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#458566 - 01/14/14 03:13 AM parenting with anxiety / depression
HopeDiesLast Offline


Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
I was wondering whether anyone of you could give me some insights into parenting with anxiety and/or depression. My own parents never had the ability to make the world or even my home feel like a safe place to me and it has scarred me. My husband and I have no children yet but I'm worrying about whether I can even be a good enough parent, because I have no idea how make a child feel safe. So I'd be really happy about any insights any of you can share. (My husband worries less about this, I think for him a non-violent home is such an upgrade that everything else can be figured out along the way.)

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#458574 - 01/14/14 08:13 AM Re: parenting with anxiety / depression [Re: HopeDiesLast]
L84 Offline


Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 22
Loc: USA
HDL,

It begins with desire and you have that. Desire seems to find the way and you have the highest of desires which is to love. The fear you feel is normal to everyone wanting to be a parent but especially to one who has known pain and not being safe in their life and its effect on you and your husband.

You will make some mistakes but they do provide an opportunity to be transparent with your child. When you acknowledge your mistake to them and apologize and or ask forgiveness it sets things right again as you endeavor (by grace) to do right by them. I experienced this so many times in my own life (without the benefit of that example growing up).

After being honest with my child and reconciling we were closer afterwards than before my mistake. I think it helped them be free to be able to admit their own mistakes (and not have to hide or pretend). I think this is a way to provide relational safety to them. There are of course other aspects of safety.. providing physical needs etc.. but this one seemed so important to mention because in my life I greatly desired good relationships with my children (and those close to me).

You have a grate compassionate heart. Thanks for opening up and sharing.

L

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#458657 - 01/15/14 01:19 PM Re: parenting with anxiety / depression [Re: HopeDiesLast]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 678
Loc: NJ
Hi HDL

I have anxiety attacks before I had children and I will say, they have changed me for the better. Gone is my overt anxiety. Depression, well, that has kicked around and we have talked openly about it. Being depressed and having to meet other people's needs is never an easy thing.

All of this said, I think my kids (13 and 10) are incredibly well balanced human beings. We have always been extremely honest and open with them - and we have worked very hard to encourage them to find their emotions and be able to communicate them - something neither my husband nor myself did very well before.

And also, the fact that you are worrying about being a good parent means you will be one wink

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#458713 - 01/16/14 06:28 AM Re: parenting with anxiety / depression [Re: HopeDiesLast]
HopeDiesLast Offline


Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
Thank you L and Esposa for your kind answers. From both your answers I understand that "honest and open" is maybe THE key factor. That makes me feel better because it actually was the only strategy to deal with these issues that I had in the first place. smile

What also gives me hope is this: "we have worked very hard to encourage them to find their emotions and be able to communicate them - something neither my husband nor myself did very well before". I think I have never realized that you can teach your children something that is not very natural for you or that you're not very good at. But then of course children have a natural ability to feel their emotions, so as a parent you can support them with your reactions even if you don't always feel your own emotions. That makes sense to me.

The other thing that I think I have to remember right now while in the midst of a winter / therapy bout of depression is that depression lies. So when it tells me that it is hopeless from the start and we will never be good parents because of our past, I need to find a way to stop listening.

HDL.

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