I know that throughout my life time as a parent and as a professional I have been part of conversations with adults about how to handle” the talk” with their children. What talk? What comes to mind is the, “where do babies come from” talk…when to begin that talk, what to say, etc. As I have seen stigma paralyze the “talks” that we need to enter in with our children around so much more than where babies come from, I realize that parents and those that are raising grandchildren and extended family members may indeed need some guidance on how to have those conversations. It is important to begin to dialogue with our children about many things including drugs, alcohol, dependence, and addiction. It is also important to note that dialoguing about any of this is not for an isolated incident but is a process that continues over time. The State of Ohio’s Start Talking Campaign offers a great tool to assist us in starting those conversations beginning in early childhood and throughout our children’s developmental years: https://drugfree.org/article/prevention-tips
Another tool, that I have used with adolescents as well as adults in helping to describe the disease of addiction, is this video that is produced by the Drug Free Action Alliance.
Sometimes we need more help in offering support to our children. There are grief groups for children who have lost their loved ones to the disease of addiction and there are mental health agencies that provide counseling to children and their parents and/or guardians. Reach out to the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board in your state or county for a listing of contracted services in your area. Harbor is one of those agencies that offer Mental Health Services to children in the Lucas, Wood and Hamilton County areas.