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Here Are 7 Tips for Mothers of Adults with Addiction

Here Are 7 Tips for Mothers of Adults with Addiction

Parenting comes with a lot of responsibility. When an adult child struggles with addiction, it can be hard to stand by and witness the challenges facing them. Some choices can influence a child’s future health and decisions but, for the most part, there are many things which contribute to a person becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some helpful tips for mothers of adults with addiction can provide a positive perspective on how to cope with the challenges.

Essential Truths

The first truth mothers should understand is that mistakes get made all the time in parenting. Nobody is perfect. Once a child is grown, there is no do over. A child who is now an adult has within their power the ability to make different choices and let go of blaming others for their problems. Taking responsibility for their actions and behaviors is ‘adulting 101.’ Learn to face your adult child with addiction with these coping strategies firmly in mind:


  • It’s their choice. Bad luck and circumstances notwithstanding, there are always choices to make. One of the most important aspects of an intervention involves understanding that the family has to move towards being healthy by allowing the person to own their stuff and make the final decision to go to recovery on their own.
  • Offer support (with boundaries). Don’t give money knowing it will only provide fuel for the fire. If you feel guilty for not giving money or food, or paying their bills, it is out of fear. Let go of this fear and decide to offer loving support, but with boundaries firmly in place.
  • Offer some help. If your child needs support services, don’t hesitate to offer making calls but know that you cannot help someone who will not help themselves. Unfortunately many parents make this mistake and over help but some help is okay, with boundaries.
  • Offer unconditional love. This may be hard when you have likely been hurt over and over again. Loving a child with addiction does not mean enabling. It means holding them accountable and refusing to give them power to negatively impact the family.
  • Let go of rescue mode. It is not possible to rescue your adult child from addiction. In spite of your many attempts, you are likely going to drive yourself mad trying. Try encouraging autonomy and responsibility over enabling.
  • Protect the family. Not every adult child will hit rock bottom before turning their life around. You shouldn’t have to stick around to find out what that will be like. Your family should not hit rock bottom, too.
  • Love yourself. As a mother, it is very difficult to watch a child suffer. Parents do their best but they are not perfect. Loving yourself in spite of your flaws, and theirs, helps you accept your limitations and keeps you from spiraling downward with your child.


Setting healthy boundaries with an adult child who struggles with addiction is not about giving up on them-quite the opposite. It is about enabling the child in the best way possible: to seek help and heal from addiction. That is the most loving and honoring thing you can offer your child.

The Serenity Recovery Center helps families who struggle with a loved one wrapped up in addiction. If you are ready to seek help for addiction, call us. We will help you find the best place to start so you can help your child heal from addiction. We are available 24/7 at our toll-free number: 844-339-6964. Call now.