They recognize that a great deal of responsibility comes with bringing a child into this world and typically believe that every choice they make from the moment of conception onwards is going to play a role in how their child turns out. For the most part, they may be right. Consuming alcohol, using drugs and some medications, eating nutritiously, among others, can all influence the health of an unborn child. However, as of the moment of conception, some unique personality characteristics and physiological potentials are already pretty much fixed, regardless of pre- and post-birth parenting choices that are made.
If you are the mother or father of an adult child who is not making the choices that are necessary for a sound future, this can be a heavier burden than any of the earlier ones you carried. When your child was young and misbehaved, you probably knew how to discipline your child. And they may hope, often in vain, that the money goes to the stated purpose rather than buying their child more trouble.
Two Essential Truths Okay, the first truth is that we all make mistakes as parents. Yes, it is true — good parents are not perfect parents. All of us could do a better job, in some way, than we do. But once a child is grown, you cannot have a re-do or an undo.
The second truth is that once a child is an adult, they have all the power they need in their lives to make smart decisions. And as a corollary, adult children have no right, whatsoever, to blame their parents for decisions they are making today.
A wonderful perk of adulthood is that adults get to take responsibility for themselves and make their own decisions! And most behaviors are choices — sobriety or stupidity? Building up or tearing down? Seven Suggestions for Coping 1. Remind your child that it was their choices, not yours, that placed them in the circumstances that currently surround them. Interventions can be effective when you let your child know that their bad behavior affects everyone in the family and in his or her social and professional constellations, as well.
One of the most important aspects of an intervention is that it is one of the family's steps towards health -- it is a sign that a family is moving into the recovery process. Offer assistance and support only to the degree that you are financially able and that will move your child towards a better life. However, if you feel guilty for not giving your child money for food, because you are fearful it would only be spent for illegal drugs, buy her a bag of groceries instead of giving her cash.
You cannot help someone who does not want to help themselves. Honestly, you cannot, as much as you would like to be able to do so. It simply does not work that way. But remember that loving your child does not mean enabling your child. It means holding him accountable for his behavior and refusing to allow him the power to dismantle the family.
Protect yourself and the rest of your family. No longer is "rock bottom" seen as a necessary starting point for changing an addict's life; your family does not need to hit "rock bottom" before getting stronger, either. Parents truly do the best they can, but should not hold themselves accountable for the poor choices of their adult children.
Once you become a parent, that role has no end point. However, the responsibilities of that role definitely shift over time as a child matures. They lessen, not expand. Loving yourself and accepting your limits will keep you from spiraling down as a result of your child's choices.
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