What to Tell Your Kids When You Leave for Rehab

In July 23, 2018

What to Tell Your Kids When You Leave for Rehab

Making the decision to go to rehab is the best choice that you can make if you are struggling with an addiction. However, it can be hard to leave your normal life behind for a few months and leave for rehab especially if you have young children. Telling your children about your rehab stay can be complicated for them to understand and you need to put it terms that will let them know that everything will be okay.

Young children might know on some level that something is going on but they may not be able to comprehend the whole situation. Older children may have an idea of what is going on or they may know exactly what it is, depending on their experience of your addiction. The important thing to remember is that no matter what age, children need to be told the truth and they need a chance to discuss and work through their feelings.

Explaining things in simple terms that a young child can understand will be a good way to introduce the idea to them. You can simply tell them that you are sick and need to go away to get help for your problem. You don’t need to use the word addiction as it may be too complicated a concept for them to understand.

Older children may understand the term addiction and so you can be honest with them about your situation. They may even have noticed your addictive behavior and are glad you are getting help. As long as your children know that you are going to get better then it can make the prospect of your going away seem less scary.

When you leave for rehab, it is important to have an intimate talk with all the people closest to you and especially your children.

By Dr. Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor

Primary Therapist