How To Raise Your Children Properly While Dealing With Your Mental Illness
Mental health issues are a very sensitive subject that is spoken in hushes even today. Although people shy about discussing it, there are more and more people that are battling mental illness and depression today than ever. However, with time, this is gradually changing. Mental health problems can affect anybody, no matter what their age, gender, health situation, income or culture. But it can be treated with the right amount of care from the loved ones and a professional to guide you through it.
When you mix mental health with parenting, you encounter new problems and situations that are hard to handle. But remember, it is not impossible, and in this article, we try to clear it up for everyone.
No parent is perfect and there are no hard and fast rules on parenting because every child is different, and needs a different parenting approach. Parenting isn’t easy for anyone, so you might as well imagine how tough the battle is for a parent struggling with mental illness. That being said parenting is an immensely rearing experience. If you or someone you know is a parent battling mental health problems, just remind yourself or them that parenting comes with an ebb and flow and that nobody expects it to be easy.
The Impact of Mental Illness on Parenting
Mental illness can be of different types and it’s effects on the patients unique too, so it is obvious that the effect of this on children are also varied and unpredictable. There is no doubt that the children of mental illness patients will indeed be raised in an environment that is conducive, in terms of psychosocial, biological and environmental conditions.
Mental illness will affect a parent’s behavior, and it may lead to the child taking on more responsibility and having less time to be a child or to engage in schoolwork. A parent with a mental illness can be unreasonable anxious about the child’s minor activities too like them engaging in sports or playing with friends. If you’re a parent of a small child, who needs all your attention and play-time, this might be more difficult for you as you might be struggling with low energy levels. That could be either directly from mental illness, or as a side effect of the medications used to control the condition.
Mental Health, Parenting, and Society
Of course, people will always have an opinion about you, whether you have a mental illness or not. As a parent, you face a lot of judgment and criticism and is just a lot more if you are a parent with mental illness. The key is not to allow these things to get to you. It can be very hard to control your emotions but having a supportive family member or friend that understands your situation can be of great help. It is these people who constantly remind you how strong you are and how you have nothing to prove to anyone and their words go a long way in helping you keep a cool head on your shoulders.
How To Cope
Children need to understand that they are not responsible for their parents’ emotional instability or mood swings or an outburst or whatever else it may be. They need to know that they are also free to move forward and move on. This is where the help from extended family and close friends does come into play to help the child, especially during the younger phases of development, to secure this knowledge.
Do not make mental illness a taboo subject in the household. Parents with mental illness should feel free to discuss their mental health with older children and children must feel free to express their thoughts and emotions in a safe environment. This is communication and it is very healthy for both the parent and the child and can foster a much better relationship.
There are also online communities and workshops that you could join that can address your concerns from a professional perspective or perhaps even from the perspective of someone with first-hand experience. Making friends with people who are in similar situations can help greatly in coping as you feel that you are not alone in your struggle.
At the end of the day, the truth is that raising a child is definitely possible even if you do have a mental illness, and this struggle is also made significantly easier if you have an understanding of a supportive spouse who can help you. Nothing is impossible and no matter how high a mountain may seem to climb, you can most certainly overcome anything one step at a time!
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