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Second, we need to do our own emotional work – grieving the loss of the child we wanted and expected, and learning to accept the child who is actually before us.
In addition to this emotional work, we need to explore more practical themes: 1. What is the line between responsibly encouraging them and stepping back so they can grow into their own skins? What are realistic expectations for them – who might they become, what limitations might continue to exist throughout their lives, and how long will it take to help them get to where they need to go?
Do I need to bring it down a few notches, back off a bit?We feel ourselves running out of patience, out of resources – and even begin to wonder what it means to continue to love this troubled child – or if we really do love them.In our heart of hearts, we know we will continue to love our children no matter what happens, to support them no matter what it takes.But in the face of these overwhelming challenges, how do we find the path that will help them heal and learn the requisite skills of adult life?We must begin by looking not at our children, but by looking inward.