How Parents Affect Children’s Mental Health

Do you know children’s mental health depends upon their parents’ behavior? Do you behave properly in front of your child? Do you think your child’s mental health is deteriorating because of how you behave in front of your child?

Parents are role models for their children. They watch and listen to your every activity, so it is obvious that your children learn so much from you. As we all know, everybody wants their child to be a good human being as they’re growing up. 

To raise a good child, you should develop a good relationship with your child. If you are not bonding with your child properly, it may affect the child’s mental health.

Your child’s mental health solely depends upon your parenting style. If your parenting is too strict or too uninvolved, there is a high risk of your children getting a mental illness. 

As parents, you should teach your children social norms and values, ensure they are not in any serious problems, and provide them with the necessary things they need. Love and support your children physically and emotionally. 

The relationship between Parents and children’s mental health

Parents have a direct correlation with their child’s mental health issues. The entirety of a parent’s physical and mental behavior reflects on the child’s mental image.

According to a report by Marcy Burstein, a clinical psychologist and the National Institute of Mental Health employee, parents who have anxiety, their children are 4-6 times more likely to develop an anxiety condition throughout their lifetime. Moreover, children of depressed parents are 3-4 times as likely to suffer depression.

Your child will have good mental health if you are a healthy parent. That’s why maintaining a healthy relationship with your child and reducing communication gaps is necessary.

Suppose your child faces difficult events (family quarrels, violence, traumatic events, substance use, a family member attempting suicide, parents’ divorce, etc.) that are very hard to take at his/her age. 

They are called ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), and these events cluster in their brains and cause mental disorders. 

How Parents Affect Children's Mental Health

ACEs are the main reasons that directly affect your child’s mental health. You should prevent your child from these experiences.

As a parent, you should not commit domestic violence, quarrel with your spouse, substance use, and many more that might affect your child’s mental health. 

You should understand the emotions of your kids and talk about their insecurities and boost their confidence. You should be a good parent, as we know that only a good parent can raise a good child.

Parenting style and your child’s mental health

Every parent wants to take care of their children, and parents must take care of their children.

However, some parents neglect their children, whereas some overprotect them. Neglected children and overprotected children will likely have communication gaps with their parents. The children will not be able to share their problems with their parents, which may cause mental issues. 

Different parents have different parenting styles. After reading this article, you will find out which category you belong to. There are various parenting styles, but according to research, these four parenting styles relate to most parents. 

  1. Authoritarian

Have you ever heard of a dictatorship? Yes, authoritarian parenting is similar to that. Parents set some rules, and children must follow the rules without asking questions

There should be no questions like why, how, when, later, etc. If children don’t obey their parents, they will definitely get punished, and the punishments are quite severe. 

Children have to face certain expectations of their parents. If they don’t meet their parents’ expectations, they get harshly treated by the parents without any consolation. They do not give suggestions or directions as their children are left in the dark. 

You may discipline your child with this parenting method, but your children can face mental health issues. Your child can have insecurities, low self-esteem, chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. In some cases, some children may fall into substantial usage. 

It is also called Helicopter Parenting, which involves being overprotective toward children and setting strict rules. It makes children live in fear which affects their mental health. 

2. Authoritative

Like Authoritarian parenting, authoritative parenting has set some rules for children, but they’re democratic. They listen to the children’s opinions and desires, share emotions, talk about their problems and ask questions. There is a healthy relationship between a child and a parent, which makes their bond stronger. 

There are some expectations from parents, but when the children fail to meet the expectations, children will not be punished. Instead, the parents will suggest they do better next time and critique their mistakes with feedback.

This type of parenting is the most impactful among the four parenting styles. It helps to boost the self-esteem of your children, help them face mental issues, share and solve problems and become successful parents and children.

3. Permissive

Permissive parents have low expectations and maintain few rules and regulations to follow. They are relaxed and rarely force their children to do certain tasks. They do not behave harshly towards their children. They give and take suggestions with their child as a friend. 

Since there is no moderation in parenting, there might be problems in school and discipline. Permissive parents may avoid conflicts even when the rules are broken. Without strict rules, the child might get spoiled and face anxiety disorder. 

4. Uninvolved

It is the worst style of parenting among the four. Parents fulfill the needs of the children but do not get involved in the child’s life. In some cases, even the necessities are not provided. These types of parents have less communication with their children. 

They neglect everything that is going on with a child’s life. Rules don’t really matter; they ignore the child even if they misbehave. Children who grow up in this environment might suffer in relationships in the future. 

There is no definitive way or wrong way of parenting. It all depends upon the situation of the parents. It all depends on the child-parent relationship and how your child will grow. You cannot only blame the parenting method. 

Effects of parental mental health on child development

Like any other disease, mental health issues are hereditary. It can be passed from parent to child. The risk is high if both parents have a mental health disorder. If the parents have an “anger gene” or “mood disorder,” the possibility of the child inheriting the gene is probably high.

Most parents know that their behavior directly affects a child’s mental health. Raising a child in a chaotic environment can cause stress-related issues in children. The decisions made by parents play a vital role in a child’s mental health. 

Growing up with parents having mental health issues can directly impact child development. The way parents behave with their children, talk to them, and express love can impact their development. It’s not like parents with mental disorders can not raise good children, but it depends on how you communicate with your child. 

Parents having mental disorders can raise a successful child. It depends on controlling your emotions and rage. Beating your children, domestic violence, and suicidal attempts can directly affect your child’s brain. It can lead your child to anxiety disorder and depression.

As a parent, you should make a strong bond with your child. Even if you have mental health issues, you should hide them from your children. Parents’ mental health plays a vital role in a child’s mental health. 

You should communicate properly with your child verbally and physically. You should not be selfish and encourage your child to do creative things. Parents are the main foundation for raising a successful child. You should give it your all effort to strengthen your relationship with your family. 

How Can Parents Support Their Child’s Mental Health?

Children are mentally and physically vulnerable until the age of 5. It is a brittle period for brain development. Adolescence is the next big step in a child’s life. The brain development process carries on until the child becomes an adult. Any event or incident can affect the child’s brain during this period. So parents have to be careful and support their child’s mental health

How Parents Affect Children's Mental Health

The role of parents in shaping their children’s mental health are:

  • Explain that mental illness is not their fault.
  • Boost their self-confidence.
  • Notice their emotions and behavior.
  • Help them and give support from family.
  • Maintain a stable environment at home.
  • Give them love and attention.
  • Communicate with your child.
  • Make a strong bond with your child.
  • Core strength and good coping mechanisms with your child. 
  • Encourage them and critique their mistakes.
  • Don’t be overprotective or ignorant.
  • Show your support even for little things.
  • Take them for outings, picnics, and recreational activities.

Watching out for yourself is the same as watching out for your children because, as parents, whatever we do is reflected in our kids. There should be a strong connection between children in the family. 


We hope this article helped you to clear the confusion about how parents affect a child’s mental health. Although there are numerous tips and tricks on the internet, the best thing you can do to help your child’s mental health is to love them unconditionally and be there for them when they need you the most. Give them a good environment and warm love.

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