Bipolar disorder is overwhelming not only for the child, but also for the friends, family, and loved ones who are close to the patient. Parenting a bipolar child, especially when there are other children in the home, can seem downright impossible at times. However, there are several simple rules that parents can incorporate into their home life to make the process easier.
The first step is to treat your bipolar son or daughter as an individual. Each small accomplishment should be celebrated. This disease should not be allowed to become the child’s identity.
The second step is to encourage the bipolar child to engage in a variety of activities. Bipolar children tend to obsessively fixate on one activity at a time. It might as well be a healthy one. Opening the doors to music, sports, and academics can be beneficial to your son or daughter in numerous ways; however, it is important to restrain from forcing the activities on a child. Music and other art forms are often used as a method of bipolar child treatment.
It is also a beneficial form of bipolar child treatment to assign the child tasks that provide a sense of purpose and self esteem. Simple jobs around the home will increase the self confidence levels of a child in the home, as well as outside of it.
If trouble arises with your child, do not hesitate to help. Often bipolar children are lead to experiment with alcohol, drugs, or other risky behaviors. While it is important not to become an enabler in these situations, the bipolar child should know that they have help available to them when it is needed.
Most importantly, love should never be withheld from a child as a punishment. Parenting a bipolar son or daughter can be a difficult challenge, but it should also be an enjoyable time for both parties involved.
Here are three helpful book resources for raising a bipolar child:
The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood’s Most Misunderstood Disorder by Janice Papolos
Bipolar Kids: Helping Your Child Find Calm in the Mood Storm by Rosalie Greenberg
Positive Parenting for Bipolar Kids: How to Identify, Treat, Manage, and Rise to the Challenge by Mary Ann McDonnell