You’ve no doubt thought of that “what if” moment. When you realize that your child could choose to get involved in illegal activity, and eventually get caught.
No matter what they have done, you can’t help but feel like part of the burden is on you.
As hard as it seems, as a parent, you have to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. Knowing how to handle difficult situations from a place of love and with clear intentions is one of the most valuable lessons you can learn as a parent. It doesn’t mean that you will always get it right – it’s not easy.
When you have an adult child who has entered a troubled place in their life, knowing what to say or do can seem impossible. You can feel like you are driving them away as you try to understand.
The first step is to know you are not alone, here are some things you can do:
Take Time to Learn About the Problem Yourself
You’ve no doubt made a mistake in your life. Whether your child realizes it yet or not, this is theirs. At the beginning of this journey, you’ve got to prepare for the hurdles that are about to come your way and how you might be able to support them.
By learning about the issue at hand, you can educate yourself on what your adult child might be going through and understand their legal position. You can do this by joining support groups for parents to seek comfort in the vulnerability that this process might expose, as well as learning from others in a similar position.
Give Them Space
Everyone deals with pain differently. As a mother, there is an inherent urge to jump in and take control of the situation – this is your child!
Adulthood is tough, and this is a valuable lesson for them. Give them space and check in now and again to see how they are coping. Mothers know how to do comfort, you have years of experience from raising your child. You’ll know when it is appropriate to intervene with time.
Taking time to have space is often comforting. It is also a chance to give you time to process your emotions and seek comfort for yourself.
Be Prepared For the Worst
You can help, hope, and you can pray but sometimes the worst is inevitable.
Having an adult child in prison feels like failure. The isolation and separation that come with this process are heartbreaking. Depending on your individual circumstances, jail calls or set visitation times are a valuable connection that will bring you together.
It’s easy to forget about yourself in this period. The worry is constant and the pain is so overwhelming that you may not even want to think about it. Watching your child go through legal troubles can feel isolating but you are not alone. Choosing to seek help is not a sign of failure. Remember that you can and will get through this.