Positive mental health is extremely important for children to have to live fulfilling lives!
In a day and time when children are being inundated with information at a young age, child mental health has become a topic of discussion. Despite all the factors affecting child mental health today, one of the most impactful factors affecting child health is still the family. In fact, studies have shown that familial stress can cause children to develop long-term mental health disorders.
To show you just how damaging familial stress can be, we are giving you some mental health facts about the negative effects familial stress has on the mental health of children.
Get ready to learn how to improve your child’s mental health.
1. Way Familial Stress Affects the Mental Health of a Child: If One of the Parents Suffers from a Mental Health Disorder
If one of a child’s parents suffers from a mental illness, it is likely that the child will also suffer from a mental illness. This is partly due to genetics. Although many children are genetically predisposed to mental disorders, it often is not until the child is placed in a mentally stressful environment like that created for them by a mentally ill parent, that the child develops his or her own mental illness.
According to mental illness facts, mental disorders that parents often manifest in their children include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, depression, alcohol, and drug abuse problems, and ADHD. If both parents of a child suffer from a mental illness, the chances that their children will eventually suffer from a mental disorder is even higher than if only one parent has a mental illness.
2. When Mental Illness Puts Stress on the Marriage of Parents
A child’s chances of developing a mental illness also increase when the mental illness of his or her parents cause marital stress. This is because marital stress inhibits couples’ parenting abilities. This, in turn, negatively affects the outcome of the children of those couples.
3. When There Is Chronic Familial Stress
Mental health facts also state that being around chronic familial stress causes children to develop anxiety and depression. In fact, like the state of the familial stress, children in this environment tend to have long-term anxiety and depression.
4. When Life Stress Factors Lead to the Vulnerability of a Child
Life stress factors can also cause familial stress. Some examples of life stress factors include poverty, poor parent-child communication, openly aggressive and hostile parent behavior, occupational difficulties, single parenthood, and more. When children are brought up in the midst of these life stress factors, it makes them vulnerable to the development of mental disorders.
5. When Parental Mental Illness Leads to Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems in Children
Even if they do not develop their own mental disorders, children of parents who suffer from mental illness are likely to develop social, emotional, and behavioral problems. This mental health fact alone goes to show that family is indeed one of, if not, the strongest factors in bringing up positive-minded and well-behaved children. That is why it is so important to take family mental health seriously.
Familial Factors That Can Protect Positive Child Mental Health
Some positive things that you can do as a parent to improve your child’s mental health include having a supportive and warm relationship with your child and having positive support from immediate and extended family. Other parental acts that help foster positive child mental health include providing your child with positive adult role models outside of the home, creating a loving home, and fostering high self-esteem in your children. By performing these acts, you will not only help develop positive mental health within your children, but you will also make your children more resilient when stressful times do come later on in their lives.
To learn more about how to manage familial stress, check our classes and events.