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Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

Hey @Hozzles ! Great to see you, really glad you could join us tonight! 

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Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

How awesome are those infographics! And I love what you're saying @Janine-RO about practicing being assertive, I feel thats such a important skill to be developed over time.

 

I think this is also very relevant to our next NEW Q! 

 

 

How can we tell our parents/guardians/carers that we don’t want to do something for the

sake of our mental health?

For example, if we're having a bad day or we need to have sometime to ourselves

Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

Those infographics are really helpful @Janine-RO. I think that parents can be really busy and might not pick up on the signs of a mental health issue, or they might just dismiss it as a part of growing up. When I was in high school, they used to tell me 'What do you have to be stressed about?' and 'If you were depressed, you wouldn't be able to get out of bed'.

Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

Oh that is interesting, I've often wondered why my parents have reacted defensively and I ended up having to comfort them that they were okay parents. It's just confusing, cause a lot of the time you're just asking for help, you're not trying to blame anyone

Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

@WheresMySquishy  oh totally, and I think that  it can be really easy for parents to dismiss it as 'moody teenager' stuff, and I also think sometimes there can be an element of thinking that a bit of tough love will help, when often it's just the opposite. @Lost_Space_Explorer5  that must have been so hard for you to also feel that burden of having to reassure your parents, when what you were looking for was support. I also wonder if it's a bit of a generational thing - in the past, a lot of people were told that mental health issues were largely caused by bad parenting. I vividly remember reading Anne Devenson's book about raising her son, and being told by a psychiatrist that schizophrenia was due to poor and neglectful mothering Smiley Sad So maybe there is a bit of baggage there, with parents feeling like they're somehow to blame... I do think that it's really important for parents to get support for themselves if they can, so that they can work through those feelings without putting them back onto their kids, if that makes sense. But it's really tough. 

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Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

Sorry @Hannah-RO  - on to the next question: 

 

How can we tell our parents/guardians/carers that we don't want to do something for the sake of our mental health? For example, if we're having a bad day or we need to have some time to ourselves

 

I think this all comes down to communication and being open with your parents/ guardians/ carers about what you need to do to look after your mental health. The more open you can be, hopefully the more they’ll be able to understand what you need.  I’ve definitely learned as a parent that my daughter is a lot like me in that she sometimes needs time and space to herself to decompress . She’s younger (11) so sometimes we’ll make a deal, like we’ll do an activity together in the morning, but she can then have time to herself that afternoon. I also know some families that use a traffic light type system to communicate about what they might need- so on a ‘red’ day, you may need to have time to yourself/ go for a walk/ have a late start to school. I also think that that the more that parents know about mental health, the more that they can understand what you may need – the ReachOut Parents page is a really good place for parents to start learning more about mental health Smiley Happy 

 

Setting boundaries with parents as you get older is something that everyone needs to constantly navigate I think – but it’s a really healthy thing to do for everyone.

 

I would really love to hear other people's thoughts on this one - do you find that you're able to set those kinds of boundaries with your families? 

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Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

Good to see you @Janine-RO! Aww, you sound like such a good mum Heart I adore little kids and the funny things they say.

@WheresMySquishy - I agree that some parents don't understand many things about mental/ physical health conditions. It can be hard because the medical field is constantly changing -- when we're older, there might be new insights into mental health/ psychical health and we may act similarly! Smiley Tongue I also have/have had restless leg syndrome, but luckily (or unluckily) my mum gets it too so she understands. It's such a tricky thing though, I find most doctors barely understand! 

I'm not sure if it's mentioned yet, but sometimes what seems to be a dismissal of symptoms can be a coping mechanism for a really worried parent. Even though it's very frustrating, I know that's the case with my mum. I could use an anecdote from yesterday actually, I was (am) having these weird jerky mini seizure things that have never happened before, and I was concerned and scared so I wanted to go to the ER. When I told my mum this, she urged me for ages to 'just take a bath', 'go for a walk'. I find usually the best time to talk to Mum is in the car or over dinner, so I sat down to eat with her and explained what was happening, and she understood why I wanted to go to the ER and started acting more sympathetic + concerned. (I'm okay -- ended up going to the ER today but everything appeared normal so going to GP tomorrow!). 

Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

I'm sorry you've had that experience of being dismissed like that @WheresMySquishy, i think your right that busy-ness can affect people so much and make it harder for people to understand and recognise whats going on.  

And yeah @Lost_Space_Explorer5 its so tricky when you tell someone something and then you need to comfort THEM through it? Like mate I just said I was on struggle street, help a gal out! 

 

struggle GIF

Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

Wow, that's a really old-fashioned view about mental health conditions @Janine-RO. Smiley Sad I think some of that stigma still exists. I feel like some doctors try to look for some kind of psychological trauma, even if a patient is adamant that they haven't experienced any trauma. But I feel like we know more about the different factors behind mental health conditions now.

Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

@Hozzles aww, that is very sweet of you to say. I'm sure if you asked my kids they would tell you I have my good and bad days and stuff up regularly! But I do really love being a parent and do try bloody hard to be the best I can be. 

 

I 100% agree that dismissing things can be a coping mechanism for parents, and that must have felt incredibly frustrating for you when you were feeling so unwell Smiley Sad I'm so glad you were able to sit down and be heard in the end, I also find meal time or driving to be some of the best times to chat! Something about having something else to focus on can make communication easier, weirdly. 

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