There are lots of studies showing that having a parent with mental illness or disorders can greatly increase your chances of developing your own. This can cause an added layer of anxiety to any parents who are living with and managing their own bipolar disorder. Having a bipolar parent doesn’t have to mean that a child develops the same or a similar disorder.
Mental health care is finally able to come out of the shadows thanks to more public conversations and celebrities who are open about it. As mental health issues become destigmatized, we will benefit from having honest conversations about the role it plays in everyday life. Parenting is one place where there isn’t enough honest conversation.
Whether or not you grew up with a bipolar parent, you can imagine the effect it can have on your child. Follow these 4 tips to continue being an amazing parent.
1. Remember Your Role
Your child can’t take responsibility for your health and you shouldn’t ask them to. You’re the caretaker, even when you’re in the middle of a crisis.
They can’t control what is going on with you. Don’t ask them to keep you in check or remind you to control yourself. You need your own system.
2. Talk Openly
Your kids need to know that you love them and to be able to understand the conditions of depression from your unconditional love. It’s not their experience to carry your weight when they feel hurt or let down, but the more you telegraph your feelings, the better they’ll be able to understand you.
You can build a strong and deep relationship with your children simply by being honest.
3. Balance Treatment and Childcare
Make sure your treatment plan doesn’t get in the way of what your child needs and vice versa. If you schedule your child’s activities in the way of your own mental health needs, you could find yourself blaming them for things out of their control.
Don’t disrupt your child’s routine just because you’re having issues with your bipolar disorder. Find ways to make sure everyone stays on track. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
4. Your Child Has A Story
The way you interact with your child helps to inform their story. But they have their own experiences and you need to listen to that. If something is hurting them, understand how hard it is to articulate that as a child and listen carefully.
You Can Be A Great Bipolar Parent
Every family has challenges and things that make them unique. While your struggles might make parenting hard, seeing you deal with your disorder could inspire your children. You could teach them how important it is to communicate their feelings.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to balance mental health issues with everyday life, contact us for information to keep on the right track.