Monday

6 Things You Can Do When a Mother is Mentally Troubled

Raising her children is something she just doesn't want to do lately, no one really knows why, but the mother is acting quite strangely around the children.  She use to make sure they were bathed, fed, the house clean, their in school, and relatives got to see them, but not anymore.  The mother acts depressed, uncaring, rude, or sometimes abusive to family, friends and her own children.


Gossiping about the mother's issues is not going to keep the children safe.  Threatening to violently attack the poor mom is not the way to go either.  Put aside personal beliefs, emotions, and ridiculous statements and stick to what matters, the mother's well-being and the safety of the children.


Some things people can do when faced with a situation where a mother is simply not acting like herself and the children look like they are being neglected:


1.  Make the time to talk with her away from the children.


Ask questions gently.  Avoid arguing.  Find out what or who is causing her stress lately.  Offer to assist her with her problem(s) if you can or direct her to some help.


2.  Converse with children in front of mom and also when she isn't present.


Notice any changes in their demeanor.  Do they appear comfortable with her?  Do they act afraid, worried or nervous whether in her presence or away from her?  Do they wish to be away from her?


3.  Speak with concerned loved ones.


Tell them what you know, but be selective on what you say, because you don't know if there is a relative who secretly wants her children.  Ask them to assist with whatever tasks the mother is having trouble keeping up with until she appears to be mentally/physically strong again.


4.  Note your findings.  Check for patterns in odd behavior discuss with a nurse and schedule a doctor's appointment if necessary.


Sometimes a serious illness may be ongoing, so you may want to exercise caution.  Be sure the environment is safe.  Protect yourself.


5.  Assist with cooking, cleaning and caring for children.


As much as some people like to avoid these things, when someone is obviously in trouble, now is not the time to make excuses.  Do what you can to help.  Offer to watch children after you have discovered what is causing major upset in the home.


6.  Meet with other relatives and have a family meeting if there is no sign of change.


If after issues have been discussed, services has been provided, appointments have been met, and there is still no change, call a family meeting with a plan that includes temporarily separating mother from children until she can get the help she needs.


Things happen and not every mom is able to care for children all the time.  Keep this in mind before assuming the worse, acting judgmental, or enlisting the help of other critical family members.  Not every mental illness is permanent.  Many moms who once were faced with mental challenges do heal (ie. post-partum depression, PMS, Perimenopause, Menopause, work-related stress, marital conflict, drug and alcohol addictions, etc.)


Nicholl McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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