Episode 170: Is It Appropriate To Discuss Your Mental Health With Your Child?


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By Dr. Nicole Beurkens. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This weeks question is from Elena,

“How do I talk to my child about my mental health issues? I struggle with depression and anxiety, both of which have been worse since the pandemic started. I know it impacts my child, but I am not sure how much to say, or whether to say anything at all. I don't want him to always be worried about me. I also don't want to give him problems by talking about these issues. I would love your thoughts on how to address it, if at all.”

The question of how to explain mental health to a child is a common one that I think a lot of parents wrestle with. In this episode, I will address when it is appropriate to talk about adult mental health issues with your children and how to approach the topic. There is no one way to approach this. The key is to address it in a developmentally appropriate way. Kids are very intuitive so ultimately you are helping them understand something they may already be perceiving. And in doing so they understand that parents have struggles too and it's ok to share your struggles with others. Throughout the episode, I provide several strategies to help guide you through this conversation.

You can submit a question by emailing us at support@drbeurkens.com with the subject line "Podcast Question."

Episode Intro … 00:00:30 Discus Adult Mental Health with Children …00:02:20 Kids Inherently Know When Parents Struggle … 00:04:50 How to talk to kids about Adult Mental Health … 00:08:00 Tailor Language in a Developmentally-Appropriate Way… 00:11:54 Keys to Address No Matter the Age … 00:15:55 Open Door Communication … 00:20:05 Episode Wrap up … 00:24:40

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