How to Talk to a Child About Their Parent’s Depression

When a parent has depression it can be very confusing for a young child. My children wondered if it was their fault, if they had done something wrong. When they understood it wasn’t them and they had no effect on my emotions, they were still very confused and left wondering what was going on. I went on a hunt to find the best books I could to explain my sad times to my kids. There are some really great ones out there and these are just a few.

Can I Catch It Like A Cold?
The Color Thief
Why Are You So Sad?
I’m Sick

Do you know of any good titles for children whose parents are suffering from depression? Please recommend any in the comments. Thanks!



9 thoughts on “How to Talk to a Child About Their Parent’s Depression”

  1. Very nice. It will also be good if the other understanding parent does what is best to explain the situation to the sensitive kid in a manner that is possible for the kid to understand the situation. This would be ideal to make the kid develop into a more empathetic individual. Books, no doubt help a lot but we also to look at supplementary/complementary means to pacify the kid. For single parents / parents rioting with each other on a consistent basis, i can’t imagine the position of the poor kid…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve just always gone out of my way to stress that I was this way before my daughter was born so mama’s sadness has nothing to do with her, my brain just sends me the wrong messages. I’ve explained it that way since she was 4 and became aware of my bad states and I think it’s as simplified as it gets for children with the attention span of a gnat.


  3. Children learn how to identify emotions and work through them by watching their parents. What I have found to be a beneficial exercise is to just speak openly about the feeling state in the moment and explore ways the feeling can be worked through. This allows a child to learn how to identify emotions effectively and learn ways to work them through productively. Thank you for bringing attention to this often not talked about aspect of finding one’s emotional health.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would also suggest the movie Inside Out. Not only is it geared to kids for entertainment, it also presents the back story of emotions in a way I which kids can understand. I used it to help my son understand my PTSD and associated “Blue” memories.


  5. I really liked your post! It was to point, and very clearly written, and you dove into the topic right away. I agree with you- talking to children when a parent has depression is very important. I can relate to this as I grew up with a parent who suffers from depression. I remember when they were trying to hide it from me, but as a child that worried me even more. Many people think that little kids don’t notice things, but in reality kids are very attentive and they notice even the smallest things. That’s why it is so important for parents with depression to talk to their kids about it. This post of yours was a perfect post to encourage parents to do so. I really like how you put in the extra effort and did your own research on trying to find children’s books that address these kinds of mental issues. I would have never thought of that. I think this is a great way to teach kids about mental health issues.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.