I grew up in an alcoholic home. I am incredibly grateful that my family found recovery, but it was not until my adolescence and it came at a great price, my parents’ divorce.
Adult Children of Alcoholics Battle Cry: It Will Never Happen To Me
The battle cry of every child of an alcoholic is a firm commitment to not let “it” happen to us. We are passionate about doing better as parents and yet, 80% of us become alcoholics ourselves, marry an alcoholic or other compulsive personality, which includes choosing partners with mental health illness.
I am a recovering alcoholic with 19 years of sobriety. I’m grateful that my drinking career was relatively short, allowing my recovery to bring the consciousness to grow and change more rapidly with my daughters. But, I did not have the model for HOW to change.
Like many of you, I set out to learn all I could about the communication dynamics in an alcoholic home and mitigate the damage and trauma. I wanted my daughters to be as free of our generational baggage as possible.
I even got an undergraduate degree in substance abuse counseling and a Masters in Sociology specializing in communication dynamics; however, applying all that theory to real life proved to be quite a challenge. Moving away from the dysfunction of my family of origin and embracing recovery principles, did NOT mean that I had the awakening to my own spirit and emotions. My spiritual and emotional awakening has been of the educational variety and it took decades. And it’s not over. Its not a fixed mark but a state of being and a process of discovery.
The Path to Recovery
Alcoholic families unconsciously operate according to three rules as outlined by the pioneer in adult children of alcoholics’ work, Janet Woititz, 1.) Don’t talk, 2.) Don’t trust, 3.) Don’t feel. In this way, we perpetuate denial of the problem and keep the family secret.
Recovery means getting in touch with our feelings (sometimes it feels as if our feelings are thawing out) and then we share them in loving trust. In other words, 1) We Talk. 2.) We Trust. 3.) We Feel.
I became aware early in my parenting and recovery journey that I was re-parenting myself while I was raising my daughters. When they hit a new developmental stage, I found I had the opportunity to resolve what I had learned in my family of origin.
Recovery Paved the Way to Conscious Parenting
When my daughters were moody or withdrew, I remembered how that was shut down in my family of origin. I wanted to welcome their feelings in an emotionally safe environment. I was triggered by their retreat, but I worked on self-soothing, then creating an emotionally safe environment. I wanted them to feel their feelings and share them. I wasn’t always successful, but I was able to share my learning curve with them, apologize when necessary and continue to grow.
The 12 Steps for Parents in Recovery Awakens Conscious Parenting
The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous not only helped me with my own recovery from alcoholism and co-dependency, but it also helped me make the conscious shift. I sought to break generational patterns in real and practical ways.
For me, the guidance and spiritual awakening which is THE result of the steps became my conscious awakening also. Applying the 12 steps to my parenting helped me practice boundaries, communicate with integrity and ultimately BE loving and tolerant.
In the conscious parenting movement, many of us are re-parenting ourselves as we raise our children. We identify our triggers, often leading to inner child work, we identify enmeshments and become capable of taking personal responsibility for our own thoughts, actions and feelings. We practice boundaries which in turn, helps our children take full responsibility for their thoughts, actions and feelings.
My clients often identify with the dysfunction rules of not talking, trusting or feeling. They also seek a recovery pathway to awaken emotionally and spiritually. Identifying co-dependent behavior, drawing new boundaries through emotional presence and clear communication begins their journey to wholeness.
That’s why I have adapted the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous for the conscious parenting journey for parents of teens, The 12 Steps for Conscious Recovering Parents of Teens.
If you are ready to do a deep dive into the conscious recovery journey, I would love to work with you. Visit and schedule a Journey to Freedom Call.
You can also join our NEW Facebook Group, Parenting with New Freedom: Talk & Tribe for Conscious Recovering Parents to support the alignment of conscious growth with recovery principles.
It’s 2020 and everyone is talking about transformation. You are overwhelmed and maybe a little scared. You have a tween, teen or launching young adult!
- Perhaps you are tired of walking on eggshells around your tween, teen or launching young adult?
- Maybe it’s the disrespectful communication from your teen or teen drama, that triggers you?
- Or are you secretly afraid your child won’t make it as an adult?
I felt all of this and more until I awakened to a new mindset and practiced respectful communication skills. The more I tried to control my two young daughters when they first entered their tween years, the more friction and distance their was between us. When I learned to share vulnerably from my heart with them, they drew closer to me and sought my counsel and support naturally.
I learned to listen so my teen daughters would open up and I learned how to share my heart in an authentic way that made them want to listen to me.
In fact, those former triggers I had about sassiness and teen drama, became the things we used to connect deeply. I learned how to read the “disrespect” I perceived as their own fear, and we got to the root of it, together. I learned when to engage and when to let go. We grew closer as a result. I was able to support their launch into young adulthood.
It wasn’t always easy and it was sometimes messy. There was a divorce and family illness in the mix and the time I spent as a single parenthood was tough. But today we have honest, mutually respectful relationships. Even as young adults they seek my advice.
I want to support your parenting journey and offer you the mindset and skills that I learned to you, to help you grow the close relationship you long for with your child at every step of their development and I want to support you to learn how to grow your own rich relationship with yourself so you are ready when they launch to enjoy all life has to offer.
What is Relationship Coaching for Parents and Tweens, Teens or Launching Young Adults?
Coaching sessions occur online at a time convenient to you. You learn how apply the communication skills I teach to not only support your teen’s growth but grow ways to become your most authentic self.
I am passionate about helping parents and teens co-create the relationships they truly long to build together. That’s why I became a parent coach to help families (even those in difficult times of transition) to cultivate a more peaceful home by communicating heart to heart. The approach is called conscious co-creation. It focuses on growing the awareness and skills that parents and teens need to jointly build the relationship that work for both. I can help you get Back on Track with your tween or teen.
Recently, I’ve been helping teens launch to college or their next stage of life also. It includes making adjustments to college life.
What issues do you deal with?
Parent and Teen Relationship Coaching: I help establish respectful communication and overcome communication barriers and breakdown.
For Parents: I help parents in conflict, navigating divorce, co-parenting, single parenthood and how to embrace and enjoy your empty nests.
For Tweens, Teens and Young Adults: I help with parent problems, homework hassles, digital dangers, dating and substance abuse. I am also a chemical dependency counselor. I have even helped teens deal with the pressures of college life or a new job.
How Can I Help You?
I offer individual or group coaching packages. I have also written a book with sample conversations of conscious communication and exercises at the end of each chapter, titled How to Raise Respectful Parents: Better Communication for Teen and Parent Relationships
What can I expect?
No blame, just support, skills building and a few suggestions for a complicated world! I offer a free Back on Track Assessment Call. If we are a match, you can enter private coaching or online group coaching.
Contact me at 956-250-3689 or email, Laura@LauraLReagan.com. If time is of the essence, consider my course, Tune Into Your Teen by Tuning Into Yourself. You can find it in The Family Alchemists University.
What are other parents saying?
Laura has helped me tremendously as a parent coach! My teen son and I were estranged following difficulties with his father. And the counselor we were going to, was unable to coach me to be able to reach my teen, beyond the fences and hurt walls that he’d placed between us. Laura stepped in and with great kindness, understanding and wisdom, was able to get me to change my entire approach to parenting my teen son. Our relationship underwent a radical change as I started implementing her suggestions and advice, and he and I are now affectionate with each other, communicating about big and small matters, without any blocks, and building trust again, thanks to Laura’s knowledge and coaching, she has so professionally, kindly and generously shared with me. -Priya B., mother of teen son
Laura was a Godsend to me. With all I learned, I feel a sense of calm empowerment for the first time in YEARS! I even feel a sense of calm about my teens’ future. Before, I felt my life was flooded in chaos, but she helped me practice positive communication skills that conveyed my heart. I always looked forward to our next session. I highly recommend her! -Linda E., mother of twin teen daughters