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Understanding Family

Every family is unique. You may live with foster parents or with other family members. Family is whoever you live with, get support from, and interact with.

Most of us become more independent while we are still living with our families. Your family has probably taught you a lot about being independent. They may be the ones who spoke up for you at school, with your doctors, on the job, or in the community.

Sometimes parents have a hard time letting you take charge, especially if their opinions are different from yours. They may have trouble allowing you to change your values and take risks that they think may cause you harm. Talk with your parents about your dreams for the future. What are the things that you want to do and what may you need for support? Let them know that you are excited to try new things. The best way to gain your independence is to build their trust in your ability to make good choices and stay safe.

To understand more about yourself, your family, and your independence, you can try some of the activities we listed below. It is important to think about your family history, how the values and culture of your family helped to form the person that you are today, and how that will affect the choices that you make in the future. Share your activities with a family member. Ask them to help you learn more about your history and how other members of your family became independent with support from others.

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Last updated on June 30, 2015

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