Why I'm Okay with My Child Having a Mental Illness
You might be thinking, "Wait, what did you just say? You're okay with your child having a mental illness? How could you say such a thing?" It's true, though. I am okay with my child having a mental illness. I have a lot of reasons to feel that way, and I think if more parents could take this attitude, life would be easier for everyone.
I'm not saying that I'm happy my child has a mental illness. If I could rip it out of him, I would, but I can't do that. His attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a part of our lives, so all I can change is how I handle it and how I look at it. That's how I can make a difference in my little boy's life.
4 Reasons I'm Okay with My Child Having a Mental Illness
Why am I so accepting of my child's mental illness? Here are four reasons why I feel that way:
- My child's mental illness is mild. I'm fortunate that my little boy's ADHD isn't severe. Not all parents can say this about their child's mental illness. My son can still participate in all the regular childhood activities and milestones. He just needs a little more guidance while he pursues them.
- My child's mental illness makes him unique. His ADHD comes with a wide array of quirks and funny habits. How my child thinks and talks is different. He sees the world from a perspective that no one else does, and he interacts with his environment in ways that no one else has thought of. The way his mental illness manifests itself often makes me feel proud of him.
- My child's mental illness gives him an obstacle to overcome. From my experience, hardship helps people grow and become more empathetic towards other people's struggles. I wouldn't be the woman or mother I am today if I hadn't experienced the obstacles I've been through. Even though I hate to see my child wrestle with mental illness, I believe the experience will benefit his character in the long-run.
- I can do something about my child's mental illness. Maybe I can't fix it, but there are actions I can take to help him deal with this condition. I can make choices to lessen the impact of ADHD on his life. I'm not powerless in this situation, and that makes me grateful.
I Can Change the Stigma Attached to My Child's Mental Illness
I'm okay with my child having a mental illness, and I think this attitude can change the stigma attached to his ADHD. When I talk about ADHD to him or other people, it shows that I don't see my child's mental illness as a totally negative part of our lives. Sure, it's a challenge that needs my attention, but I've also experienced a lot of joy from watching my kid be himself.
I was nervous about writing this post because I wasn't sure how my readers would react. Announcing to the world that I'm okay with my child having a mental illness could be controversial, but I think it's important to speak my truth. Acceptance and gratitude can only bring more love and understanding into everyone's lives.
Are you okay with your child having a mental illness? If so, why? Let's chat in the comments. Also, if you're curious about how my child's mental illness has brought us closer together, check out my video:
Sharp, S. (2021, February 17). Why I'm Okay with My Child Having a Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 8 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/parentingchildwithmentalillness/2021/2/why-im-okay-with-my-child-having-a-mental-illness
Author: Sarah Sharp
Well done! Interesting content and obviously from the heart.a lot of parents can use your info👍
Thank you for your support. Sometimes a change in perspective is all you need.
This was a truly beautiful read to come across. This part in particular, "He sees the world in a light no one else sees it in and interacts with it in ways no one else has thought of." -- how wonderful that is, and so amazing to recognize. Parents of children with mental illness can often feel such a struggle around it, this is a beautiful opportunity of flipping the perspective and removing some of that stigma.
Thank you for your heartfelt response. I think parenting--whether your child has psychological issues or not--is all about staying grateful, even for the struggle. Gratitude like that can change everyone's mindset for the better.