Yes the challenges that parents face can be difficult and it is true that parents with a mental illness may need added support, but just because someone has a mental illness doesn’t mean they can’t be a great parent.
Children are likely to be subjected to bullying because of having a parent with a mental illness and teachers need to be made aware, this is something that should never be tolerated in any school.
We need to teach children, adults and society that people with a mental illness are just as capable of parenting as others. Bad parenting is abusing or neglecting a child, not being diagnosed with a mental illness.
When we discuss bad parenting and mental health, it’s the stigma that causes the main issue, we are afraid of what we do not understand.
Any parent will be able to recall on a time when they felt they were not coping well or they faced a challenge where they needed support.
We all need help, we all need support, we are human
Having a mental illness can be challenging and caring for children is strenuous.
But bad parenting and mental illness are not linked.
It can be difficult to provide your child with a stable and consistent environment when your illness is disrupting so much of your day-to-day life and it’s important to ask for support when you need it.
A simple routine is the key to parenting with a mental illness, it makes your days easier and gives your child a sense of structure and security.
Many parents question their own judgement and this is why it’s important to set firm boundaries for your children.
It can be difficult to follow routines and boundaries when your mental health is in a bad place, but the more that you can do this, the easier it will be for you in the long run.
Children adapt to changes quite well and will adjust more easily if they know what to expect. If you need a family member or friend to take your child for a few hours or a few days, then explain this to your child.
Linking bad parenting and mental illness is stigma
If your child is of an age where they can understand, ask them if they feel they too could benefit from some added support.
Ensure your child has someone to talk too. This can be a family member, family friend, teacher or support worker. Choose someone who they have a good relationship with, and explain to them that they can talk to this person in confidence if they have any worries or fears.
As long as your child knows what’s going to happen, the more they will be happy with the new change.
People with a mental illness are not violent or dangerous as the media would like us to believe. There is very little incentive for the media to cover stories about non-violent people with mental illness.
Statistics show that as a group, those with mental illness are no more violent than any other group in the population.
Stop The Prejudice
Are you doing the following things to people with mental illness?
S – Stereotyping?
T – Trivializing or belittling their health challenges?
O – Offending someone with your attitude?
P – Patronizing people with mental health challenges because you unconsciously believe you are “better” than them?
Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil. – Walt Disney
Tell me what you think about bad parenting and mental illness being linked.