Even your best efforts as a parent may not be enough to keep some young people out of trouble. After all, they have the power to choose their own path in life. While your relationship with your child might have been wounded because of their personal choices, your support could be exactly what they need to get back on their feet. Here are three tips for how to help your child after their release from prison.
Help Them Create a Plan
One of the biggest deterrents to rehabilitation after incarceration is a lack of vision. To successfully navigate this life everyone needs to be able to envision a successful and happy future. Without a vision to ground you, it is far too easy to let yourself be guided by every whim.
Your child might be an adult, but they still need you to help them see their potential and create a plan to get there. Remind them of their talents and skills. Reawaken the passions of their better self. Help them know that all is not lost. They can still lead a meaningful, successful, happy, and productive life.
Give Them Additional Attention
As much as your child needs your help and support right now, it might not be enough to solidify their reform. Many troubled teens benefit greatly from professional mentorship programs.
Trained mentors might be able to reach your child in ways that you can’t right now. While these programs can be costly, the potential benefits are worth every penny. Spending on mentorship for teens can help prevent future criminal justice spending.
Hold Them Accountable
Parents of troubled kids are typically willing to do whatever it takes to save their children. While this mindset is highly commendable, it can also create an unhealthy codependency between you and your child. Your child needs to be held accountable for their actions and given the space to prove to you and themselves that they can make better choices. Make sure that your child knows that, while they have your unconditional love and support, you won’t provide them with a cushion to protect them from their choices. They need to face the consequences of their actions to be able to learn from their mistakes.
You know better than anyone the immense potential of your incarcerated child. Helping them reach that potential requires the very best from you and other community resources. Finding that balance between support, love, space, and accountability is key.
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