5 thoughts on “Parenting: How Your Style Can Negatively Affect Mental Health

  • September 17, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    While I appreciate this article, I couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable with the simple message that bad parenting is the cause of mental health disorders. Mental illnesses are complicated and in our family’s case, my son suffered from severe OCD. His two sisters did not, so that puts a blip in the parenting theory right there. OCD and other illnesses are thought to have a genetic component, and the truth is, the actual causes of OCD and many other mental illnesses are unknown. There is so much stigma associated with mental illness already that I think we need to be aware that posts such as yours might discourage families from seeking help, because they will feel their child’s illness is their fault. In my years of experience as an advocate for OCD awareness I have come across countless families whose lives have been touched by OCD. The majority, by far, are “regular,” caring families with parents who would go to the ends of the earth to help their children.

    • September 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      Hi Janet,
      Thank you for your input. I do understand your perspective, but you must keep in mind that this article was geared toward readers trying to understand parents who are neglectful, abusive, ill themselves, or negligent. We must keep in mind (and I’m sure you aware aware of the fact that) some parents are more detrimental than others in raising their children. Some parents are completely negligent, resulting in abandonment, abuse, substance abuse, or severe mental health problems in children or teens.

      However, it is also important that, in future articles, I add a section to the article that explains the opposite side of the equation and highlights good parents who are not in control of who their children ultimately become. Parents also have very little control over how genes affect their children.

      There are certainly caring families who have been nothing but support for their loved ones, which is why I created this blog!
      All the best

  • September 17, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    This is something that I would worry about quite a lot – especially as someone who actually has BPD and AvPD. I know how hard it’s been and I would never ever want to pass them on to any child I might have… but it’s hard to know how best to stop that from happening. If only babies came with instruction manuals!

    • June 2, 2016 at 3:18 am

      If you wish that your child came with an instruction manual, then perhaps you shouldn’t be raising children. The instruction manual is the example set forth to you via your own parents; you simply pass it along to your own child. Punish bad behavior and not mistakes; I.E. A child getting a bad grade should not be punished, rather be given the help they need. A child who’s running around the house, jumping on furniture and generally being destructive should be CORRECTED, and then punished if the behavior continues. For the above example, my parents explained to me that their home was their home and that they allowed me to live in it, and that I was more than welcome to destroy my own furniture when I got older and paid for it myself. It set the boundaries, and still left me feeling like I had a sense of control knowing that when I got older I could do whatever I wanted. Now they still failed in some senses by distancing themselves from us when we got older, my dad playing computer games and my mother constantly working, and that’s when I got off track and followed the example of my peers which lead me into eventual trouble. It was like they tried for the first half of my life, and then gave up halfway through their 18 year commitment to pursue their own goals. I honestly would have been happier and know for a fact I would of avoided trouble if they would have sent me off to live with my grandparents who had time for me, wanted me there, and would have kept me in line. I can thank them however for both teaching me what to do when it comes to raising my own kids, and subsequently giving me the example of what not to do later in life. That’s just my 2 cents.

  • January 6, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I often think there must be a 4th set of parenting, as teh three categories, attempt to cover the general possibilities.
    My family was definitely dysfunctional on many levels. My mother was manipulative and controlling (her mother was a martinet who believed children were servants there to make her happy–definitely authoritarian).
    My father was “too nice” but had been emotionally abandoned as a child, and forced to be the parts to both his mother and step-father.
    Both parents feared any hint of mental problems..
    I had many emotional problems as a child which were unaddressed. My older brother was “perfect” and I was cast as “failure.”
    At 14 I got first on a state-wide test, whose reward was an opportunity to early study at a state university. My parents told me it was too good for me, and that it should have been my brother was got the opportunity, as I didn’t deserve that opportunity (my brother took much heat for not scoring high enough). They refused to allow me to accept the opportunity. I left home. I completed the university programme and became a university instructor (eventually, I went from the BA directly into a doctoral programme).
    My brother has suffered from attempting to “be” what my parents wanted him to be, but made some unwise decisions, lost everything twice–eventually becoming a con-man. He married someone similar in nature to our mother.
    Now, that, I am older, I can see how my parents set much into motion, by their parenting style; and how their partents set much into motion.
    When I became a parent, i did much to have a balanced style (when i told my son what were the rules, I would include the “why” for my reasoning. I was my son’s role model–which became evident in his teen years (now that he is a parent, I can see my influence on him, and how it impacts his daughter)..
    The role of personality of the child, is a definite factor, in how parents have to respond. It is not completely simplistic, especially since children are not all alike.
    Parenting style is but one factor. What does the child need, and how should that information come to that child so it can understand, grow and learn?


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