KuelLife Logo home 1000

How To Support Your Adult Child With Anxiety

adult child with anxiety

Kim Muench, Becoming Me Thought Leader

Help! My 24-year-old son left college after his sophomore year because he was having problems with anxiety.

He never got his degree. He socializes by gaming with online friends, doesn’t work, and no matter what I say he always has an argument or reason why he can’t do what I’ve asked. Even simple things like his laundry. I’m at a loss, I’ve tried everything I can think of to get him to take responsibility for his life.

Supporting your 24-year-old son with anxiety to take responsibility for his future involves a delicate balance of guidance, and empowerment. Anxiety can be a sizeable obstacle to planning and executing goals, but with the right approach, parents can play a crucial role in fostering their son’s independence and self-assurance. 

12 Ways To Help An Adult Child With Anxiety:

“Validate his emotions and actively listen to understand his concerns.”

1. Encourage Open Communication:

Create a safe and non-judgmental space for your son to express his thoughts and feelings about his anxiety and future aspirations. Validate his emotions and actively listen to understand his concerns.

2. Provide Education on Anxiety:

Help your son understand the nature of anxiety, its triggers, and coping mechanisms. Knowledge can empower him to recognize his anxiety symptoms and take proactive steps to manage them effectively. Meet him where he’s at and find a relatable social media account, send him an occasional video you think could help.

3. Promote Self-Awareness:

Encourage your son to reflect on his strengths, weaknesses, values, and interests. Self-awareness can help him identify his passions and goals more clearly, leading to a sense of direction and purpose.

4. Set Realistic Expectations:

Collaboratively set achievable short-term and long-term goals with your son. Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks to prevent overwhelm and boost confidence as he makes progress. Consider finding a mentor for him, an older cousin/uncle, former coach…who would he respect and invest in?

5. Teach Problem-Solving Skills:

Help your adult child with anxiety develop problem-solving skills by brainstorming solutions together for challenges he may encounter. Encourage him to view setbacks as learning opportunities rather than failures.

“Offer guidance and support when needed, but allow him to experience the natural consequences of his actions.”

6. Promote Self-Care:

Emphasize the importance of self-care practices such as regular exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep, and relaxation techniques. Physical well-being can significantly impact mental health and resilience.

7. Model Healthy Coping Mechanisms:

Lead by example by demonstrating healthy ways to cope with stress and uncertainty. Your son is likely to emulate positive behaviors he observes in you. Our kids watch us way more than they listen to us.

8. Encourage Independence:

Gradually encourage your son to take on more responsibilities and make decisions autonomously. Offer guidance and support when needed, but allow him to experience the natural consequences of his actions. Laundry is a great place to start.

9. Provide Access to Resources:

Help your son access professional resources such as therapy, support groups, or self-help books tailored to anxiety management and personal development.

10. Celebrate Achievements:

Acknowledge and celebrate your son’s accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Positive reinforcement can boost his confidence and motivation to continue taking steps toward his future. Don’t go overboard, but do let him know you see his efforts.

“Encourage your son to explore different career paths…”

11. Be Patient and Supportive:

Understand progress may be gradual, and setbacks are normal. Be patient, empathetic, and supportive throughout your son’s journey toward taking responsibility for his future.

12. Encourage Exploration:

Encourage your son to explore different career paths, educational opportunities, hobbies, and interests. Experiencing new things can broaden his perspective and help him discover what truly resonates with him. There are many life coaches for young adults, find 2-3 that seem interesting and send the links to their websites to him to research.

Helping your adult child with anxiety take responsibility for their future involves a multifaceted approach that prioritizes open communication, education, self-awareness, realistic goal-setting, skill development, self-care, independence, access to resources, celebration of achievements, patience, and encouragement of exploration. By offering unwavering support and guidance while empowering him to make his own decisions, you can help your son navigate the challenges of anxiety and confidently embrace his future. I believe in you!

Did you enjoy this article? Become a Kuel Life Member today to support our Community. Sign-up for our Sunday newsletter and get your content delivered straight to your inbox.

Kim Muench Becoming Me

About the Author:

Kim Muench (pronounced minch, like pinch with an “m”) is a Jai (rhymes with buy) Institute for Parenting Certified Conscious Parenting Coach who specializes in working with mothers of adolescents (ages 10+). Knowing moms are the emotional barometer in their families, Kim is passionate about educating, supporting and encouraging her clients to raise their children with intention and guidance rather than fear and control. Kim’s three plus decades parenting five children and years of coaching other parents empowers her to lead her clients into healthier, happier, more functional relationships with compassion and without judgment. 

You can find out more about her mission and services at www.reallifeparentguide.com. She is on Facebook at Real Life Parent Guide, Instagram, and on LinkedIn as well.