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Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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my son has just commited a serious crime while stupidly drunk.

Resolved Question:

my son has just commited a serious crime while stupidly drunk. No one was injured although it was very serious and he may be facing jail time, how can I support him while not condoning the behaviour. He realises he did wrong, and is shocked at himself, but how can I help him when I want to yell and scream at him
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mina replied 5 years ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us.


I am sorry to hear about your son's troubles. I can imagine that this has affected the whole family and how you must be feeling, disappointed and angry with him. You say that he knows that he did wrong and he probably feels very guilty. Looking this for that angle, telling him off will not add anything to his understanding of the situation or his behavior. You probably feel like shouting at him as you feel that he has disappointed you as you would not expect to see your son in this situation. In other words, you may feel that his actions/behavior reflect on your parenting or skills and generally your role as a parent and this could be one of the reasons you feel disappointed. If you tried however, to see beyond that, you could try and see what led to this behavior. Was it because he may have a drinking problem?and what could have led him to develop a drinking problem? Could this behavior give you a very important message; such as that he needs more support and help to deal with some issues? I can't possibly know what were the circumstances or what has contributed to that, but I do know that now is the time for you to be calm and be the person that he can count on. He now needs a lot of understanding and empathy and this crisis in both your lives could help or damage your relationship with him depending on how he deals with it. He obviously needs to take responsibility of his actions and you need to help him accept this. If it is decided that he needs to do jail time, do not try to "rescue" him from that, but be there for him and offer him unconditional support. Listen to him, ask him how he feels because obviously he must be feeling very scared as well. Remember that it is him that is mostly affected in this and he needs all the emotional support he can get. Avoid criticizing him and accept that he has made a mistake. If he can rectify this, that would be great. If he cannot, then you will need to help him accept the re precautions of his actions. It would be best to show him that obviously you disprove of his behavior but this does not make you love him less. Besides, this is the meaning of the unconditional love.


If you feel that he is struggling with guilt or anything else, it might be beneficial to suggest to him to seek professional help and engage with a counselor or therapist. Also, if you feel that you need help to deal with this you can also seek counseling for your self and increase your coping ways.


Please feel free to share any feedback on these thoughts.


All the best



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