Therapy Blog for Orem, Spanish Fork & South Jordan

Utah Parenting: How to Support Your Returned Missionary Child

Utah Parenting Advice: How to Support Your Returned Missionary Child

Since we are located in Utah, it’s not unusual for us to hear from people who want parenting advice for their Latter-Day Saint Returned Missionary Children. And if you have a child who is a returned missionary, you might relate to some of the unique challenges missionaries face when they return home. It can be hard to know how to help, especially if your child is strugglingutah parenting since they came back.

Today, you will learn a few ways you can support your returned missionary child. You will also learn how therapy can help both you and your child adjust to these big life changes. 

Confronting the Unknown

As your child prepared for their time as a missionary, they probably had a sense of anticipation and excitement. After all, this is an exciting time for many young adults. You and your child may have been so caught up in the anticipation of their mission that there may not have even been time for you to process how things would go afterward. (Related Article: The Unexpected Road of Trials for an LDS Missionary)

And if you can relate to this experience, you are not alone! Many missionaries return home from an LDS mission and feel lost and overwhelmed by their post-mission life. It can be hard as a parent to know what your child needs during this phase. You might not know how to respond to their challenges. Let’s talk about some ways you can offer mental health support as your child adjusts to their new life post-mission. (Related article: Therapy)

Let Them Grieveutah parenting

One emotion that might surprise you and your child during this adjustment period is a feeling of grief or sadness. You would think that they would be happy and have a sense of accomplishment and closure. However, adjusting to life after the mission is often much more complicated. 

It is not uncommon for a returned missionary to deal with a period of grief for the experiences, feelings, and sense of purpose they had during their mission. Your child is going from a very structured, organized, and planned program to a lot more freedom. And, although that can be a very positive change for your child, it can also leave them with a sense of sadness for the end of their time as a missionary. (Related article: How to Help Your Child Process Big Feelings)

What can you do to help your child grieve the end of their time as a missionary? One of the best things you can do is be open to listening. Ask your child about special experiences they had as a missionary. Look through pictures or organize memorabilia together. Offer them a safe place to process their grief and to get through it together. Remind them that grief is a normal part of life, and they should not be embarrassed by these complicated emotions. 

Exploring a New Frontier

Another struggle your child may face after their mission is a lack of direction or motivation. This is also a common experience for many missionaries! And that makes sense, too. Their mission was full of goals, plans, and a clear pathway for them to follow. Now, upon returning home, everything is available to them. And that can be so overwhelming! How can you help them know they are on the right path? And what can you do to give them confidence to move forward and create new goals? (Related article:utah parenting Maintaining Healthy Relationships with Adult Children)

This is where counseling can help. Therapy is for learning about communication, emotions, and navigating other mental health struggles. But, did you know therapy can also help you problem solve and make big decisions? In therapy, your child can learn how to explore their opportunities with confidence. And a therapist can also help them learn the tools they need to make the many big decisions that are ahead of them.     Find Support for Parents, Too

Additionally, a therapist can help you as a parent. You might struggle to know how and where to support your child as they transition into their post-mission adult life. A therapist can give you the communication skills and tools you need to create and maintain a healthy relationship with your adult child now that they are all grown up. Ready to get started and get the individualized parenting support you need? Find a therapist for you and your child in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork, Utah. 

Written by Lauren Adkins

Utah Therapy


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