Parenting through a teenager's mental health crisis
I too have experienced parenting a child who exhibited those textbook behaviors. Having all three parents involved is so important. While my story did not have a happy ending, I see so much hope in yours.
Great piece. You are doing your best. Parenting a teen is so complicated now (I suppose it always was, but post-pandemic life, anxieties, the internet...so many new factors.) Keep up the good work.
Thanks for writing this Meg. I have a 9 year old with similar and various mental health issues. I often think about what we post on our social media vs how things really are on a daily basis behind the scenes.
Thank you for sharing these insights of what is going on in this area of your life. Very thought-provoking. As I was reading the first portion about the plates, food and concern of ants, my thought was you could tell your child if they don't bring the plates and food out daily, you'll go in and get those items on a daily basis. The more I read, though, the more I realized there was much more going on than just that. My heart goes out to you, Meg, it's gotta be tough!
Our four children (all boys) are grown, and my wife and I didn't go through what you are going through, either with the plates and food or the depression behavior, so I can't speak from experience in those areas. I will, though, suggest that children, especially teens, need unconditional love, acceptance, and boundaries. I'm not implying that you are deficient in any of those, Meg, I just list those as foundations they need in their life to help and support them to get through this phase they are struggling with and grow into even more wonderful human beings.
I foresee a future for you in which you experience the joy that I have when my oldest child, the only one with children so far, tells me of specific experiences he remembers from his youth that helped him be successful as an adult as well as be the great parent he is today. He only shares good experiences with me but I'm sure there are negative experiences he remembers and he uses them as guides of what not to do, much like I did in regards to how my dad parented me, as best as I could at the time.
Again, thank you for sharing.