People saw a busy kid who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and not the sweet, sensitive and insecure boy he is …

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Our son is the oldest and has two siblings a younger brother and a younger sister. He has “the biggest heart” of our three children at home but is often misunderstood. Since his young age, he could not sit still and therefore received many comments everywhere he went.

Because he is very intelligent, all the tasks were completed in no time at school. Instead of praising him for it, he sometimes had to wait quietly in a corner for 45 minutes and keep himself busy. Difficult for a 7 year old with ADHD. He changed schools and skipped a year but this turned out to be a temporary solution. People saw a busy kid who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and not the sweet, sensitive and insecure boy he is. He always has been fascinated by video games and electronics.

In every sport he tried, he was a top performer. That gave him a lot of confidence. Unfortunately, that positivity fell away at the age of 14 when he developed health issues that prevented him from exercising for a year. His attention then turned entirely to online gaming and that is how he eventually came into contact with online gambling. It didn’t stop with online gambling but he also gambled with friends. As a result, he started borrowing and eventually stealing at home to pay his debts. Years of discussion, arguing and miscommunication frustrated everyone, including him.

At the age of 18 he went to Yes We Can. That was a total turning point for him and for us as parents. It teaches us that we can get out of it as a family if we communicate (in the right way). But now, we try to take our own responsibility for what happens within the family. It’s not just one person who is an addict, it’s also our reactions that facilitates the addiction. It continues to be a challenge for all of us. Although we as parents believe in him and see his possibilities, he needs to regain the self-confidence to believe he can succeed what he undertakes. We are extremely grateful that other parents took the initiative to start We Thrive. The meetings help us to reflect on what is dear to us, how we should continue to question ourselves and our actions and that we are not alone in difficult times.

If you are reading this, you probably also are looking for help. Let me tell you: you are not alone.

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