Should I Give My Recovering Daughter Space or Ask to Help?

Avoiding temptation is an essential part of the recovery process. Addiction is a disorder that makes stopping chronic use almost impossible. Whether the addiction is from drugs, alcohol, or both, keeping those out of hindsight or making them difficult to obtain should be a top priority.

You have created a safe environment for your daughter and have settled into a normal routine as much as possible. Although, your daughter still appears a little withdrawn. No matter what age your child is, the chance of relapse is always on your mind. Trying not to overstep your boundaries, and push your daughter away, you ask, “should I give my recovering daughter space or ask to help?”.

There are pros and cons to each scenario and the choice is dependent on your daughter’s behaviors. Knowing your daughter’s reactions beforehand will help you to decide which action to take. There are several steps in creating a positive recovery.
• Listen
• Patience
• Non-judgmental
• Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
• Safe Environment


If your daughter is the shy type, getting her to discuss her true feelings and past experiences may not be an easy task. If you start by sharing some of your experiences, you may find that your daughter will be more reluctant to speak of hers. When your daughter decides to confide in you, let her speak. Do not interrupt her. Good eye contact with her is key. She may be sharing details of her experiences that you do not agree with. For most recovering addicts, it is difficult to speak of their addiction, so sympathize with her and be a good listener. Confiding in you is a big step forward.


Wanting to know how your daughter started her addiction is normal for most parents. Drilling her is not the answer. Neither is asking so many questions. Understand that addicts can and will make mistakes along the way. Step back and let your daughter confide in you when she is ready. Be supportive and let her know that you are there whenever she needs you.


The last thing a recovering addict wants to hear is criticism. Most addicts fear that they are being judged by family and friends. Learn to give praise to your daughter for staying sober and reaching milestones in recovery. Let your daughter know how much she is loved.


Good nutrition and exercise are key on the road to sobriety. Cooking and walking are activities that can be done with the family. Engaging in drug-free activities with the family is setting a good example for continues success. This allows the addict to feel more involved with her family without being judged and ridiculed. Continuing to form a tight bond will give your daughter a sense of security.


You cannot keep your daughter prisoner at home but, you can attempt to make sure the places she goes are drug and alcohol free. Talk with family and friends about avoiding places that are a temptation. For example, places that serve alcohol, or places that trigger past negative experiences. If your daughter wants to visit a friend or a relative, speak with them beforehand and let them know the expectations before your daughter arrives.


Asking to help your daughter may make her feel intimidated and that you have noticed her mistakes. This may lead to inadequacy and fear of relapse. Your daughter is seeking appraisal and needs to feel that you support her regardless of any mistakes. Encouraging your daughter in the right direction and participating in positive activities with her will benefit you both.

If you are engaging in providing the necessary tools that it takes for your daughter to be on a positive road to sobriety, then giving her space will allow her to feel trusted again. Your daughter needs to learn a new lifestyle, engage in activities, and have a strong support system in place.

Allowing your daughter to continue in a recovery program will also aide in her healing. If your daughter is ready to take the necessary steps to be on the road to recovery, speak to one of our counselors today at 772-266-5320.

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