Explaining mental health to a 5 year old

Yesterday Monkey asked where I had been and why I wasn’t at home when he finished school. I must admit its a rare thing for me not to be here.

I made the fatal mistake of telling him I had been at the hospital. Which  bought on gasps of but why mummy, do you need plenty of bed rest?

I have never really talked to him about my mental health, he knows I don’t like crowds and sometimes I don’t feel very well so need lots of rest of the sofa.

I tried to explain that sometimes, you go to see your doctor, who knows a little bit about lots of things and sometimes, they decide they have to send you to someone who knows a bit more and mummy needed one of those. Then those fatal words came out, but mummy what is wrong, I feel saying I have a chemical inbalance in the brain, which makes mummy think differently to other people at times, might not of  been aged approripate for a 5 year old, but he did seem to accept it and I told him if he has any questions he can come and ask me, but that I was going to be ok and the new doctors were going to give me some new tablets that makes my brain think the right way.

Basically I shouldn’t of opened my mouth and do what my partner did which was told him I had a doctors app, not a lie, but not exactly the truth, however my partner was gearing up at the possibility of telling our son that I might not be home and trying to explain why.

We are getting to the point with monkey of him noticing a lot more and noticing my limits, lego will only distract him for so long. Like with everything, we have done with him, we don’t shield him from what is going on, but try and explain it, this time my parenting skills failed me, but he has come and asked me more questions mainly for reaassurance more than anything else, which I am happy to give him

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18 Responses to Explaining mental health to a 5 year old

  1. Darlene says:

    You explained it well. Children understand more than we realize. He just needs to be reassured that you will be OK and it looks like you did that. You are a very good mum!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Suze says:

    I’m with Darlene in that I think you explained it very well..and it IS age appropriate since he understood. You are doing a terrific job at motherhood so stop blaming yourself or doubting yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ashleyleia says:

    That sounds to me like a really good explanation you gave him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the explanation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Monkey Minds says:

    I think kids just need the reassurance that you’re not ill and dying…at least that’s what I remember from being little. Sounds like you did a good job and I’m sure your son feels reassured 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. manyofus1980 says:

    it is good you are honest with him as much as you can be. he’ll thank you for it when he’s older. explaining to kids can be so hard. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great explanation. I don’t think there’s just one way of explaining things – we sometimes have to know our audience as well 🙂 Thank you for sharing your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. fakeflamenco says:

    Just reading this months later. I agree with the previous comments. You handled it well. Too much mystery and kids may make up the answer themselves and come to an incorrect conclusion. Congratulations and good foundation for explaining things as needed in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

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