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Parenting and Mental Health

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”4.16″ global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”4.16″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.16″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.16″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” global_colors_info=”{}”]This post is part of the April 2024 A-Z Blogging Challenge.

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                                    LETTER P

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

So many words popped in my mind when I first thought of the letter P.

Psychiatrist vs psychologist, people, personality disorders, phobias, passion… When I input “Mental Health Letter P” the below two topics came up and jumped out at me.

  • Parenting with a mental health problem.

So I decided since I have personal experience with both as a parent with mental health struggle and as a parent of children who’ve struggled with it.

        Parenting and Mental Health

Parenting with a mental illness is challenging, Its also possible to be a loving and effective parent while managing your condition.

  1. Self-care: Prioritize your own mental health by taking care of yourself. This might include therapy, medication, exercise, hobbies, or anything else that helps you feel balanced and well. As they say on airplanes we need to put on our own oxygen masks first if we want to be able to help anyone else.
  2. Education: Learn as much as you can about  mental illness. Particularly what you or your child’s specific diagnosis is. Keep in mind there is a lot of information out there and some may contradict, so be sure to use reputable sources.  Understanding your condition can help you manage symptoms. It will also help  you communicate effectively with your children about it as needed and age appropriate conversations.
  3. Communication: Be open and honest with your children about your mental illness in an age-appropriate way. Let them know that it’s okay to talk about feelings and that they can come to you with any questions or concerns. Let them  know that you can also feel two feelings at the same time. Teach them from a young age to name their feelings and coping skills to express them. The more tools in our and their tool box the better.
  4. Support network: Build a strong support network of friends, family, therapists, and support groups who can help you when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Also don’t isolate yourself. Struggling in silence is the worst. Peer support. is VERY important. The catch is are your peers supportive or are they not understanding and frustrated and judgmental . Make sure you have peers that you know you can be yourself and express yourself with.
  5. Routine and structure: Establishing routines and structure can help both you and your children feel more stable and secure. This can include regular meal times, bedtimes, and other daily routines. Keeping to these is much needed for a sense of stability. Too much lack of routine can lead to emotional dysregulation and start a downward spiral. Also remember you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Give your kids some regular basic chores appropriate for their age. Accept help from others when offered. Uncovering a few small tweaks to your routines or parenting strategies you can put into action now can make a HUGE difference in your day-to-day life.
  6. Self-compassion: Remember to be kind to yourself. Parenting is challenging for everyone, and it’s okay to make mistakes. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you would offer to a friend in a similar situation. Its easy to wonder why everyone else seems to have it together and ask yourself what is wrong with you. Trust me those that look like they have it all together are probably not as perfect as you think they are.
  7. Seek professional help: If you’re struggling to cope with your mental illness while parenting, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A Dr. a therapist or psychiatrist can provide support and guidance tailored to your specific needs. There are free text lines and call lines to help you find the support you need. But having a consistent routine of someone you have formed a connection with will make getting and accepting help a bit easier.

Remember, being a parent with a mental illness doesn’t make you any less capable of being a good parent. By taking care of yourself and seeking support when you need it, It is possible to create a loving and nurturing environment for your children.

 

 

 

My Spiritual Journey: Mothering and Meditation

 

https://fibromomblog.com/parenting-with-a-chronic-illness/

When a parent has mental illness, how to support kids

Foster parenting and children’s mental health issues

Foster parenting brings a whole new layer to mental health issues. The kids have emotional and frequently physical trauma. The more adverse childhood experiences the child has lived through the more trauma and emotional dysregulation your are likely to be dealing with. It is important to get as much education on trauma informed parenting as you can.  Having a minor in psychology and education in early childhood I was amazed how much more I learned from classes on trauma and its effect on the brain and behavior of children.

 

“Foster care is tough but I am determined to stay and hopefully I can enable and help some children find a better future and heal the trauma that they have been handed by those meant to love and care for them in the first place.” ~ https://twitter.com/harmony2001/status/1367301619646410752

 

Resources

 

https://psychcentral.com/lib/tips-for-parenting-with-a-mental-illness

https://www.mhanational.org/parenting-mental-health-condition

https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2022/Parenting-with-a-Mental-Health-Condition

https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/features/mental-health-children-and-parents.html

https://montarebehavioralhealth.com/resources/parent-with-mental-illness/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/a-z-topics/parenting-and-mental-health

 

 

 

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