Substance abuse challenges affect millions of families across the nation. Therefore, if your family has been affected by addiction to alcohol and/or drugs, you are certainly not alone. If you’re in recovery, you have hopefully been reminded again and again that you’re not alone and that it is possible to achieve a happy, stable and healthy future for yourself and your family alike.
If your substance abuse challenges initially affected your ability to parent your kids in the ways you would have liked to – and as often as you would have liked to – you may be interested in assuming greater responsibility over your parent-child relationship now that you are clean and/or sober. That’s a wonderful goal. You’ll just need to be thoughtful as you approach the issue in the weeks and months to come.
Are you ready to reliably assume more responsibility?
If you are very new to the recovery process, you may be understandably eager to become a greater presence in your child’s life. However, you’ll want to keep their needs at the forefront of your mind as you’re making decisions. If your recovery is very new, you and your child may benefit from you achieving a few big sobriety milestones before you commit to being present in new ways.
Stability and reliability are big developmental needs for kids. If you’re not sure that you’re ready to commit to your child in this way, it is more than okay to take some more time until you’re healthy enough and ready enough to be a present parent forever.
Is your co-parent willing to modify your parenting plan?
If your child’s other parent agrees that you’re ready to spend more time with your child and is willing to modify your parenting time arrangement, you’ll simply need to work with an attorney to formalize these adjustments.
If you are truly ready to be more involved with your child consistently but your co-parent isn’t agreeable to a modification, you may benefit from seeking legal guidance to fight for your rights in court.