coParenting a Child with a Personality Disorder
All parents want their children to be healthy in mind and body. The best formula we have for preventing and minimizing personality disorders in children is prescribed in hundreds of places, including here, and it is to hold tight and let go…
Ensuring that a child has an anchor, that he/she feels bounded, that their anxiety can be controlled and their rage contained is extremely important. These and similar ideas are insurance but by no means a guarantee. Genetics and experience can throw even the healthiest individual off one developmental path and onto another.
There are variables of both nature and nurture that over and over again prove to be critical risk factors for developing personality disorders. Some of the personality disorders may be more subtle but ultimately no less damaging. When these factors are mixed, alone or in combination with genetic vulnerabilities, physical illness, and the stresses associated with poverty or natural disaster, the lens through which a child views self and others can become profoundly distorted.
Corrective emotional experiences can help most who are struggling. This may take many different forms: psychotherapy; the consistency of a loving and responsive teacher, coach, or mentor; a relationship with a grandparent, uncle, neighbor, or friend who becomes an emotional anchor; and even a pet can all become part of the solution.
We know that children who have at least one healthy anchor among two or more caregivers can manage and potentially avoid psychological disorders even in the midst of horrific trauma. It also stands to reason that children who have only one anchor are at greater risk than those who have two or more. Like the skydiver who has no backup chute or the proverbial farmer who keeps all of his eggs in one basket, this child has only one chance to get it right. Whether it is the child’s other parent, grandparent, friend, another family member, or professional, your child will benefit greatly from having a larger support system. It takes a ‘village’ right?