How Can I Help An Alcoholic Or Addict Parent? by Chaye McIntosh

(image: Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

When a loved one suffers from addiction, it can have just as much of an influence on your life as it does on the addicts. This is especially true if the loved one is a parent or a close relative. Children of addicts within a family are undoubtedly the most affected by addiction. This is particularly true if the addict’s children are still growing up. Unless you’re young or elderly, it’s difficult to cope as the child of an addict. Addiction has the potential to destroy a family. A parent is a glue that ties a family together; if they are addicts, the children must mature and become the house’s adults. This can have a significant negative impact on children’s mental health.

What are the Feelings of an Addict’s Children?

Children look up to their parents as role models. Parents who become addicted to drugs or alcohol, on the other hand, are only concerned with their addiction. Understanding that addiction is an illness is crucial for children of addicts. This is because long-term substance misuse changes the chemistry of an addict’s brain. As a result of this, an addict’s brain is rewired over time as a result of their substance misuse. As a result of their addiction, addicted parents can exhibit poor judgment and decision-making, a lack of self-control, and deviant behaviour choices.

What Can Children Do to Assist Parents Who are Battling Addiction?

Drug and alcohol addiction can have both short- and long-term impacts. Substance misuse can disrupt even the calmest and most loving relationships. When family members quarrel, it becomes commonplace. The level of trust begins to erode. If a relative who consumes illegal substances acts angrily or hides their condition in secrecy, relatives may grow concerned. 

Marriages may disintegrate as a result of addiction-related changes. Communication gets more difficult as displeasure is highlighted. In addition, children often take a step back from their parents to separate themselves from them. Family members may observe their loved ones endure the negative effects of drugs or erupt into rages while inebriated. Others may notice that their relatives have lost weight and are no longer recognizable.

How Can I Help an Alcoholic Parent?

Parents are blessings, so if they are addicts you can try to help them recover- but ultimately they must accept help. Here are some of the things you can do to help them. 

  1. Be Supportive

A person suffering from drug or alcohol addiction needs the support and love of family members. They need someone who will understand what they are going through. As a child, one should make sure that you are fully aware of the supportive needs of your parent- but equally you can’t fix everything.

  1. Talk to them

Talking helps a lot. An addict thinks that everyone is trying to distance themselves from them and if your parent feels like someone is trying to talk to them- they may appreciate it. Children of addicts should make sure to spend some time with their parents, where possible and if able. It can be very difficult to see your parent struggling with addiction and can be harmful also, so you will need to weigh this up. 

  1. Encourage Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment is the only way to treat drug and alcohol addiction. Children of addicts should be aware that to help their parents they should suggest an addiction treatment program near them. Here are some addiction treatments that you can recommend to your parents:

Telehealth addiction treatment is a new form of treatment where a patient can receive treatment while being in their own homes. So if your parent avoids or doesn’t want to leave home for addiction treatment, suggest they get Telehealth addiction treatment.

  1. Avoid Fighting with them

There is no need to fight with your parents. They are already going through a very tough time. Try to avoid any sort of confrontation with them.

  1. Make them Feel Wanted

Addicts need their children to make them feel wanted. Spend some time with them. Take them out and have a nice dinner every once in a while. 

In The End…

An addict’s brain is rewired, and quitting addictive substances is more difficult than it appears. When a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, his or her brain becomes fully reliant on them to function. As a result, when addicts cut back or stop taking opioids, they may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Because they are terrified of experiencing withdrawal symptoms, addicts are sometimes discouraged from attempting sobriety.

As much as you may despise your parent for acting the way they do and refusing to seek treatment, you must respect their decision. Simply take a deep breath and recognise that your parent is afflicted with an ailment over which they have no control.

This article was written by Chaye McIntosh. You can see more about treatment here

9 Tips on Prioritising Your Mental Health While Raising Children.

Photo by Pixabay: 

It’s no secret that parenting is hard. But what many people don’t realise is just how hard it can be on your mental health. Juggling the demands of work, children, and a household can be overwhelming – and it’s easy to let your mental health take a backseat. But this isn’t good for you or your children. In this blog, we will discuss nine tips on prioritising your mental health while raising children!

1) Make time for yourself.

One of the best ways to prioritise your mental health is to make time for yourself. This might mean setting aside a few hours each week to do something you enjoy or simply taking some time out each day to relax and rejuvenate. You must make this time for yourself, as it will help you recharge and be more effective when dealing with the demands of parenting.

If finding time for yourself seems impossible, start small. Even five minutes of relaxation can help clear your mind and improve your mood. And if you have older children who can look after themselves for a little while, use that extra time to focus on YOU.

2) Accept that you’re not perfect.

One of the biggest traps parents fall into is the belief that they have to be perfect. This is simply impossible, and trying to achieve it will only lead to frustration and stress. Accepting that you’re not perfect is essential in taking care of your mental health.

It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s inevitable! What’s important is that you learn from them and move on. Don’t dwell on your mistakes, as this will only aggravate your mental health. Instead, focus on what you can do to improve things going forward.

3) Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Asking for help is another sign of strength, not weakness. If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family members. They may not be able to solve all your problems, but they can offer support and understanding.

If you feel like you need more assistance, consider seeking professional help. Many qualified therapists can help you manage your mental health. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help – it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself and your children.

4) Set realistic expectations.

One of the leading causes of stress for parents is unrealistic expectations. We often expect ourselves to be able to do everything, and this can lead to a lot of frustration and unhappiness. It’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself and your children. This means acknowledging that you won’t always be able to meet everyone’s needs, and that’s OK.

It’s also important to remember that children are individuals and will develop at different rates. Don’t compare your child to others – this will only lead to dissatisfaction on your part and potential mental health issues for your child. Instead, accept your child for who they are, and work with their strengths and weaknesses.

5) Take care of your physical health.

Your physical health is just as important as your mental health. When you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it’s easy to neglect your well-being. But this is a mistake! If you want to take care of your children effectively, you need to take care of yourself first.

Ensure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. These things will improve your physical health, but they will also boost your mental wellbeing. And when you feel good physically, it’s easier to deal with the stresses of parenting.

6) Set boundaries.

It’s important to set boundaries with your children, as this will help them learn how to respect your time and space. As parents, we often put our children’s needs before our own, but it’s essential that you take care of yourself too. Otherwise, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed and stressed.

Set clear boundaries for yourself and your children – make sure they know when to stop playing and start doing their homework, for example. It can be challenging to enforce boundaries sometimes, but it’s crucial that you do so to maintain your mental health.

7) Monitor your children digitally.

With the rise of technology, it’s more important than ever to monitor your children’s digital habits. Screens can be addictive and damaging to a child’s mental health, so it’s essential to set rules and limits on how much time they spend in front of them.

If you’re unsure where to start, try setting a timer and limiting screen time to a certain number of hours per day. You can also install parental control software on your child’s devices to help limit their access to harmful content. You can also keep an eye on them by using innovative new technology, you can click this link to buy it at Family Orbit. Finally, remember that it’s OK to unplug every once in a while – get out into nature, read books together, and have conversations without screens!

8) Spend quality time as a family.

One of the best ways to improve your mental health as a parent is to spend quality time with your children. This doesn’t mean spending hours watching TV or playing video games – it means being engaged and present with your kids.

Spend time talking, laughing, and simply enjoying each other’s company. Play games, go for walks, cook dinner together – do whatever feels fun and natural. When you take the time to connect with your children on a deeper level, it strengthens the bond between you and helps improve your mental well-being too!

9) Use meditation to release stress.

Meditation is a great way to deal with stress and anxiety. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to yourself to meditate. This can be done in any quiet space, and there are many different types of meditation to try. If you’re not sure how to get started, plenty of guided meditation apps and YouTube videos are available online. Or, if you prefer, find a local meditation class or workshop. With regular practice, meditation can help you manage your stress levels more effectively and improve your overall mental health.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and you must take care of ourselves as a parent or carer. These eight tips are an excellent place to start, but remember that everyone is different. So find what works best for you and your family, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains affiliate links.

How To Support Elderly Parents Living Independently.

(image: Pexels)

As you grow older, you may start to notice the role of parent and child starts to change. In the past, the parent provided the care and support to the child, but as the years pass, these roles can become reversed. If you are currently in this situation, you may be wondering how best you can support your elderly parents and help them to get the most out of life in their senior years.

Striking the right balance between being on-hand to help without interfering is challenging and can take some getting used to. It is perfectly natural to feel unsure about the best way to approach this new situation. Reaching a point where you feel comfortable you are providing your parents with the right level of assistance while respecting their wishes can take time to achieve. Here are some of the ways you can give extra support to your parents while they are living independently:

Keep Communicating

Keeping in regular contact with your parents is essential to ensure that you understand their needs and their wishes. If you are concerned about their health, communicating with them regularly will make it easier for you to spot any deterioration and give your parents the opportunity to discuss any aspects of their health that worry them. Making sure that you listen as well as talk is vital to ensure your parents feel their needs and wishes have been understood and are respected.

It is so essential to maintain your relationship with your parents. When they are more dependent on you, it is easy to fall into the trap of only talking about their care and no longer having any fun. So keeping that parent-child relationship alive by talking about everyday topics and taking them out and about is crucial.

Address Any Health Concerns

Finding the right level of support for your parent’s health issues can be challenging. Knowing whether or not they are able to continue living independently or whether they need to receive a greater level of care can be hard to determine. If your parents are adamant that they want to stay living independently within their own home, you may be concerned that they won’t get the best care. Choosing a specialist at-home care provider can help to alleviate these concerns and ensure they are getting the level of assistance that they need. Dementia home care is one specialist care service available that could help keep your ageing parents in their own home while receiving the appropriate level of support.

Make Life at Home Easier

Providing your parents with practical support is an excellent way to support them living independently. Carrying out everyday tasks on their behalf such as cleaning and getting their shopping can make life far easier for them. Making sure that your parent’s home is free from trip hazards and is clean and tidy will help to protect their health and wellbeing and provide you with the peace of mind that they are safe in their home.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains affiliate links.

Assisted Living: How to help your Elderly Parents find their perfect Care Home.

When you were a child, your parents always took care of you. But now that you’ve grown up and may have kids of your own, it’s time to take care of them. And when their health starts to deteriorate, and they become too ill for in-home care, the question becomes: how do we find a great assisted living facility?

While the idea of having to send loved ones to an assisted living facility isn’t always a nice one, it’s often the best choice. Not just for their health, but for our own too

In this article, we’ll walk you through each factor so that finding an assisted living facility feels like less of a daunting task.

Image by Matthias Zomer via Pexels

 

What Types Of Care Homes Are On Offer?

The world of assisted living facilities is an industry that has snowballed. It’s now booming, and there are many things to consider before you make your final decision. The first step is understanding the different types of senior homes available.

A Care Home

This type of facility covers the personal and day-to-day care of your loved ones. They’ll handle things like washing, dressing, and taking medications on time. Many of them also provide activities and days out. But the quality and amount of these extras are provided depends on the home. 

A Nursing Home

Nursing homes cover all the same things as care home, but it’s provided by qualified nurses. So they’re a great choice if your parents have health conditions that need a little extra attention. 

A Care Home With Dementia Care

This type of home is targeted towards elderly loved ones with dementia. It’s designed to make them feel comfortable and to keep them safe.

A Dual-Registered Care Home

This facility accepts residents who have personal and nursing care needs. These homes mean that residents who arrive just needing personal care but eventually need nursing care don’t have to change facilities. Instead, they can stay in comfort in the place that has come to be their home.  

Choosing a Care Home

One of the most important factors when looking for a senior living facility is the level of care. If your loved one needs special attention due to dementia or any other physical disability, you should find a facility with specialized services to have their needs met.

There’s plenty to consider when it comes to looking at care homes for your loved ones. Before you get into the nitty-gritty, it’s worth taking the time to make a list of what’s important to you in your chosen assisted living facility. That way, you can quickly sift through the homes on offer. Because there will be plenty to get through.  

The Staff

The staff at an assisted living facility goes a long way in determining the quality of life for its residents. They must be attentive, caring, and responsive to the needs of each individual. When you visit your prospective home, it’s essential to ask questions about their staff.

The Food

The food served at a senior home is also vital. If meals are not nutritious or flavourful, it can cause malnutrition, weight loss, and other health issues for seniors. Ask if they provide three meals a day or if that depends on what residents choose to eat. It’s important to note that while dietary restrictions can be accommodated at some homes, you may want to find one with more robust catering options and for diets such as kosher or halal.

The Amenities 

Another thing to consider when looking for a care home is what kind of environment and amenities it provides. Does it feel open and welcoming? Is there an opportunity for outdoor activities? Are there pets on-site? How big of a community is there? These questions will help you determine which type of environment would best suit your loved one’s needs.

Amenities on-site provide your parents with something to pass the time, stay engaged, and most of all, feel a strong sense of community. 

Image by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Always Involve Your Parent

When our elderly loved ones come to need further care that we can’t provide, it’s a challenging time. And while it’s difficult for us to come to terms with, it is just as difficult for them. For many elderly people entering care homes, it’s a massive change to their daily life. Some may not be aware of what it entails, so informing them if possible is important. 

Make sure that they’re a big part of choosing a facility. After all, they’re the ones that will be living there. While some health conditions may hamper their understanding of the situation, it’s essential to keep them as involved as possible. Making a list of what they want and then what they need can be helpful to find the best care home options available. 

So while finding a care home can be difficult, it ensures that the quality of your loved one of life remains high. When caring for them becomes too much for you to handle, assisted living facilities are there as a helping hand.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains affiliate links.

How to Work and be a Mother during the Pandemic: Guest post by Miranda Davis

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If you are a working mom/mum during the pandemic, we will help you balance things. Working for others has become an activity from home, and sometimes we get clueless about what to do next. This article aims to help you out with being a working mother.

The pandemic was surely a surprise to anyone, especially any working mom/mum. It started slowly, and most people hoped it would not spread out of China. Unfortunately, it did spread, and we are living through it every day. We have to go out only wearing masks and only when we need to (if you are going out all the time, that is very risky for you and the others too). Washing hands frequently has become the standard. Shaking hands with anyone is out of contemplation if you are taking things seriously. Now, what about a working mother and COVID?

People with children are being forced to homeschool their kids while still managing to work (those who are not unemployed!). Things are not that easy. Now, look at mothers. It is common sense that a lot of them are single, living alone with their children while being a working mother during the day. A mom/mum who is also working at home is genuinely having the hardest of times. 

In the face of difficult facts, we have put a lot of thought into ways to help moms/mums (those living with a partner or alone with their children) through this difficult time. We know that moms/mums are very capable of enduring and overcoming tough times. Still, sometimes we get out of creativity, our energy gets completely wasted away. What should a working mother do in such situations? 

How working mothers balance life sometimes is a mystery. Even more, during the pandemic. If you are a mom/mum trying to figure that out, the tips below should help you.

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The first tip is to have a schedule that has the possibility of being flexible. This means that while it is suitable for a working mother to have a program that helps them stay organised, this same schedule should be adjusted to suit you. Sometimes your children might get hurt doing something, or other unexpected things happen. Give these things the time and attention they require. Then the question “are working mothers happier?” does not have to be answered negatively.

Now, this one does not apply to single mothers (sorry,single moms, ). If you are taking care of children with someone else (a father, stepfather, your current boyfriend, or other family members), try to come up with a schedule that lets you do the work as a team. You will benefit from not getting overloaded both with work and taking care of children. 

In case you are a single working mom/mum, things have surely got tougher for you, since the beginning of the pandemic. We genuinely hope you have assistance from some family members. Still, there are moments when you are a working mother, all alone with your children.

On these occasions, depending on the age of the child, you can get them to understand why working is essential. Keep them busy right beside you when you are working on your computer. When you are finally away from work, have a good time with your kid (or kids). Forget about work and being a working mom/mum, and just enjoy each other.

Then, at the end of the day, if you still have some energy left, get some time for yourself. You deserve it.

This works both in the case of you being a single working mom/mum or if you are a mom/mum who has duties shared with a partner. Take advantage of naps! Seriously. When your kid gets his/her nap in the afternoon, use this time to get rid of your workload. This strategy surely has been used since forever, but it is still important to remember it, to prevent overwhelm with juggling everything. 

One of the most important things during times when you are a working mother at home is to set boundaries. These boundaries have two sides. You should know that you need to focus when you are working, and when you are finally done with it, you need to disconnect. Shut down your computer, do not look at your phone, and enjoy time with your family. You will regain positive mental energy from doing this, and you will feel thankful for that.

We understand that being a working mother during quarantine is one of the hardest tasks. Thus, we sincerely wish that the few tips carefully written above have some use for you. If you have developed other ways of dealing with this and think they are beneficial, you are more than welcome to share them in the comments. After all, the question is, can working moms/mums have it all?

 

Author’s bio:  

This article was written by Miranda Davis, a freelance writer in relation and psychology area. Miranda is interested in such topics as building healthy relationships between people, love/sex compatibility, and how to find the right balance in life in general. She is currently doing specific research on the topic. Miranda loves cooking and long-distance walking. 

 

Stuck in Self-Isolation? Here Are Some Simple But Useful Home DIY Projects: Guest blog by Brandon Smith

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(image : Paper Mart Blog)

With the world in turmoil right now and lots of cities across the world closed, many of us are stuck in self-isolation at home. Why not start a DIY project?

With the sun coming out quite a lot over the last few weeks across many parts of the UK, and government guidelines only allowing limited travel, now is the time to make use of being at home.

Not all B&Q, Homebase and other hardware outlets are open across the country, but most companies offer online delivery of any product you would need to buy for a project. 

Why not also involve some of the people who live with you? If you have small children and you’ve decided to spruce up the garden, then why not place a table outside so they can paint their garden while you work on yours?

Here are some simple home DIY projects you can do while at home under lockdown:

 

Make a Sharpie Mug

This is a quick and easy one for the children. Buy a handful of plain mugs from your local supermarket, along with a few Sharpie permanent markers (choose different colours if you like). Then, draw or write your design on the mug and pop in the oven at 175oC for 30 minutes. Once cooled, your self-made mug is yours to use and keep!

 

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(image: Pinterest)

Paint the Garden Fences

It’s usually a job left until the Summer, but getting outside in the Sun is good for vitamin D levels and being in the sunlight helps to boost our mood and immune system. Painting the garden fences is a simple DIY project, but once you’ve completed it the satisfaction looking at a job well done and ticking off another box on your list of Summer jobs is sure to make you feel better about being indoors.

 Simple Custom Shelves

You don’t need a fancy kit when it comes to building some shelves indoors. All you need is some wood, brackets, a saw and a cordless drill/driver. This is a one or two-person job, and it won’t take you all day, but putting up some shelves will help with storage (whether in the kitchen, living room or bathroom). Be sure to use the right tools for your project! If you’re unsure about saws and drilling, there are many resources such as hints, tips and full guides available online.

Mosaic CD Mirror

Want to add a bit of a wow factor to a mirror in your hallway? Take an old mirror or order a cheap one online (eBay or Facebook marketplace usually have some) and put a frame around it that has a good 3 to 4 inches space. Then, cut up a bunch of old CDs (preferably ones that don’t have lots of scratches on them) with some plastic scissors or toughened kitchen ones, cover the pieces with glue (like Copydex you used in school) and stick them to the frame. Once it’s done, you’ll see an abundance of colour and reflections when it’s on the wall.

Firefly Night Lanterns

The is super simple, and the kids will love them. You should order the following from your favourite online retailer:

  • Glow sticks (one for each jar)
  • Glitter
  • Large jam or marmalade jars (or use some of the empty ones in the cupboard)

Take a glow stick, cut the top off and empty the contents into the jar, then sprinkle in some glitter. Attach the lid and seal. Shake the jar so that all of the materials are distributed. Then, either close all of the curtains in your front room or wait until it goes dark outside, and you’ve got a night lantern with fireflies in. The children will love them.

Window Shutter Mail Holder

We don’t tend to use window shutters all that much in the UK, but they are common in the rest of Europe. You’d think that means they are hard to get a hold of, but used ones can be found on marketplaces like eBay. Once you have one, take the shutter and sand it down. Then, paint with whatever colour you want and allow to dry. Depending on the shutter, paint colour and type of paint used, you might need more than one or two coats.

Then, drill some holes in the wall and fix the shutter to the wall with raw plugs and screws. All of your mail that the postman brings can be put into the slots, and everyone can see who each letter is addressed to – a great way to show the children where mail can go when it comes in the post.

 

Body Pillow

If you have children, then you’ll be spending a lot of time doing fun things while at home. And, for many families, this involves some relaxing in the front room.

When shopping in one of the larger supermarkets, pick up some cheap pillowcases and stuffing, Or you can buy some pillows. If buying pillows, you’ll need four pillowcases and the filling from two pillowcases for one body pillow.

When you get home, lay out the pillowcases as you would if you were using them to sleep on: placing them next to each other on the floor to create a caterpillar. Fill the pillowcases with the stuffing or pillow material and stitch up the sides. Then, sew the pillowcases together to create your body pillow.

 

Being stuck at home all day doesn’t mean you need to sit there doing nothing or watching multiple episodes on Netflix while also feeling bored and drained. It’s important to take control of your mental health and well-being and keep yourself busy with activities that bring comfort and joy. Try some of the DIY projects above and let me know how you get on.

 

Brandon Smith is an Editor at TheSawGuy.com – a woodworking & DIY resource for everything from comparing the best table saws and miter saws, down to home and garden project

Taking care of your child’s mental health: Guest blog by Chloe Walker

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(image: Power of Positivity)

Mental health is extremely important and has a significant impact on a person’s overall health and wellbeing. According to a recent survey by the NHS, one in eight 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed. As a parent, you play a crucial role in your child’s mental health. Fortunately, you can help improve your child’s mental health by creating a supportive family environment at home and learning the early warning signs of common mental health disorders, for example. With this in mind, here are some top ways to care for your child’s mental health. 

Develop a good bedtime routine 

Sleep plays a vital role in a child’s mental health. Research shows that there is a strong link between sleep problems and an increased risk of developing certain mental illnesses. In fact, one study found that four-year olds with sleep disorders have a much higher risk of developing symptoms of mental health conditions as six-year olds, when compared with children without sleep problems. Experts at Little Lucy Willow add – “Sleep keeps you calm, your mind alert, and recharges your body to enable you to get up and face each day.” For that reason, you must try and get your child into a good bedtime routine from a young age. Here are some top tips to help your child sleep better:

  • Create an ideal sleeping space by providing a comfortable bed, installing blackout curtains, and minimising any outdoor noise. 
  • Encourage your child not to use electronics like smartphones before bed. 
  • Get your child into a consistent routine where they go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Try to keep this the same on school days and weekends. 
  • Make sure that your child avoids any caffeine in the afternoon or evenings. 
  • Visit your GP if your child has been experiencing sleep problems for more than two weeks, or if the symptoms are interfering with their daily life. 

Exercise as a family 

Exercise plays an important role in a child’s overall health. Along with the physical benefits, regular exercise can greatly improve mental wellbeing. This is because physical activity releases endorphins in the brain which creates feelings of happiness and alleviates stress and anxiety. According to advice on the NHS website, children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day.

To give you an idea, examples of moderate intensity exercise include walking to school, riding a bicycle, and playground activities. Exercising as a family is an excellent way to encourage your child to be active. It also allows you to spend quality time together as a family and build closer bonds. Playing games in the garden, going for a walk in the park, or going on a bike ride, are all fun ways to exercise together as a family. You could also encourage your child to start playing a team sport they’re interested in, such as football, rugby, or hockey. 

Encourage open communication

You must create a welcoming family environment that is built around trust and understanding. This will help your child feel comfortable telling you about any issues surrounding their mental health. Encourage open communication in your family and make sure you check on your child if you notice any changes in their behaviour i.e. they become distant or their eating habits change.

Remember that children tell people how they are feeling in several ways, not always verbally. A sudden change in behaviour may signal that your child is struggling and needs support. Always listen to your child and empathise with their feelings. Let them know that it’s natural to feel down from time to time and offer support in any way you can.

If you’re still worried about your child’s mental health, then speak with your GP or contact a mental health specialist for further advice. 

Final thoughts 

Mental health illnesses in children are becoming increasingly common and can lead to several serious long-term effects. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for you to care for your child’s mental health. Encouraging healthy habits is a simple yet effective way to improve your child’s mental well-being. This should include exercising regularly, getting enough quality sleep, and following a nutritious diet. Along with this, you should also educate yourself on the symptoms of common mental health conditions in children and create a warm, trusting home environment that encourages open communication. Speak to a medical professional if you need to.

This guest blog was written by professional writer Chloe Walker.

 

Coping with the Anxiety and Stress of Becoming a Single Parent : Guest blog by Emerson Blake

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(Image: Jordan Whitt at Unsplash)

About one-in-five children in the United States live with an unmarried parent; a percentage that has more than doubled since the late 1960’s and one that is slowly on the rise. While many people have children with the idea, and hope, that they will raise their kids alongside their partner, there are some situations in which parenting becomes a party of one. Whether the reason be due to the death of a spouse/partner, divorce, or in some cases, abandonment, the transition to taking over the job alone can be challenging. 

There are many stressors that can be faced by single parents, including: 

  • Visitation and custody problems 
  • Continuing conflict between the parents 
  • The grief of losing a spouse or partner 
  • Effects of the breakup or loss on the child’s peer relations
  • Less opportunity for the parents and children to spend time together
  • Potential problems when entering new relationships 

The increase in daily stressors can not only negatively impact the family relationships, but it can also cause an increased level of stress and anxiety on the parent that is now learning to navigate the new territory of single parenting. 

The fear of the unknown, the stress of trial and error and the anxiety about what the future holds can make the transition into single parenting emotionally stressful. While you may feel as if you are entering into a world full of the unknown, there are some ways you can aid in coping with the stress and anxiety that this major change can bring. 

 

Find Sources of Support 

Maintaining positive support systems will be a crucial part in transitioning to a single parent household. While many parents may feel as if they have something to prove by showing that they can handle the change on their own, they are likely to feel deeper effects of the stress if they choose to not accept the help of others. Welcome the help of your family and friends with open arms and don’t be afraid to vocalize when you feel like you need assistance. Whether that be asking a family member to help out while you run a few errands or taking the time to talk about your feelings with a close friend on your drive home from work; realizing you have the support of other people and utilizing that will help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety. 

There are also other forms of support available should you be interested in seeking them out. Finding a support group for single parents will allow you to find others who are in your same situation and understand the struggles, allowing you to build a friendship based on commonalities. Not only will this support group be good for you, but it will also assist in bringing other children into your child’s life that they can play with and learn from! 

 

Take Time for Yourself 

While becoming a single parent may give you the illusion that you no longer have time for yourself, it is important that you do make personal time a priority. Time spent away from your children is actually good for you and them. As parents, we constantly feel the need to put our children’s needs above ours; however, taking a little bit of time for ourselves occasionally is a healthy desire and can have a positive impact on our overall mental health. These don’t have to be costly, extravagant gestures. Here are a few simple ideas of things that you can do for yourself as a single parent: 

  • Indulge in a good book – set aside some time for yourself each night to escape into a completely different world by indulging in a book that interests you, inspires you and teaches you. 
  • Take a hot bath – there’s nothing nearly as relaxing as a long, hot bath at the end of a stressful day. Consider adding essential oils to your bath or using a bath bomb to really get yourself feeling calm and relaxed. Both of which are commonly used to alleviate stress and anxiety. 
  • Plan a dinner with friends – part of maintaining yourself is keeping a social life. Adult interaction is well-deserved after a day spent at home with the kids. Feeling like you have someone you can talk to who understands and relates to you is helpful in opening up about any stressors or anxiety you are currently feeling and need to get some advice on. 

 

Stay Consistent 

Sticking to a daily routine will keep the structure and will help you and your children feel more secure. While things don’t always go according to plan, maintaining a schedule is a healthy way to set expectations for your family. Focus on scheduling meals, chores and bedtimes at regular times – especially during the week days with school and work. Keeping discipline consistent across families that have divorced or separated parents is also a suggested way to remain consistent. Children that rotate between each of their parent’s houses likely experience a lot of inconsistency between schedules and routine; so, agreeing to discipline the children the same way will bring about some level of familiarity across each home. 

Much like many other times in life, learning to take on a new role and live a new kind of lifestyle can be anxiety and stress-inducing. The major change of becoming a single-parent can impact everyone in the family, so it is important to ensure efforts are made to make the transition a little bit smoother for everyone. As the parent, we will likely be affected in many different areas i.e. financial status, relationships, routine, schedule and workload, which is likely to make the stress and anxiety almost overpowering.

Welcoming the support of friends and family, making time for yourself and sticking to a routine are all natural and healthy ways to cope with the adjustment. The stress and anxiety that come along with change are common, but ensuring you take steps to aid them will benefit you, your family and your mental health in the long run. 

Guest blog written by Emerson Blake, Freelance writer from USA