It can be difficult for parents to handle mental or emotional illness in teens and children. As challenging, it is for parents; your other children will as well suffer. Kids may react inappropriately or struggle to understand this situation as they lack understanding and emotional maturity that adults have. But you can help your children understand and accept the situation with the right support.
How Children May Be Affected By Mental Illness.
It can be confusing for younger kids when they grow up with a sibling with mental health or emotional disorder. Mental disorders are mostly invisible as children understand injuries and sickness as broken arms and sore throats. Children may think they have done something wrong to make their sibling angry as in that young age they don’t understand the erratic behavior evident in the mentally disturbed child.
Children may often be embarrassed about their sibling’s actions caused due to the illness or its conditions. It may result from these kids to withdraw socially from their friends so as they won’t be discussing it.
If parents pay too much attention to the sick child, the others may feel neglected and see it as being treated unfairly as they do not understand how severe the problem is. They may perceive that their sibling gets special treatment.
It may lead to some children to develop depression or their anxiety disorder problems. As all these emotions can affect a child to feel selfish or guilty because they don’t want to think of their family member in a cruel way.
Talking To Children To Understand Mentally Ill Family Member.
Parents with the help of a mental health profession should learn the best approach to talking to the children to help the children to cope with their confused and conflicting feelings.
It is important to be prepared to address concerns and questions from the other kids if their sibling is suffering from mental illness. The entire family is affected by the child’s illness. Parents should communicate on an age appropriate level when it comes to talking to kids. But it is not wise to cover up and hide the obvious.
Teenagers and older school-age children may want more specifics than younger children who may not need many details. It helps the kids handle their feelings, assist them to understand and reassure the children by answering all the questions honestly and directly.
It is significant to support children whose siblings are suffering from a mental disorder by watching and knowing the signs if your child is struggling with the situation, having open conversations with them or counseling.