Most parents want their kids to confide in them when it comes to mental health. However, the irony is that some parents struggle to open up to their kids about their own mental illnesses.
This can be detrimental for a fifth of U.S. teens who have parents with mental health conditions, according to a study conducted by Michigan State University researchers. While these teens express a great interest in their parents’ well-being, the researchers found that most of these parents did not disclose information about their mental health disorders.
So, if you’re a parent who’s struggling, it’s time to open up to having conversations about mental health.
Working Parents Are Struggling—Why?
It’s very difficult to handle work responsibilities let alone anything else that gets thrown your way. Unfortunately, working parents have to balance these professional tasks, while providing the best care for their own family as well.
Since juggling all this can be difficult, it’s no surprise that researchers from Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy found that working parents experience more negative moods and poorer sleep quality than other professionals. This has been made worse over the past few years with more than half of adults stating that pandemic-related stress is taking a toll on their mental health. This can be extremely difficult, especially if you’ve struggled with lost income, job loss, additional caregiving, and illnesses.
Alarmingly, parents aren’t the only ones who suffer when they experience mental illnesses. The CDC highlights that the mental health of parents and children is interconnected in many ways. Since children’s development is dependent on their parents, you can negatively affect your child’s mental health when you ignore your own well-being.
We Need to Have More Open Conversations About Mental Health
It’s not easy to bear the weight of your responsibilities at work and at home. Many working parents hold back from seeking help because of the stigma regarding mental conditions. However, opening up about your mental illness is one of the keys to recovery, and will allow you to get the support you need during these battles.
Mental health check-ins are becoming increasingly crucial in workplaces, especially since a wellness study by LHH and The Adecco Group revealed that 38% of global workers are suffering from burnout. LHH recommends that both managers and employees should have focused conversations regarding mental health to reduce burnout on both sides. Being transparent when it comes to your health, you and your co-workers can identify solutions that will ease the symptoms of burnout or mental illness.
The same goes for mental health discussions with your own children. This may even be tougher than talking to one’s co-workers, but this conversation can definitely strengthen relationships and educate your kids, too. This may even turn into future opportunities for bonding, especially since our article on the ‘Benefits of Yoga for Kids’ highlights that these and similar mindfulness activities can improve social relationships and improve one’s health. Plus, your kids can follow in your footsteps and learn how to handle their own stressors and boost their mental health.
Working parents sacrifice a lot for their families. Though you may be carrying big responsibilities, you must remember that you are not alone. By seeking support from your family and your workplace, you can guide yourself and your loved ones towards recovery.