Dear Therapist: My adult son is still not independent

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By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Wed 1 Dec 2021, 7:31 PM

My adult son is still not independent. He’s been through a few hardships in his life so I have gone easy on him. I try to handle him with as much love and care. How do I make him more independent without taking strict measures? — Name withheld

Dear Writer, I assume that your son is not employed or has no income of his own, when you say that he “is still not independent”. If that’s the case, then it’s best that you open a dialogue with him on his struggles in obtaining a job offer or maintaining one. You can also work on breaking down steps involved or helping him identify the skills needed. Writing a good CV, presentation, interview or communication are the skills that aid in impressing a recruiter. You may take the help of professionals or a coach or perhaps even a role model who your son looks up to. In the home front, you can assign him responsibilities that will teach him commitment, perseverance and improve problem solving. It can be as simple as paying bills, shopping for groceries and later evolve to more complicated tasks and decisions that involve the family. Regardless of what path you choose to coach him, it is best to involve your adult son. When a parent takes on entire responsibility of an adult offspring, the individual in question may feel resentful, bitter and ‘infantilised’.

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