All parents want to do their best for their children, but the reality is that you can’t protect them from everything, no matter how hard you might try. Seeing your child going through hardship can be heartbreaking, and you might find yourself lying awake at night worried about them and struggling to work out what you can do to help. While finding a solution to support your child is key, you do also need to think about how you can look after yourself so that you can provide the best support possible. Below are some tips for parents who might be finding it hard to cope with these concerns.
Don’t Blame Yourself
There are many reasons why your child could be having a hard time with their emotional and mental health, whether that is issues at school, problems with their social circle, or even something that might be going on at home. It can be easy to start blaming yourself as a parent, perhaps worried that you are failing in some way. However, it’s important to remind yourself that no parent is perfect, and this isn’t necessarily about you. Remember the things that you have done that have made you proud as a parent, and speak to your partner, friends, or another trusted relative for support if you feel the need to do so.
Do Some Research
You might find that doing some research into child and adolescent mental health issues can help you make sense of what might be going on. Although online research can sometimes turn into a bit of a black hole, turning to professional resources and reputable organizations that focus on these issues might be beneficial and help you to recognize signs and symptoms that your child might be displaying, as well as advice on what to do about it.
Seek Professional Help
Keeping the line of communication open with your child and making it clear to them that they can talk to you is key, but sometimes you might not be the person they want to turn to. This isn’t uncommon and doesn’t reflect your abilities as a parent, your child simply might find it easier to speak to someone who has more distance at this time because they find that more comfortable. Reach out to mental health services in your area that specialize in children and young adults for support. If these services are limited near you, look at this guide on finding a child psychiatrist near me for additional tips on how to get the support your child needs.
Find Support Groups for Parents
Getting support from your family and friends will be important, but you may find that connecting with other parents whose children are going through a similar problem is more beneficial. These kinds of support groups, whether meeting in person or discussing online, can provide a safe space for you to talk about your concerns with others who will have more empathy for your situation, and you may be able to get more advice and guidance as you share your experiences.
Worrying about your children is something a parent will always deal with, but if you are concerned about their mental health, remember to take the right steps to look after yourself so that you can provide the support your child needs.