Parenting A Child With Mental Illness: 2013 in Review

December 31, 2013 Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

Hiya Parents! As 2013 ends, I've been thinking about the past year and the different ways Bob, my son with ADHD, has grown. I've also been reviewing the past year for the top ten posts that you've enjoyed. As I went through them, I realized that I've grown a lot as a parent. So much of our time is spent ensuring that our kids are growing up well that we forget that we grow, too. So here's a round-up of my top ten posts just to inspire you to have an amazing 2014 with your special needs child! Thank you so much for making it a great 2013. Happy New Year!

Parenting a Child With Mental Illness is a Journey

Starting off the top ten countdown at number 10 is my advice for self-care - Have fun! It is a must when parenting a child with mental illness. Check this out to have more fun in 2014.

At number 9, I have part I on how to have tough conversations with family members. Parenting a special needs child can get tricky if you have family members that don't understand where you are coming from. Here, I share some tips on how to have these difficult chats without losing support from your family.

Number 8 takes us to my adventures with Bob and homework horror. Here's my story on how painful homework time could be.

At number 7, I bring the positive back to parenting. We often get caught up in the negative so much that we forget to look at the good things that are happening. Even the smallest achievements can be positive for your special needs child.

Number 6 gives you five easy ways to improve your child's mental health. Kids face difficult challenges today. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (or SAMHSA), 1 out of 5 kids will be diagnosed with a mental illness. 2013 brought us some difficult life events - the Newtown shootings, the Boston Marathon Bombings and natural disasters. Any and all of these plus mental illness can affect your child's emotional health. Use these tips to improve communication and your child's mental health to start off 2014 right.

At the halfway mark at number 5, I have my tips on how to deal with a snarky attitude. Bob is now almost a teenager (can you believe it!?) and his snark can come out in full force. Here's my advice on how you can deal with your child's rude 'tude without losing your cool.

Number 4 brings me back to starting a new day, just like ending 2013 takes me to a new year. After having a rough day, I decided to be kinder to myself by thinking of tomorrow as a new day to be a better mom for Bob. Be inspired and go easy on yourself in 2014.

In 3rd place, I have part 2 of my tips to help you advocate for your special needs child. In every parent's life there will always be someone (or in my case, several) who disagree with how you parent your child. The second part of this post will help you have tough conversations with your loved ones.

At number 2 is my list of tips to practice good self-care. While we're parenting a child with mental illness, we parents tend to put ourselves in last place. By taking care of yourself, you can better care for your special needs child.

Finally, the top post for 2013 brings you four ways to boost your child's self -esteem. Usually, the children I work with have low self-esteem. Bob had issues with it also. So, I came up with these four tips to help him and other kids as well.

Hopefully, reading these posts will entertain, educate and inspire you to have a great 2014 with your special needs child. Thanks so much for reading and happy New Year!

photo credit: The Style PA via photopin cc

APA Reference
Zalamar, H. (2013, December 31). Parenting A Child With Mental Illness: 2013 in Review, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 23 from

Author: Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

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