We tend to think that Peace is something that will magically appear in our world or that it will somehow come, if and when others finally do what we want them to do. We forget that EACH OF US is directly responsible for CHOOSING PEACE – and that the only way to do that is to actually behave in peaceful ways toward ourselves and others. Here are three simple (but not necessarily easy!) ways to Choose Peace this Christmas with your adult children who have a Substance Use Disorder:

1. Do not engage in arguments or debates about anything related to addiction and their lifestyle. This will backfire every time and be a complete waste of your time.

2. Do not tell your adult children (or anyone else for that matter) that they need to change. Remember, this does not help to motivate them and will only cause more pain and suffering. Besides, we do not and cannot know what any other adult “needs.” It’s difficult enough to see what we need for ourselves sometimes. And we want to send the message that it’s all up to them.

3. Accept and love them for exactly who they are right now. This doesn’t mean removing boundaries that are healthy for you. This means being kind and demonstrating the belief that they always have the ability to create the lives they want for themselves — and that you will be fine and love them no matter what they choose.

Need more support? Join the Facebook group for Parents: a wonderful, supportive community where I have monthly Live Q & A’s to empower parents facing this issue.