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Table 1 - Sub-themes

From: Adult children of parents with mental illness: parenting journeys

Sub-themes Categories Main coding from transcripts
Adult children living with parenting worries Worries about children’s emotional health Worries about children developing mental illness.
Hyper-vigilante to child’s emotional health.
Finding the children’s emotions difficult to understand.
Parenting challenges Finding communications with child challenging. Struggling to develop emotional connectivity with child.
Parenting self-doubts Self-doubt and questioning parenting – lacking confidence.
Difficulties ensuring consistency with children.
Have to consciously think about parenting more than others.
Lacking an internal parenting framework and support Lacking a parenting framework and role model.
Lacking guidance in parenting role.
Oppositional parenting Fears of making the same mistakes as own parents.
Using an opposite approach to parenting.
Adult children seeking connectivity with their children and others Wanting better and the best for the children Want success, happiness, community role for children.
Wanting something different for children than own (adult children’s) experiences.
Wanting to be the best parent possible.
Wanting love and connectivity with children Importance of being with family and children.
Being involved with children’s daily lives and enjoying family time.
Want to give children so much love – being loving, respectful, open and developing trust.
Wanting to protect or be protected by children Want to protect children.
Not wanting children to go through the same as adult children.
Wanting to provide space for children to grow Allow children to follow their desires – provide opportunities for them.
Independence is key.
Actively developing resilience in children.