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Avoiding Burnout as a Parent of a Child with Mental Illness

Being a parent is hard work, especially for parents of children with mental illness. If you are one of those parents, it may be difficult to avoid experiencing parent burnout: feeling so tired and overwhelmed that you feel like you can’t give anymore.

However, with some work, you can avoid burnout by taking care of yourself, building your own support network, and understanding those who help your children.

There are many other ways to love and show love to your children with mental illness that can help you avoid parent burnout.

Tips for Avoiding Parent Burnout

  • Make a list of your children’s strengths and share it with family, friends, and especially your children. The list can serve as a reminder of how amazing and valuable your children are.
  • Reminisce fun memories with your children. Tell funny family stories, watch family home movies, or look at family home movies, or look at family pictures. This can help your whole family feel more connected and happier.
  • Keep a daily journal and write what you’re grateful for about your children or about one positive thing that happened that day with your children. This can help you keep a positive perspective even on difficult days.
  • Show your love and support through appropriate touch. Giving them hugs, touching their shoulders when you talk with them or giving them a quick back scratch can help your children feel accepted and loved.
  • Show little acts of kindness. For example, surprise your childrenwith their favorite treat, ask if you can do whatever their favorite activity is with them, or smile when they walk into the room.

This blog was written by Hope Squad. Hope Squad student members are trained to be aware of their peers and watch for warning signs. They learn to show empathy to their peers, listen without judgment, and reduce stigma regarding help-seeking and mental illness. Hope Squads are now in over 1,200 schools across 35 states and Canada. During the seventeen years since Timpview High School started a Hope Squad, the school has not lost a student to suicide. And as Hope Squad grows, we will continue to spread hope and save more lives. Learn more by visiting https://hopesquad.com/.

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