Bi-Polar Questions That Will Bring Out The Information You Need Setting Boundaries With Your Difficult Adult Child Who Has A Mental Illness

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Setting Boundaries With Your Difficult Adult Child Who Has A Mental Illness

Are you wondering how to set boundaries with your difficult adult child with mental illness? It is difficult to have adult children who make bad choices that cause problems in their lives and in the lives of their parents; it is even more difficult to have adult children with mental disorders contributing to the choices. If our children have eating disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, OCD or any other mental illness, this can cause additional complications and we may be inclined to “help” too much. Here are four questions to answer that will let you know if you are helping too much. Answering these will give you guidance on setting boundaries.

Need your help? There are times when “helping” prevents your child from taking responsibility and growing into what he “should” be doing. There are also times when “help” is absolutely necessary. You must weigh the positive versus negative benefits of entry. You also need to consider what your child cannot do for himself because of mental illness. This is an important decision and must consider all aspects and you may have to accept less than perfect behavior and/or do more than you would if your child were mentally healthy.

Is your helping hand inspiring? All of your “helping” should encourage your adult child to do better and become more independent. It should be so uncontrollable that it takes away the incentive for your adult child to try or that it sends the message that he is incapable of managing his own life. Helping someone help themselves is the goal. We all learn best when we are in control of our choices and directly experience their consequences.

Is your help healthy? You care about your child and feel responsible for him especially because he is “sick;” but, do you care about yourself? It is critical that you do. What do you need? What do you want? How do you feel? What is good for you? Are you able to talk to or see your child? Would you mind helping? Is it good for you to have your child live in your home? Is it good to let you go? Because of your legitimate concerns, you are too focused on your child and what your child needs. This is natural, but it must be transferred. You may be tired of saving your child. You provide emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially, physically, and relationally. Now is the time to take care of yourself too, because you can’t lose yourself to save your child and lose both of you.

Is your help working? The definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Think about all the things you’ve done over and over that didn’t work. It is good to have hope but it must be based on reality. If some things don’t work at all, try something else. You should analyze the effects of the things you do by looking at how they affect your child. Do a cost vs. benefit analysis and decide if each item is working and if something else could be done better. Your expectations can also be more reasonable to align with what is possible.

Mental illness makes your situation more complicated and obviously needs to be taken into account. When setting boundaries with your difficult adult child with mental illness, answer these four questions so your boundaries work well for both of you.

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