Being a parent is not an easy job. You have to find the delicate balance between protecting your child and giving them the space to experience life for themselves. Therefore, it’s natural to constantly worry and fuss over your child’s well-being, ensuring no harm befalls them. However, not everything is under your control. Unsavory situations like intense bullying, pressure to try substances like alcohol, or mental health issues can strike at their delicate age.
These can impact your child’s health severely. During stressful moments, you cannot allow yourself to fall apart. Your child needs your love and support through their dark time, and to establish this connection, you need to focus on your health too. Here’s how you can do that:
1. Get Your Child Professional Help
It is vital to understand you can’t deal with serious situations such as substance dependency and mental health on your own. If you try intervening, there is a chance you may aggravate the situation further instead of resolving it. Therefore, depending on the circumstances, look into professional avenues to support your child. For instance, if your child has developed a substance abuse habit, instead of taking the tough-love approach on them, you need to get them help from a rehab facility. These institutes have facilities like a trained staff, access to professional counselors, and inpatient treatment options to help your child improve.
Centers like Delphi Behavioral Health Group also allow visitation hours, enabling you to speak to the professionals in charge. This helps you better understand how the rehab center operates and whether your child is safe in this institute. In addition, you will feel far more at ease when you actively participate in helping your child recover by leaning on professional experts instead of tackling the issue alone.
2. Check In With A Therapist
You may feel frustrated watching your child struggle. But if you are emotionally volatile, it can also negatively impact your child. Without meaning, your passive-aggressive mood, clipped responses, and upset tone are terrible for your child, especially if they’re recovering. But, unfortunately, you never know what may trigger your child and unravel all the progress they made, making them start from scratch. So take a breather and check in with a therapist to find your center of stability again.
Therapists can help you navigate through the jumble of emotions you feel and help you pinpoint the reason why you feel so aggravated. Once you separate your feelings and analyze them individually, these mental health experts can guide you in developing healthier ways of dealing with your thoughts. For example, you can learn better ways to communicate, learn how to create a judgment-free zone for your child, and understand that they need space to heal.
3. Have Coping Mechanisms
Stress tends to build up. Minor problems like getting late for work, dealing with a hefty bill, or accidentally burning your dinner can weigh down on you. Think of it as a mental snowball slowly gaining momentum with every passing problem. So by the time you learn about your child’s issues, you may explode. This is not healthy and can cause you a severe nervous breakdown. So learn to deal with everyday stressors healthily.
Life has many unpredictable situations that you cannot avoid. So you need to figure out coping mechanisms to help you calm down and deal with the problem. Picking out the suitable method for you takes time. You may need to experiment with techniques like meditation, journaling, or going for a jog until you find the one that relaxes you. Coping mechanisms prevent you from getting triggered and having an intense reaction. When you can control yourself, you may feel your anger subside, making it easy for you to regain your composure.
4. Cut Yourself Some Slack
It is okay not to have all the answers and know how to deal with every situation. As a parent, while you are responsible for taking care of and raising your child, you must acknowledge certain factors are out of your control. Your child is an individual with personality and thoughts of their own, which means they can make decisions different from yours. Hence, don’t feel guilty about not knowing how to react in a complex situation and protecting your child. If you see your child struggling, the most you can do is understand the problem and find relevant help.
If you cannot offer more than your love and support, don’t beat yourself over it. Instead, try to be kinder to yourself by acknowledging your limitations. Whenever you feel guilty, learn to forgive yourself. If you feel stressed, tired, and exhausted, take a break. This can include visiting a loved one, staying with a friend to recoup, or taking time off work to focus on your mental health.
5. Have A Support Network
It can be detrimental to your health when you begin isolating yourself from your loved ones and try handling everything on your own. Not only will you experience burnout, but you may also feel depressed and find it hard to keep your emotions in check. Sometimes you may need your loved ones to step in and support you. These can be your partner, parents, friends, and close relatives.
Talk to the people you feel comfortable around, lay down your fears and let them support you. In some instances, you may feel overwhelmed by the situation and become frazzled when unable to keep up. This is why it is okay to lean on your loved ones. Your partner can take over for you, play the authority figure, counsel the child, and handle the housework while you recover.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to raising your child. You must pay attention to every minute detail to ensure your little one has a fulfilling and enriching childhood filled with love and warmth. However, there are times when despite your precautions, your child may struggle in life. But no matter what you’re up against, you must practice self-care and maintain your composure while trying to find help for them. Understand it is okay to look into professionals like a counselor when you don’t have the skills or knowledge to help your loved one.