Why parents choose to walk away from drug addicted kids as a last resort

CapeTalk's Redi Tlhabi speaks to Clinical Psychologist Khosi Jiyane about how parents resort to cutting off all ties with children whose drug addiction is unmanageable. Some children even become a physical threat to their family, and parents feel they have no choice.

According to Jiyane, there is no one standard answer to the question of whether to let go of your children or not. She says each case should be considered in its own merit.

Disowning a child is never a choice but more of a final resort having hopefully tried everything, says Jiyane.

Parenting is a life long responsibility and there is no resignation option once you opt into it

Khosi jiyane, Clinical psychologist

Parenting is one of the most aspirational and optimistic human endeavours

Khosi jiyane, Clinical psychologist

Ultimately it can get you to a point of realisation acknowledgement as a parent that this child comes through me but they are not me and they are not of me, they have their own journey and destiny

Khosi jiyane, Clinical psychologist

Parents have the responsibility to provide support that helps children to develop and be the best they can be

Khosi jiyane, Clinical psychologist

Jiyane says home and external factors influence children's decisions to start using drugs. They may start experimenting with drugs because they are trying to cope with what is happening at home, or be influenced by peer pressure and the challenges of dealing with the outside world.

She says it is about the quality of being able to navigate between yes and no.

Some children do it for the thrill of it and sense of adventure....

Khosi jiyane, Clinical psychologist

Jiyane says that parents should not always blame themselves for the decisions their children make. Understanding exactly why children make the choice to use drugs is very complex, and there are no easy answers.

Sometimes it is not a reflection of you as a parent, yes it might contribute. It also maybe the biological vulnerability that they have inherited genetically from parents

Khosi jiyane, Clinical psychologist
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