Take care of your own mental health so that you can help your children’s mental health.
The importance of mental health has become emphasized in the past decade. We have learned that our mental health does not just affect us but also the people around us, including our kids. A study completed in 2022, found that one in fourteen children has a caregiver with poor mental health and those kids were at greater risk of poor general, mental, emotional, and developmental health. They are also more likely to experience adverse childhood experiences such as violence, poverty, and divorce. It has been concluded that a child’s own mental health is supported and influenced by their parent’s mental health.
A child with good mental health is able to reach normal developmental, emotional, and learning milestones. They learn emotional intelligence, social skills, and coping mechanisms. These kids are more likely to live a good quality life and be functional members of society.
A child’s mental health largely depends on the mental health of their caregivers. This is because their caregivers are usually their first source of support. The mental health of parents is connected with their children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Parents who have their own mental health challenges, such as coping with symptoms of depression or anxiety, may have more difficulty providing care for their child compared to parents who describe their mental health as good. Caring for children can create challenges for parents, particularly if they lack resources and support, which can have a negative effect on a parent’s mental health. Parents and children may also experience shared risks, such as inherited vulnerabilities, living in unsafe environments, and facing discrimination or deprivation.”1
This research gives another reason for people to prioritize their physical and mental health. Maintaining your physical and mental health not only affects you but also your children. Taking care of your own mental health may help your children get a good start in life and give them a bright future to look forward to.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, April 19). Mental health of children and parents – a strong connection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 11, 2022