Life with Bob

It's important to know how to manage your child's problem behaviors caused by mental illness when you're not there. When your child struggles with mental illness, going into public can be terrifying. More terrifying is wondering what your child is doing in public when you're not there (Parenting Children with Behavior Problems). One of my son's diagnoses is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I'll discuss more specifics about parenting children with ADHD throughout March, but for now, just know that ADHD sometimes makes children socially awkward and they display problem behaviors that you need to manage even when you're not there.
This is a story of accepting my child's mental illness and moving through the stages of grief. I want this story to serve an emotional purpose. For others parenting a child with mental illness, I hope it normalizes your experience. For people who haven't been through this but want to support a parent, I hope it makes those feelings real for you. Mental illness in children is gut-wrenching to watch. As a parent, the grief can be crippling, and because others don't always understand, the grief can be lonely. We need understanding when parenting a child with a mental illness if we're going to push through the stages of grief towards the hope on the other side.
Hi, I’m Melissa, and I parent a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), and anxiety. I am many things. I’m a clinical social worker in Minnesota. I am a writer and a gamer. I am a fan of cats, and I’m a bit of a geek. I am a parent of two beautiful children. And, yes, one of them happens to have a mental illness.
A year ago I made a one-year commitment to writing Life with Bob about parenting a child with mental illness. My year is up and I am ready to say goodbye to Life with Bob. Its time to redirect my attention to my son whose name is Jack, not Bob.
My mother with mental illness died last week. She was 85 years old. Here I share my recollection of being raised by a mother with mental illness.
Raising siblings of children with mental illness is challenging. My husband and I have spent so much energy on my 17-year-old son Bob who lives with bipolar disorder and social anxiety, his younger sister, Hannah, is sometimes neglected. Hannah, the sibling of a child with mental illness, has witnessed multiple crises in our family. She has been the trigger or target of her brother's outbursts. It is no wonder she is struggling with mental health issues of her own.
Today, I write a letter to my son with a mental illness on this Mother's Day: Seventeen years ago today, on Mother's Day, your dad and I climbed on an airplane and flew half-way around the world to adopt you. Back home, your nursery had a crib, toys and baby clothes. On the plane, we had a diaper bag, stroller and baby food. In our hearts we had dreams, hopes and excitement for the baby who would make us a family.
Self-care is critical for parents raising children living with mental illness. As parents, we tend to put our child's needs ahead of our own. This doesn't work. I've put together a list of eight self-care tips for parents of children with mental illness.
Traveling with a child with mental illness presents unique challenges. My son, Bob, lives with bipolar disorder and social anxiety. Traveling used to be so difficult we avoided it altogether. Now, after years of learning the hard way, I can offer some tips for traveling with a child with mental illness.
Have you ever wondered what to say to a parent of a child with mental illness? As a parent of a 17-year-old with bipolar disorder and social anxiety, I have. In this blog I will offer ideas of what to say to a parent of a child with mental illness.