Can They Tie Their Shoes?

Today I had a discussion with someone who had to make some tough decisions about a relative this past weekend.

When we are faced with a loved one that is either harming themselves or others, what is the correct response?

If the person is doing drugs or abusing alcohol, many times people will think, “I’ll just have them stay with me. At least then I will know where they are!”

OR…”I know they are hungry, so what’s wrong with giving them some money?”

OR…”I can’t report them for the crime(s) they have done. What kind of mother, father, sister, brother, does that to a loved one?”

I believe we should not enable those who are suffering with an addiction.

We should NOT do for them those things they can do for themselves.


Someone once described enabling to me as the following:

If they were a 2 year old it would make sense to tie their shoes, but if they were old enough and physically capable of tying their own shoes, we should not do it for them.

By tying their shoes for them, they will never learn how to do so on their own.

No matter how hard it is to watch…they may trip on that shoelace, their shoe may fall off…please dear friend help them by showing them the way, guiding them…but then allowing them to find their recovery.

I look forward to your comments.

Agree? Disagree?

Blessings, Susan

4 thoughts on “Can They Tie Their Shoes?

  1. Lynn Ross

    Hi Susan! You bring joy and guidance with your posts. Thank you for being my blessed friend.
    I, too, made a difficult decision for my daughter which will take place in two days!


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