Liza Long

Recent Posts

Navigating Summer Plans for a Child with Mental Illness: Pools, Popsicles, and Paying for Special Needs Care

Posted by Liza Long on May 25, 2018 11:30:03 AM

My youngest daughter turns 13 in a few weeks. For the first summer in ten years of balancing work and motherhood, I don’t have to worry about the one expense that rivaled my mortgage: summer daycare. Many parents look forward to the day when their children will be old enough to supervise themselves—or even babysit other children—during summer days. But for parents of children who have mental illness, it’s a different situation. While I no longer plan summer daycare for my soon-to-be 13-year-old daughter, there’s no way I would have left my son Eric, who lives with bipolar disorder, home alone at the age of 13. He would not have been safe.

Read More

Topics: Inspiration, Getting Support, Insurance Funding Issues, Parenting Kids With Mental Illness

Nobody’s Perfect: Trusting yourself—and forgiving yourself—can be critical when parenting a child with mental illness

Posted by Liza Long on May 1, 2018 1:53:38 PM

I’m a recovering perfectionist. In my writing, I’m always looking for a better way to phrase things (I’ve revised this sentence four times). As a teacher, I’m always tweaking my lesson plans and assignments to try to make them more effective and inclusive. And as a mother of four children, I sometimes agonize over being the best parent I can be, knowing firsthand that a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child.  Some days, that means I’ve been pretty anxious, stressed, and sad. One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn in parenting a child with mental illness is that it’s okay to doubt myself—and even more importantly, it’s also okay to trust myself too.

Read More

Topics: Stigma, Inspiration, Getting Support, Parenting Kids With Mental Illness

You Are What You Eat: Nutrition Plays an Important Role in Children’s Brain Health

Posted by Liza Long on Mar 23, 2018 2:31:41 PM

After my 2012 blog about parenting a child with mental illness, “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” went viral, I received numerous suggestions about ways to help my child. A surprising number of these comments focused on my son’s diet. “I guess I shouldn’t have let you eat Red Vines or drink root beer,” I joked to Eric, who has always had a fondness for those sugar-laden treats.

Read More

Topics: Parenting Kids With Mental Illness, Causes and Risks

Avoiding Travel Travails: A little planning can go a long way to ensuring your spring break travel is fun for everyone

Posted by Liza Long on Feb 22, 2018 1:01:04 PM

Spring Break is my family’s favorite time to travel. Because we live in chilly Idaho and our grandmas both live in sunny southern California, we usually schedule a trip that includes some combination of theme parks, beaches, and family visits. For most families, juggling such an ambitious schedule is a challenge, but in my family, we have always had to plan for an extra complication: my second son’s mental illness.

Read More

Topics: Parenting Kids With Mental Illness

the worth of one: teaching our children to value their worth is vital to their mental health

Posted by Liza Long on Jan 18, 2018 5:03:10 PM

I’ll never forget the day that my then four-year-old son Eric told me he just wanted to be a zero. “It hurts too much, Mom,” he said, referring to the anguish of sensory overload that sometimes caused him to melt down in public or lash out at his preschool peers. I hugged my little Buzz Lightyear close—Eric loved his hero so much that it was hard for me to talk him into changing out of his Buzz-themed pajamas. What could I do to help my child?

Read More

Topics: Stigma, Inspiration, Parenting Kids With Mental Illness

time for you: five new years resolutions for a happy, healthy new year

Posted by Liza Long on Dec 28, 2017 10:25:42 AM

The New Year is a time for taking stock of our lives. We celebrate the things that are going well, and we re-evaluate the things that could go better. Many of us write down our intentions as resolutions, macro-level goals to guide us to a more productive and peaceful new year. According to Nielsen ratings service, the top five new year’s resolutions in 2015 were:

Read More

Rate Our Blog Post