Did you know:
- Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time. (Department of Health & Human Services)
- As many as 1 in 10 young people may have an anxiety disorder (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
- Studies suggest that children or adolescents are more likely to have an anxiety disorder if their parents have anxiety disorders (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
- As many as 1 in 10 children and adolescents may have conduct disorder. (Department of Health and Human Services)
- Recent studies show that, at any given time, as many as one in every 33 children may have clinical depression. The rate of depression among adolescents may be as high as one in eight. (Department of Health and Human Services)
- For every older teen and young adult who takes his or her own life, 100-200 of their peers attempts suicide. Between 500,000 and 1 million young people attempt suicide each year. (American Association of Suicidology)
These statistics make me CRY. And it makes me think. I went ahead a googled “parental impact on mental health in children” and found study after study documenting how children are affected by the mental health of their parents. The studies discussed more “mental illness” on behalf of the parents, rather than the typical stress and emotional frustrations most typical parents feel, but it still makes a valid point.
How we SHOW UP, meaning where we are in our heads and how that affects our behavior when we interact with our children, impacts our children, there is no doubt. And I think the impact is greater, emotionally and spiritually than we realize. Just read this article about how our stress is having a negative impact on our children: Parent Stress Affecting Our Kids.
In addition to managing all our own thoughts, worries and fears on top of successfully parenting, I always say that the thing that is the hardest about parenting for me has always been my kids (and all children’s for that matter) lack of emotional reasoning power! The intense emotions that come out of left field and the meltdowns that ensue – so often suck us down with them. And if we are not awake, not able to choose what we are focusing on, what we are thinking about and not taking care of ourselves, then off we go into our own “adult” version of a temper tantrum. Sound familiar? Don’t feel bad, I have been there too – we all have.
But we can do better!! Our children NEED us to do better. Look at it like this….many parents resist using bad language with our children or even resist drinking alcohol or smoking in front of our kids…why? Because we are afraid of them learning our bad habits…why then do we ALLOW ourselves to show up emotionally in ways that do not provide our children with the emotional health, wellness or sense of safety they so crave and that is so integral in their emotional and spiritual development?
When we are parenting from the hip, winging it, reacting emotionally to everything our children throw at us we are robbing our children of:
- A sense of safety that comes from parenting from peace and calmness
- An understanding of their own emotions
- The skills to successfully deal with stress
- An opportunity for healthy expression of all the ranges of their emotions
- A chance to learn coping skills and implement them
- A calm, loving environment
Take responsibility today for how you feel and how you show up in your children’s lives. It matters.
I will be teaching and equipping you with many powerful tools to do just this in my upcoming online coaching program, the Mommy Meltdown Cure™ – to be available early 2011! If you would like to be kept up to date about information regarding the course, sign up below: