Friday, June 29, 2018

Parenting Pointers: How Helping Yourself Helps Your Children

Getting and staying mentally healthy can improve your life dramatically. When you understand the impact your mental health can have on your child, it becomes much easier to get into treatment. Here are several ways your children can benefit when you get the help you need.
They Worry Less
Children whose parents have unmanaged anxiety tend to have trouble dealing with stress, too. In one study, children receiving anesthesia before a surgery had better surgery outcomes when their parents weren’t overly anxious. 
Simply having anxiety doesn’t have to be a problem, though. When you model healthy coping skills, your child learns them, too. Then, when the experience stress that feels overwhelming, they use those skills to manage their own anxiety.
They Have Higher Self-Esteem
Parents with low self-esteem are more likely to have children who have low self-esteem. These children also tend to have more problems with hyperactivity. Such children are more likely to be self-blaming and suffer from depression.
They Have Better Social Relationships
Children who feel secure in their relationship with their caregiver are less likely to be hostile and aggressive. They play well with others. They also have more complex relationships with their peers and interact with them in friendly ways.
They’re More Independent
When a child sees you as a stable source of support, they feel more confident in their own ability to handle their own needs. When they do need help, they know you are there for them and come to you when they need your help. The rest of the time, they explore their world more easily and comfortably.
They Have the Skills They Need to Deal with Trauma
You can’t always protect your child from traumatic experiences. What you can do is teach them how to deal with their emotions in healthy ways. Before you can teach them, though, you need to know how to deal with your own.
They’re More Responsible
A mentally healthy adult accepts responsibility for their own behavior. They usually behave in ways that are consistent with their beliefs about right and wrong. They aren’t dependent on someone else for things they can do for themselves. 
At the same time, the child of a mentally healthy parent doesn’t take on responsibilities that are not theirs to manage. You put your child in a position where they may feel responsible for you or the household. When your child sees you behaving in appropriately responsible ways, they are more likely to follow suit.
Improve Your Mental Health to Help Your Child
So, what can you do if you’re suffering from anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, or some other mental health challenge? How can you make life better for your child?
The best thing you can do is take care of your own mental health needs first. Start by seeing a therapist near you. They can help you identify your mental problems and explain how dealing with them appropriately can help your child. They can teach you techniques for overcoming your own problems. When you do, your child can have a happier childhood and the skills to help them be a healthy adult. 

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