Parental behaviorSometimes a parent's demeanor or behavior sends red flags about child abuse.
Warning signs include a parent who:
1. Shows little concern for the child
2. Appears unable to recognize physical or emotional distress in the child
3. Blames the child for the problems
4. Consistently belittles or berates the child, and describes the child with negative terms, such as "worthless" or "evil"
5. Expects the child to provide him or her with attention and care and seems jealous of other family members getting attention from the child
6. Uses harsh physical discipline
7. Demands an inappropriate level of physical or academic performance
8. Severely limits the child's contact with others
9. Offers conflicting or unconvincing explanations for a child's injuries or no explanation at all
Child health experts condemn the use of violence in any form, but some people still use corporal punishment, such as spanking, as a way to discipline their children. Any corporal punishment may leave emotional scars. Parental behaviors that cause pain, physical injury or emotional trauma — even when done in the name of discipline — could be child abuse.
Parenting with mental health problemsParenting comes with lots of challenges, which can be even more difficult if you're dealing with mental health problems.
Not all children who live with someone with mental health problems will experience abuse or be affected negatively. In fact, many parents are able to give children safe and loving care.
But sometimes it does affect their ability to cope with family life. So it's important that parents and carers can find support when they need it.
What are the Mental Health Problems When we talk about mental health problems we mean conditions like:
2. Anxiety disorders
4. Bipolar disorder
5. And Personality disorders
How can mental health problems affect Parenting. Sometimes these conditions can affect a parent's ability to provide the care that children need. Parents or carers may:
1. Have mood swings
2. find it difficult to recognise their children's needs
3. or struggle with keeping routines such as mealtimes, bedtimes and taking their children to school.
Managing the challenges of parenting with a mental illnessWhenever you can, talking to and staying connected with your child will help them feel secure and loved. This can be as simple as a cuddle on the couch, a loving note in their lunchbox, or a family ritual like a secret handshake or nickname. Try to put aside time just for you and your child as often as you can.
Depending on your child’s age, it might also help to talk with your child about your illness. This might help your child to understand when you’re not well, know that the situation isn’t their fault and cope better. It can be scary and difficult to talk about these issues, so you might like to ask your GP or psychologist for some guidance on how to start.
It’s OK to accept help when family and friends offer. When you’re not well, you can let people know that your family needs extra support and suggest what they can do to help – for example, cooking a meal, giving your child a lift to extracurricular activities, or spending time with your child so you can have a break. People often appreciate being asked for something specific.
And if you look after yourself as best you can, you’ll be better able to care for your child and respond to them in warm and loving ways. This includes healthy eating, regular exercise, trying to rest and spending time doing things you enjoy.
Getting help for mental illness If you’re experiencing mental illness, you can get many different types of help and support.
The best place to start is your GP. Your GP can refer you to a range of specialist support services like psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, rehabilitation services or community health services.
There are also many mental health organisations that offer great resources and can put you in touch with appropriate services.