1. Give your child enough freedom.
  • That means encouraging your youngster to become independent as much as possible.
  • Think of giving freedom more like a process, instead of a single event. Give your child enough opportunities to make choices, assign him or her responsibilities, and allow him/her to make mistakes.
  • The process is complicated for most parents, especially parents of youngsters with mental health problems.
  • It is normal to have mixed feelings about your child growing up but it’s crucial to find a healthy way of coping with your fears and worries. Talk to somebody close to you, another parent of a child with mental health issues, support groups, or a psychologist.

2. How can you help your child become more independent?

  • Do not do the tasks, that he/she can do himself/herself. Encourage your child to ask for help only after he/she tried to do it on his/her own and has done everything he/she is able to.
  • Explore what options exist for your youngster to live an independent life or what assistance and support are being offered. The options vary from complete independence or life in a supportive environment. Assign him/her as much responsibility as he/she is able to handle. Don’t treat him/her like a child just because he/she lives with you.
  • Now, since your child is already an adult, you won’t be the only person who will make decisions. Instead of that take the role of a “consultant” – the person who helps the young adult to make good decisions.
  • For many of these youngsters graduating means losing contact with friends. Encourage him/her to continue communicating with them and to look for new friends by visiting various places for that purpose.