to date your daughter and they might kiss. You have to know that times are changing and it is important that you adapt and change with them as well. You have to keep a positive attitude, a supportive one, as mentioned, and make this as painless as possible for them, so they can embrace being the best version of themselves.

Being the Mother of a Heroin Addict

Being the mother or father of a heroin addict is probably one of the hardest things to deal with as a parent. This is a drug that changes people and destroys morals. Most of the time you feel as if there is nothing you can do to help your child. It will cause a huge impact on your relationship and turn your world upside down.

The heroin epidemic has no boundaries and stops at nothing to take the lives of those caught in its grips. As an innocent bystander, you will feel that there is nothing you can do but watch your child fall further and further into their addiction. Sometimes it is better to hope that your child ends up in prison than have to see them continue down the road to destruction.

Make sure that you always let your child know that you love them. Nothing that you did as a parent caused them to become addicts and nothing that you can do will save them from this disease. There is no point in beating yourself up about what has happened. Just keep them in your prayers and let them know that you love them unconditionally.

Your child’s rock bottom will likely be in a lower place than you ever want to see your child in. Many addicts lie, cheat, and steal to avoid becoming sick and to continue with their struggle. Overdoses are a nightmare that can hurt everyone around the addict, but they may need even more severe consequences than that to return to a normal life.

Avoid bailing your child out of the trouble that they get into. They must suffer and live with the consequences of their actions if you ever want them to see the truth. They may need to lose a good job, be evicted from their home and become homeless, or destroy their credit to even begin thinking that the drugs are the issue. They need to learn these hard lessons for themselves and face their problems head-on.

Do not give your child money and make sure that they know that you will not condone the choices they are making. Many will even go as far as selling their bodies to keep their drug habit creating a whole new set of problems. If you are helping to pay for their habit and they end up overdosing, you may never forgive yourself.

You should not allow an active addict to borrow your car or jeopardize your health, home, or well-being. There might come a point in your life when you have to tell a son or daughter that they are not allowed to be in your home. As much as you want to protect your child, you need to protect yourself as well.

An addict will cause themselves more pain than you can ever imagine and all the love in the world won’t stop them from making the choices they are making. They can easily lose everything they have and destroy every relationship that they have before they are willing to give up. Always assure them that you love them and always will love them and support them in their addiction recovery. It will be the hardest thing that you will ever have to do as a parent.

Why I Put My Son on ADHD Meds

Sometimes I get judgment from other people about putting my son on ADHD medications, but I don’t regret it. Before he was on medication, he was constantly distracting other children in his class and not doing his work. There is a stigma associated with ADHD medications, but judgment is not helpful.

Ever since John started taking his medication, it has been night and day. He is now able to do his homework and pay attention in class. His grades have improved tremendously. It has been such a positive medication for him. His entire life has gotten better.

ADHD is a real condition. My child needs his medication to be able to pay attention in school and do his work. Something is out of whack in his brain, and it needs to be balanced. He has seen several physicians who have all said the same thing: John has ADHD and he needs to be treated for it.

So putting my son on ADHD medication turned out to be the right move for me. It may not be for you. That is the thing about parenting. Everyone has to do it differently based on what their children need.

To read more of this mother’s story, look for our e-book, Mother in the Mirror, coming soon in fall 2017.

My Son is a Drug Addict

The moment you realize your son is a drug addict is a moment you will never forget. You start to feel guilty. You ask yourself what you did wrong as a mother. This happened to me five years ago when I first started noticing my son, Mark, acting apathetic and withdrawn. And when he went off to college, it got so much worse. He started abusing hydrocodone, and then it lead to oxycodone. He even used heroin a few times. I didn’t know what to do.

I gave him an ultimatum. I told him he had to go to rehab or my father and I would no longer pay for him to go to college. So he did go to rehab, but his heart wasn’t in it. Luckily, they got him off of the drugs, and they put him on Suboxone. I knew that he wasn’t in danger of overdosing after that. But once he left the rehab, months later, he had just transferred his addiction to Suboxone.

It wasn’t until he came to me of his own volition and said “I want to get help” that he was able to affect any real change. He went back to rehab for his Suboxone addiction. They helped him to get completely clean, and then he joined Narcotics Anonymous. This seemed to really help him, and for that, I am forever grateful to the NA program. He got a sponsor, and he started working the steps.

Over time in the program, I noticed he was not acting as selfishly. He was doing kind things for others, he was treating me better, he was even doing volunteer work once a month. If you are mother to an alcoholic or drug addict, it is imperative that you find somewhere where your son or daughter can get treatment. Unfortunately, if your son or daughter wants to get off Suboxone, there aren’t many options.

My journey as a mother has been a difficult one. Luckily, NA saved my son’s life. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

To read more of this mother’s story, look for our e-book, Mother in the Mirror, coming soon in fall 2017.

Having a Non-Verbal Child

I hate it when I tell people my daughter is six years old and they look at me stunned. I hate that I have to just speak for her whenever strangers ask her what her name is. I hate that she can’t tell me what she wants verbally.

When I first realized my daughter was non-verbal, I have to admit that I was upset. I’m a public speaker. How could I have given birth to a child who cannot speak? Sometimes I actually have dreams where she comes to me and tells me something. It’s wonderful. I don’t know what I would do if she actually said to me, “Mom, I love you.” I think my heart might explode.

It’s important to remember when you have a child with special needs that it’s going to feel bad sometimes. It’s going to be frustrating. It’s going to be sad. You’re going to get angry with yourself and feel like a failure. But are you a failure? No, you’re not.

Sheila and I have a system now. She has learned how to sign, and she is able to communicate just as effectively as any other six year old. We enrolled her in a special school. Sure, we have our problems, but overall, she is doing well.

But last night, I realized something important. Having a non-verbal child has taught me how to communicate more effectively. I have to be very conscious of what I am saying. Now that I have learned sign language, I am a lot more aware of the words that I am choosing. Could I have foreseen that I would learn so much from my daughter? No, definitely not. But that is one of the best things about being a mother. There are a ton of surprises.

So if I could go back and have a verbal child, I wouldn’t. I love my daughter just the way she is.

To read more of this mother’s story, look for our e-book, Mother in the Mirror, coming soon in fall 2017.