What Happens to My Children While I’m in Sober Living?

children and sober lvingOne of the most difficult things for parents in recovery is being away from their children during the treatment process. Too often, parents return home earlier than they should in order to be with their kids, only to find that cutting short their focused recovery time decreased their ability to avoid relapse.

Ultimately, the more solid that parents are in their recovery and the more comfortable they feel living a life without drugs and alcohol, the more their children will benefit. Every day spent getting the treatment and support necessary to remain clean and sober is a benefit to the children involved.

Can My Children Live With Me in Sober Living?

Most often, the answer is “no.” Sober living homes are usually adult places and not appropriate for children. Residents are over the age of 18 unless it is a teen-specific establishment. Very adult issues and problems can take place in the sober living home at any given time, which means that it is not a stable living situation for children.

However, children are more than welcome to visit on family days or for special events. Accommodations are made to protect their welfare and “sanitize” the environment for their purposes in these situations. Residents who have children are invited to have them in the house during all open visitation hours, as appropriate to their specific situation.

Can My Kids Stay Overnight, a Few Days or During School Breaks?

Generally, no. A sober living home is a functional recovery estate that is not designed to be an appropriate environment for children for overnight stays or for days at a time. The goal of sober living is to help parents to progress effectively on their path to stability in recovery so they may more quickly return home to provide for their children.

Why Can’t My Children Stay?

The focus should always remain on the continued recovery and progress of the parent and that almost always means allowing the children to remain under the care of another family member. The more directed the intensity in recovery and the pursuits of rebuilding a functional life, the better able the patient is to provide a stable home for their children. Often, parents spend time in sober living directly increasing their parenting abilities by:

  • Finding a safe place to live for them and their kids
  • Finding a job to support their children
  • Taking parenting classes
  • Addressing legal custodial issues in order to spend more time with their children

Parenting in Recovery

There are a great number of risks facing children of addicts and alcoholics, and parents are tasked not only with the monumental task of overcoming addiction but with learning how to continually provide positive emotional and physical support to growing children – both equally difficult in their own right. Children of addicts are at greater risk of:

  • Falling behind academically
  • Experiencing behavioral issues in school, at home and in the community
  • Developing a drug abuse problem or addiction of their own
  • Overdosing on their parents’ stash of drugs or maintenance medications

Parents in Recovery

Just as in an emergency airplane landing, adults are advised to place the air mask on themselves before helping others, parents in recovery are encouraged to focus on gaining a strong foothold in sobriety prior to turning their attentions to the needs of others, including their children. Learn more about how sober living can improve the quality of life for everyone in your family when you contact us at the phone number listed above.

Further Reading About What Happens to My Children While I’m in Sober Living?