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Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

@Hozzles  @WheresMySquishy  it's so hard hey, and I think it can be really hard for parents sometimes to realise that they have to 'let go' as their kids become adults. 

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Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

@WheresMySquishy  it is gold hey!! 

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Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

I love that Reddit thread so much @Janine-RO Cat LOL and I think what you're saying about specific framing makes so much sense.

 

This one is our last of the night friends! I think it's quite a lovely one to end on Heart

 

 

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How do you handle discussions about mental health with your kids?

Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

@Janine-RO hahahah AITA Smiley LOL I really appreciate you sharing some times you may have done/ said something wrong, it's so refreshing hearing it from the other side and seeing the thought you've put into parenting! Smiley Tongue

That's the worst thing I feel, when you get upset and someone says 'I didn't mean it like that, it was just a joke', etc. The point is the person was upset! It's also hard when all you want is an apology and the person is so stubborn... but at the same time I think actually saying 'sorry' can be hard, so people might try to apologize in different ways. This is just my theory, but I kinda feel like this is common for parents to do as it sounds like a struggle to see your child as an autonomous person separate from you! 

Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

aaaahhh The Lovely Lorax @Lost_Space_Explorer5  !!!

That is so sad @WheresMySquishy what your psych was saying about parents taking out stress on their families but I can totally imagine it happening - I suppose I feel hopeful that some of those parents were seeing your psych which means they are getting support which might help Heart

And yes @Hozzles its great you've highlighted the importance of privacy and confidentiality, it is such a crucial part of feeling safe when getting support. And major YES to acknowledging people's feelings ! Absolutely - if someone is upset by a joke, that is still a feel that had that needs to be acknowledged. And yeah sorrys are hard - I think they are another thing where practice makes perfect!

Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

Thanks @Hannah-RO ! Love this question! 

 

We try and have really open and honest chats about mental health with my 11 year old – the 3 year old isn’t quite there yet! I’m really passionate about trying to normalise that stuff as much as possible. My daughter knows that both myself and her stepdad have experienced anxiety and depression in the past and we talk about the things that helped us through that.  My  11 year old has also had some issues with anxiety herself – we talk about ways to manage big feelings, and we also did a program called Cool Kids which was really great- to be honest she wasn’t keen to do it at first, and it lead to a conversation about how anxiety had affected me, especially when I was in my teens.  We try and show her that we are still learning about ourselves , and can always get more skills to add to our mental health toolkits.

 

One thing I’ve had to learn as a parent is to respect her need for space and privacy – and I know that as she gets older she won’t always want to tell us everything! Another thing we’ve tried is writing each other letters in a book – if there’s ever anything that she doesn’t want to talk to me about face to face we have a book that she can write letters to me in, she leaves it next to my bed and I write back to her. The deal is we never have to talk about anything she’s written about in the book face to face if she doesn’t want to.  

Honestly, like all things parenting,  I’m sure I will continue to make many mistakes along the way, but one thing I really hope we can do is make sure our kids always feel safe in having those conversations, and really normalise conversations about mental health.And as cheesy as it sounds, I hope they know that we love them ridiculously and unconditionally and will always be in their corner. 

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Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

I really love that idea of writing letters @Janine-RO and being open with your kids about what you've experienced must be such a powerful thing for them to learn about you - I think its such an amazing lesson when you figure out that your parents are actually humans just like you!

And gosh I get such a big heart feel when I hear about parents being in their childrens corners 

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Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

That's really cool @Janine-RO! I'm glad you found the Cool Kids program helpful, I personally know one of the people who were instrumental in developing it. Some places only give you part of the program rather than the full program, which this person was really against. So you kind of have to look around for places that offer the full program rather than a short number of sessions.

Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

I totally agree @Hozzles , those "not really an apology" apologies are the absolute WORST! It's right up there with "I'm sorry if you got offended" type of thing - but you're so right, I do think sometimes parents forget that their child is in fact an autonomous human. And I'm glad you appreciate the sharing of screw ups! They happen more than I'd like sometimes, but hopefully I can keep on learning. 

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Re: Ask A Pro Live: Opening Up To Parents

It's a great program @WheresMySquishy ! We were lucky enough to take part in a research study as a part of it at the uni where it was developed, I know some people who've trained there as well. There really wasn't much like that around at all when I was younger (as far as I know!) and it makes my heart happy to think about the difference that this program will make in the lives of so many kids. I definitely wish I'd had some of those skills when I was younger!

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