How to explain a parent's drug use to children

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How to explain a parent's drug use to children

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The way I helped my 4 and 5 year old understand their dad's drug use, when he went into rehabilitation, we announced it as a special journey. And I basically said to them while daddy is away, he is going to be getting stronger and healthier so that when he returns we get good quality time with him. And while he was away for 30 days, he let them know, he did talk to them directly and say I will be away for 30 days. They don't know what 30 days look like and so we did have a calender to explain to them you know, he would return at this particular time and date. And when he returned you know, we spent time together, good quality time together. The moments that they missed him we would pray for him and that would be our way of giving him a special hug. And I just embraced them whenever they needed a warm embrace. And usually when I attended to their need and addressed it directly, they were fine. And they got through and they were excited to see their dad when he returned.

View Maria Elena Cruz's video on How to explain a parent's drug use to children...

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Maria Elena Cruz

Mom & Art Curator

Maria Elena Cruz is an active artist and curator, and the mother of two children, aged five and seven. She has taught art for 15 years, and believes that art can help children’s development and ease them through difficult times of transition – something she has experience with firsthand. During the day she teaches at Optimist High and in the evening she teaches watercolor, mixed media art, and figure drawing at UCLA. Maria also directs a project called, “The Pulse,” where she invites the community to paint to the rhythm of drums. Maria also recently began a nonprofit, Dial Art that serves communities in multiple ways through art. Her children are happily involved in most of her art programs. Her son, Clarence, age seven, has been learning to play the trumpet for two years and is involved with the science academy. Her daughter, Amara, age five, is involved with gymnastics and the science academy.

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