Child Mental Illness Is Not On The Rise Because Parents Today Are ‘Too Soft’

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“I saw an article that said, ‘Child mental health illness on the rise.’

Like I usually do, I read the comments before clicking on the article.

They said things like:

‘Parents are too soft these days.’

‘It’s because kids are too soft.’

‘It’s because parents treat their child as their friend.’

‘Oh great, another article telling me I’m f***ing up my kid.’

Immediately, I thought, NO.


Mental illness is on the rise for children because parents give a hoot, and they have more understanding about mental illness than ever before.

(And that’s not to say that generations before us didn’t, but times were very different.)

Kids are not resilient.

They grow up to be adults with issues pertaining to childhood (again, not at all…)

Today’s adults are trying to undo our toxic trauma and childhood issues and become the people we are meant to be.

I’ve spent years in therapy trying to undo some parts of my childhood.

I studied mental health.

I understand it, so when I see it in my child, I go and seek help, like so many parents do these days.

Mental illness isn’t on the rise for children, it has always been there.

We are just understanding the signs and doing our dang hardest to recognize them and seek help for them.

I am not a perfect parent, there will be some way that I will wrong my children… even if I try my hardest not to.

I will ask for forgiveness.

I will right my wrongs.

I will accept responsibility.

This is what I see so many parents doing nowadays.

It’s no longer a dictatorship for parents to their children.

It’s understanding and respect because you know what?

It works better.

Studies say it works better.

I never respected a dictatorship.

Agreeable children who are ‘resilient’ become adults who can’t say no, who don’t question authority, and don’t stand up for themselves.

Those are not the adults I want to raise.

If you ask a child who their favorite teacher was and what class they did best in, they’ll remember the kindest teacher they have.

We are our children’s teachers.

Being kind isn’t soft.

Admitting fault isn’t soft.

Seeking help for your child isn’t soft.

It’s the right thing to do.

Mental ill-health is on the rise because parents seek help for their children, so the studies reflect that.

So no, you’re not messing up your child.

You’re teaching your child that perfection isn’t real and mental ill-health matters, to me.

That’s brilliant.

That’s a future we need.

I didn’t even need to read the article to know that.”

little girl sitting on a brick wall looking out on to the street
Courtesy of Laura Mazza

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza. You can follow her journey on InstagramSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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