The diagnosis of a family member with a mental illness can cause stress in your child’s life. If this family member is acting differently or is less present than usual, this can raise a lot of questions.  If your child himself has been diagnosed with a mental illness, he will need some basic information about mental health. Here are a few strategies for discussing mental illness with very young children.  If you are looking for a caring, sensitive, and education day care for your children, call Child’s World Academy.

father comforting sonStart with just the basics. Help your child to understand mental illness on a very rudimentary level. Explain that mental health issues are illnesses, like a condition such as diabetes. They are also very common. Let your child know that most people know someone who has a mental illness. Mental illnesses can be very treatable and many patients see improvement. Most of all, mental illness is a subject that is OK to discuss. It’s not a secret or something to be ashamed of.

Assuage fears and anxieties. Whether your child has been diagnosed with a mental illness or knows that a family member or friend is struggling with a condition, she may be feeling nervous and fearful. When mental illness is something she is coping with, or something a parent or sibling is facing, let her know that it’s not her fault. It’s important that she knows that it’s not up to her to cure or fix the problem. Reassure her that she can’t “catch” a mental illness, and that she, or her loved one, will likely do better with care from a doctor.

Ask for guidance when you’re not sure how to handle a situation. If you feel uncomfortable talking about mental illness, or if you notice that your child is becoming extremely distressed about a situation, ask a mental health professional for help. A family therapist can be a great resource and will help you and your child to develop strategies for managing stress and anxiety.

Be sure to speak with your childcare provider in the event that your child, or someone close to your child, is having difficulty with mental illness, and you fear that it’s affecting your child’s well-being. Daycare teachers can be sure to collaborate with you to make sure your child’s needs are being cared as they evolve.

Call us today if you are looking for a caring and educational day care. We have two convenient locations, in Monroe, CT and Peekskill, NY. Call and schedule a tour to see our facility and meet our staff.