Definition of “Enabling”
Merriam-Webster defines an Enabler as:
One who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by helping that individual avoid the consequences of such behavior.
Take this quiz to see if you are enabling your teenager:
- Have I ever “called in sick” for you, even though you could have attended work or school?
- Do I ever make excuses for your behavior?
- Have I ever lied to anyone to cover up for you?
- Have I incurred legal fees as a result of your actions?
- Have I accepted part of the blame for your behavior?
- Do I avoid talking about your behavior out of fear of the response?
- Have I paid bills that you were supposed to have paid?
- Have I ‘loaned’ you money?
- Have I put my values aside in order to “connect” with you?
- Have I given you “one more chance” and then another and another?
- Have I threatened you with negative consequences, but not followed through?
- Have I finished a job or project that you failed to complete yourself?
- Do I find ways to justify your negative behavior?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to consider seeking professional advice about behavior patterns within your family.
This list is provided by Be a part of the Conversation, a community-based organization that addresses the effects of drug and alcohol use, abuse, and addiction in young people and works to build a culture of awareness and support that heightens awareness of the issue. It supports all students in their efforts to develop healthy choices and to reject drugs and alcohol.
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