November 1, 2016

The consequences of our choices


Every parent dealing with the choices and behaviors of child with an addiction struggles with developing and honoring boundaries.  In reality, most parents struggle with clearly defined boundaries and consequences, in general.  Teaching our children and ourselves this lesson is a critical life skill that the entire family benefits from.

The process for creating healthy boundaries involves three key steps. First, in a moment of rational thought clearly define your rules and expectations for the acceptable behaviors of others. Second, take time to share these expectations and outcomes with those involved. Finally, make and honor your commitment to follow-through on the consequences you have identified and articulated.

Every parent has the authority and the responsibility to teach their children, whether they are using or not, that there are expectations and rules associated with their behaviors and their choices.  Part of teaching these responsibilities requires parents to be willing to assign outcomes for failing to honor these rules and expectations and following through with their declarations.  Otherwise, they become empty threats that effect credibility and respect.

In this podcast, I share my personal thoughts and experiences with my responsibilities as a parent to my children in this area.  It begins with rational thought and planning.  And, it manifests itself in the execution of the commitment.  How others choose to respond to our clearly defined expectations is not our responsibility; it is our responsibility to teach our children the concept of and our commitment to our rules, expectations, and our defined consequences for failing to honor them.


If you are struggling with the addiction of a loved one or child and need someone to talk with, please contact me. I am here to help you better understand the situation and help find a way to maneuver through the chaos and the pain. You can reach me at:

Dave Cooke travels around the country giving inspirational and educational talks to business organizations, support groups, churches, schools and treatment facilities. If you like to invite Dave to speak at your organization, please contact Dave Cooke at:







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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.