A Letter to Parents, From Parents

Dear Parent,

Exhale. That is the best advice I can give you. I know that you feel like you have been holding your breath for days, months, maybe even years. If your kid landed at Foundation House, then he is in the right place. Breathe.

Let go. You think you are in control, but you haven’t been in control for a long time. The sooner you let go the sooner you will start to feel whole again. The pieces of your life will fall into place.

Blind faith. Believe in your child. Believe in the staff. Believe in yourself. Your son needs you to do all of these things. You will need to practice this daily. Fear and anxiety will try to take over, but you can push them away with a little faith.

Live. Your life does not revolve around your son. Do something for yourself that doesn’t require you to think about him. Exercise, hike, write, meditate, join a book club, take a class, etc. Take care of yourself and start living again. The healthier you are in mind, body and spirit, the better you will be able to handle whatever comes your way.

Heal. You are no use to anyone if you don’t start healing. Go to an Al-Anon meeting. Try the Monday phone calls. Go to a family workshop. Seek counseling. Talk to other parents who are in similar situations. Do something. Your son is getting all the help he needs. Are you?

Accept. Accept your son as he is…perfectly imperfect. Aren’t we all? Accept that there is no right answer or quick fix. Each path is determined by the free will of the one walking it. Accept that every time there is failure there is also learning and with that knowledge new paths are created. Accept that time limits don’t exist.

Listen. Talk less. Listen without judgement. When your son is ready, he will want to talk to you about his journey. Really listen. This is no longer about you and want you wanted. This is about him and what he needs. Be present in that moment.

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work, it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. (Unknown) Foundation House is the very definition of peace. Your child will experience real life, but in the center of it all will be his tribe, a band of brothers who will help guide him to a calm heart.

With Gratitude,
A Fellow Parent