Rev. Susan Eaton
For Parents of Children Struggling with Depression, Anxiety, or Other Mental Health Challenges
Your child needs you more than you can comprehend right now.
If he resists, press on. He is not resisting you. He is just in a struggle every day—possibly even every moment of every day. Struggle is what he knows. So do not be offended if he struggles with you.
Hold her. Hold her close in love, support, acceptance, grace. Hold her literally, physically. Pick her up off the floor or off of the bed, if necessary, when she can't pick herself up. Hold your child.
Your child’s behavior may make you uncomfortable. It may rub against your own fears, your own weaknesses, your own demons. But do not let your own junk get in the way of what your child needs. Your child needs you.
Your PROMISE to never leave—to journey through the dark valley with her.
When you are frustrated, lonely, tired—get help, support, and love from a trusted source. But don’t you dare leave your child in her anguish because YOU are tired, because YOU think it’s too hard.
It is hard. It is exhausting. But don’t you give up. Be strong in the Lord. Shore yourself up in His Word. Gird yourself for the battle.
Stand for the child who is trusting that you will be there when he feels like he is nowhere…unseen…unheard…unimportant…unable to make it one more day.
Knock on her door. Ask how her day was. Give her encouragement in her homework. Don’t sit in front of the TV or phone and leave your child in an isolated state.
Call the doctor. Find a therapist. Do not isolate yourself from help. The enemy uses isolation to defeat us. So, reach out and be the advocate your child needs.
Then, do something for yourself. Take a nap. Practice yoga. Go for a walk. Lie in a hammock. Listen to music that calms your soul and gives you hope. Do what is soothing and uplifting to your heart, mind, and soul.
Just don’t disengage from your child.
Remind him that his God is strong. Remind him he is loved, and you are not going anywhere.
Then give yourself grace for not being perfect. Forgive yourself for losing your temper. Forgive yourself for every way you feel weak or like a failure. Offer yourself the same love and grace you are offering your child.
Be held by your God. Listen to His voice, and believe what you know to be true: “I will never leave nor forsake you.”
You’ve got this.
Don’t give up.
Your God is not giving up on you.