This Is How You Should Talk To Your Kids About Mental Health
Most parents find it weird talking to their kids about their mental health issues. They prefer not to disclose anything and believe in hiding behind the stigma. Instead of being upfront and honest, they shy away from what has been going on in their lives all the while. The parents often overlook the fact that they do have a moral obligation towards their children and keeping their kids in the loop is of absolute importance. Talking to your kids about your mental health issues is the first thing that should be on your mind. How to do that? Read on to learn more.
Inform Your Kids
As soon as kids come of age and start realizing that their mom and dad are quite different from other moms and dads, it’s the appropriate time you need to sit down with them and have a detailed discussion. If they fail to understand the issue, it’s absolutely normal. A new day comes with a new opportunity for more education. Choose a time when your family can sit down and have a frank discussion regarding mental health. This would be an apt platform for your kids to discuss and ask questions freely. The whole affair should be candid and informal. When you and your family come together at the end of the day, let your little one know what you have been doing throughout the day or whether you need any support from them.
Talk About The Medicines You Are Taking
This opinion might not be popular with many, but kids should be well-informed about what kind of medications their parents are taking. Medicines that are taken for depression can have a particular set of side-effects, while medications for psychosis and anxiety will most likely also have a different set of side-effects. It’s important for your child/children to know that taking medicines for your mental illness is something you don’t have a control on. It’s not what you like, but it is what you need and in turn, helps. It’s completely fine if your children don’t realize the gravity initially. Give them some time. They surely will. However, it all boils down to how you are conveying things to them.
Continue The Conversation
Informing your kids know all about mental health must not stop once they set their foot into the outside world. School is among those first few places, where they begin to learn the basics. School teachers and counselors must carry out their responsibilities of teaching the students regarding mental illness and suicide. A non-biased counselor can make them feel comfortable and children can inquire whatever they have in their mind regarding mental health issues. Parents are not mind-readers and can’t pretend to be so. Hence, it becomes imperative to have a detailed discussion with your kids even if it seems to be a bit cumbersome. The more education they would receive on mental well-being, the better will it be for them as they grow up.
What Do You Do When Your Kid Starts Asking You Questions?
In all probability, you don’t want your child learning information from unreliable sources or from people who aren’t much educated on such issues. It’s always preferable that they get to learn from you. You need to speak up if you don’t want your children to be conversant with all the callous things. If you start discussing mental health with your kids, they can transfer the knowledge and teach others about the same. They would have all the information they need at their fingertips and can rectify someone who spreads wrong stuff. So get into action right now before it gets too late.
The bottom line is that you, as a parent, need to come out of the stigma you have been holding on to for such a long time. Your kids need you and you surely wouldn’t want them to have a wrong perception about your situation. If you are a parent suffering from mental illness, try to educate your children on mental health and fill your house with as much love as you can. Feel free to talk to them and educate them with what you have yourself experienced. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So inform your kids before time runs out or call a helpline.
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