I recently published a blog on our Emery Counseling website about the power of aligning our relationships with technology with children as a way to align family values and improve communication. But why stop the buck there? 

Vulnerability can be a missed tool of parenting to scaffold for your child’s growth through different age gaps and the experiences that come along with them. How to connect with my teenager problems in school emery counseling northern colorado therapy

A parent’s vulnerability shows to me an investment in their child’s therapy; a willingness to disclose to their child’s therapist about experiences at home or how their own experiences have impacted their parenting style. Perhaps, most importantly, it also shows a willingness to commit to their own growth and that their child isn’t alone in that journey. 

Additionally, it can also be an asset for me as a therapist when I see parents modeling vulnerability. 

With parental consent, I will sometimes share with my clients when they doubt their parents’ commitment to their relationship in different ways that I know that their parent is working with a therapist or professional of the like. I make the connection between a parent working on themselves as an improvement to their overall well-being that will undoubtedly have a positive impact on their relationship with their child. 

Do you discuss your experiences with your child from when you were a child, teenager or adult? Despite developmental differences between different age categories, children still look to their parents to help make sense of the world. There is power in a parent being able to share with their child how they’re experiences affected them growing up, both positive and negative. More often than not, I find it to be a therapeutic tool to scaffold my talking points as a therapist with authentic real life experiences (“Oh, someone gets me”). 

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Just like a therapist, you have this capacity as a parent. 

When I work with a client with OCD, I usually find my clients engaged when I present tangible examples of my real life experiences with OCD as a supplement to their understanding of their relationship with OCD. It provides the realization that although my experiences are unique, I am not alone

If you have ever struggled with depression, as an example, you have talking points, mentalities, and strategies to share with your child to help them if they too struggle with depression. These are your assets as a parent, not your weaknesses. 

my teenager is struggling with depression emery counseling northern coloradoIf you ever doubt your capacities as a parent because of your own experiences with mental health, than I would ask you to remember this…who better to serveas a role model and guiding force for a child with depression than someone who “gets it,” if not from sharing in the exact same experience, than rather a shared understanding of what it can feel like to be in that place. I did this and I know that you can do this too.

We can use our experiences with mental health to empower others in their experiences and own stories. Vulnerability is your strength, not your weakness.