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Life with Bob

Melissa David
Myths about parenting a child with mental illness are harmful, so let's straighten some of them out. If your child struggles with mental illness, you've faced judgment and unsolicited advice from almost everybody. None of it compares to the judgment and fear we heap on ourselves. It's easy to get dragged down by ignorance and stigma. Debunking common myths, then, may make the journey through parenting a child with mental illness a little easier.
Melissa David
Children have suicidal thoughts. In fact, every five days, a child under age 13 dies by suicide [1]. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month, but often, we leave children out of this discussion. What can we do as parents to include them and help our children who have suicidal thoughts?
Melissa David
Parents may be surprised to hear that antipsychotic medications are a common treatment for childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They're often prescribed to help children who experience intense mood swings, aggression, destructive behaviors, or self-harm. These medications can be life-changing and life-saving, but the term "antipsychotic" is so stigmatized that parents might be terrified when doctors recommend antipsychotics. Of course, always consider the risks, but also consider the benefits of using antipsychotic medications in childhood.
Melissa David
Back to school tips for parents of kids with mental illness will help you and your child manage the back to school season with all its excitement and anxiety. We get new clothes, supplies, and worries. When a child has a mental illness, we also have to consider psychiatric medications, whether teachers can manage behaviors, how the school handles disciplinary actions, and childcare for the days our kid is asked to leave early or gets too anxious to go at all. Below are some going back to school tips to help prepare you and your child with mental illness.
Melissa David
The definition of the least restrictive environment is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It mandates that children with disabilities should learn alongside their regular education peers as much as is safe and possible. Why is it so important that our children with mental illnesses be included in the least restricted environment?
Melissa David
Whether to use attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug holidays or not is a secondary decision for doctors and parents of children with ADHD. But before you discuss ADHD drug holidays, you must decide whether to use ADHD medications at all. First, you have to manage the stigma and judgment that comes with medicating your child. Then, if you do decide on ADHD medications, you have to juggle side-effects, changes, and the complicated decision of ADHD drug holidays.
Susan Traugh
It has been my privilege to write for “Life with Bob” on the HealthyPlace.com blog for this past year. HealthyPlace provides such a valuable resource to the community of people living with mental illness, offering insights, information, and open communication on the wide variety of issues that affect our community. Therefore, it is with some sadness that I say “goodbye” to my role in this fine organization.
Melissa David
The transition to middle school from elementary is tough for any kid, let alone kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Middle schoolers are hormone-riddled, parent-defying, not-quite-adolescent bundles of angst who suddenly find themselves more independent and socially engaged than ever. Many of our kids with ADHD spent years just trying to manage one classroom in elementary school. As parents, we're just as anxiety-ridden when we have to figure it all out again when our children transition to middle school.
Susan Traugh
Parents need to keep medication records of prescriptions given to their mentally ill children. Recording the medications children with mental illness take will allow parents to track the benefits and side-effects of medication for their children and will allow for a continuity of coverage should you change doctors or insurance. Trust someone who made the mistake of not keeping medication records herself: Learn why you must keep and how to record your child's medication records.
Melissa David
A child's meltdown happens when he goes into survival mode. He can't control himself, and you as the parent may be the only source of safety and emotional regulation. We can teach our children a lot, then, by learning to recognize the stages of our child's meltdown and how to intervene.