After reading a blog on Adverse Childhood Experiences (https://weneedtotalkaboutchildrensmentalhealth.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/the-adverse-childhood-experiences-evidence-base-a-wake-up-call-to-radically-redesign-childrens-mental-health-services/),
I felt the need to clarify that not all behavioral problems stem from a mental illness. There are situations where life circumstance whether under our control or not can cause symptoms of a mental illness but actually may be a reaction to their environment.
For me, I believe that either way there are changes in our parenting approaches and environments that are going to need to take place. Children with a mental illness like bipolar disorder may not respond the same way to typical parenting practices as another child without a mental illness might. They also need additional support emotionally. They need our help in building up their resiliency and problem-solving skills. We need to meet them where they are not where we think they should be. They need for us to push them to do the uncomfortable but not expect them to do what is unbearable.
These changes take patience and resiliency on our part as parents. So if life is chaotic either due to the nature of the life we lead or due to our child’s struggles, it is our job to get the support we need to make life smoother for us and them. We cannot expect all the work to be done by our children whose brains will not even be fully developed until their mid twenty’s. So we cannot expect them to understand the importance of change without us teaching and modeling it for them.
So through this blog, I will try to provide information on mental illness and on ways of best supporting our children along this difficult road. Because whether your child has a mental illness or not, they are a hurting child that needs our help, support, understanding, and patience.
My goal here is not to make anyone feel guilty. Too much guilt will just weigh you down. And it is important to remember you cannot have known what no one has ever taught you. We are human and learning as we go. That being said even if the environment you are in is to blame, don’t get weighed down by guilt bolster yourself and take the first step toward change.