Parenting skills for mothers with borderline personality disorder

Study record managers: refer to the Data Element Definitions if submitting registration or results information. The first disorder-specific parenting training program for mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder M-BPD is evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.

The training program is expected to have positive effects on parenting behavior, decrease the risk of maltreatment of the child, and improve emotion regulation in mothers at post treatment and at 6-month follow-up compared to a control group treatment as usual; TAU. The investigators expect the difference to increase over time, indicating a worsening in BPD parenting. Assessments of each participant: T0 pre-interventionT1 post-intervention and follow-up 6 months after T1. Behavioral: Group training for mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder The group programme is designed to teach mothers with BPD parenting skills and to reduce dysfunctional parenting attitudes and strategies.

The components are: childrens basics needs, mindfulness, stress and stress reduction, dealing with conflicts, dealing with emotions, dysfunctional attitudes, physical contact, parenting rules, self care.

After completing all assessment points T0, T1, T2they can receive the intervention of the intervention group group training. Assessment point only T0. Assessment points T0, T1, T2. Questionniare measuring dysfunctional discipline practices in parents.

Mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder: Common Symptoms and Treatment

Mean values range between with higher values indicating more negative parenting strategies. The PSOC measures how parents perceive their child rearing competence. Range with higher values indicating higher sense of competence.

The PSI is a dimensional rating of parental stress. Range 48 - with higher values indicating higher stress. The CTSPC measures the extent to which a parent has carried out specific acts of physical and psychological aggression. The CAPI measures physical abuse potential with reference to the individual burden and three validity scales: a lie scale, a random response scale, and an inconsistency scale. The CNI measures child neglect, rated by the diagnostician.

Range with higher values indicating higher neglect. Difficulties in emotion regulation are measured with a awareness and understanding of emotions; b acceptance of emotions; c the ability to engage in goal-directed behavior, and refrain from impulsive behavior, when experiencing negative emotions; and d access to emotion regulation strategies perceived as effective.

Range 36 - with higher values indicating more problems in emotion regulation. The BSI measures mental distress. Results are displayed via t-values. The QTF measures borderline specific thoughts and feelings. Range with higher values indicating more BPD-specific thoughts and feelings. The INEP measures negative effects of psychotherapy in different areas of life intrapersonal change, relationships, friendships, family, malpractice, and stigmatization. Higher values indicating better therapeutic course.

CSQ-8 measures client satisfaction with intervention. Range with higher values indicating greater satisfaction. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study.

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Hide glossary Glossary Study record managers: refer to the Data Element Definitions if submitting registration or results information. Search for terms x. COVID is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. Save this study. Warning You have reached the maximum number of saved studies Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U. Federal Government.Parenting with borderline personality disorder BPD can bring elation, but in quick succession, it can bring frustration, anger, despair.

Borderline personality disorder can be exhausting and overwhelming. If you are a parent with BPD, it can be helpful to know how this personality disorder affects your children so you can benefit from some tips for parenting with borderline personality disorder.

Borderline personality disorder is characterized by problems in regulating or controlling emotions and the inability to maintain stable relationships. Instead of stability, relationships are marked by hostility and a lack of trust.

This tumultuous personality disorder can cause depressionsubstance abuseextreme levels of stress, and hostility in the home. This illness is difficult to live with. They are negatively affected when a parent has BPD. Happily, there are things parents with BPD can do to make parenting more successful. Learning parenting skills for mothers with borderline personality disorder will help you be present and even-keeled for your kids. Begin with just one or two of these tips, and gradually add others to help you raise your child well.

Educate yourself.

parenting skills for mothers with borderline personality disorder

Ask your doctor or therapist for handouts or pamphlets. Many organizations offer free classes and support groups, too. Develop healthy coping skills. Practice self-care and develop healthy coping skills deep breathinggoing for a brisk walk, listening to music, coloring —anything that helps you feel steady and ready to be with your kids.

Practice mindfulness. This is the art of being fully present in your moment rather than letting your mind race with worries, negative thoughtsfeelings of resentment, self-hatred, or other bothersome borderline experiences. When you pay attention to your emotions, you can learn to identify them and recognize those emotions in your kids. This helps you be there for them as they need it. Establish routines.

Having predictable routines for the morning, mealtimes and bedtime create stability. You and your children will feel more secure and stable as well as less stressed. Teach feelings. Teach your kids about feelings.

Read books together and talk about how their feelings relate to the ones in the book.

Parenting Skills for Mothers With Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) (ProChild)

This benefits you, too. You and your kids will become more empathetic and understanding, too. Get support. Parenting, especially with BPD, is exhausting. Take breaks.Medically Reviewed By: Sonya Bruner. Is Your Mother Very Emotional?

She May Have Borderline. Read More Here. Borderline personality disorder BPD is a common mental health condition that affects approximately four million people in the United States. Diagnosing BPD can be difficult, as the signs and symptoms are similar to those of other mental health conditions.

For this reason, it's important to seek help from a licensed mental health expert. To ensure proper diagnosis, your mental health professional will complete an extensive psychological evaluation, including family history. When you have BPD, your self-image is skewed, which causes you to have intense emotions and behave impulsively.

If you have a mother who has Borderline Personality Disorder, it's important to understand that this illness is not her fault. Because BPD can be isolating, seeking professional treatment is key. Despite the disorder's complexity, it is highly treatable. Mental health professionals are wary of diagnosing individuals with BPD prior to the age of 18, typically choosing to wait until early adulthood to make a formal diagnosis.

BPD traits tend to manifest in the late teen years, and it is believed that the condition's onset may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. BPD symptoms tend to ebb and flow throughout an individual's lifetime. Changes in life circumstances, such as the end of a relationship, relocation, pregnancy, or childbirth, may worsen symptoms.

Award-winning psychologist and author Marsha Linehan says individuals with borderline personality disorder are like, "People with third degree burns … Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement. If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at A diagnosis of BPD can be enlightening-and scary. After being diagnosed with BPD, it's vital to practice self-compassion and to remind yourself that the diagnosis does not define you.

Most importantly, it's essential to realize that your BPD is not your fault, and it's never too late to seek treatment. Many mothers carry a tremendous amount of guilt on their shoulders, and a BPD diagnosis is likely to exacerbate any feelings of guilt or shame. You deserve to feel better, and you deserve to get help. If your mother has BPD, you may have noticed that she finds it difficult to be alone. Solo time can provoke anxiety in individuals with BPD, as they tend to depend on others to soothe their intense emotions.

Individuals with BPD may also lash out at the people they love most. Even though they crave close, meaningful relationships, they often keep loved ones at arm's length.Children of mothers with BPD should be considered a high-risk group given the wide array of poor psychosocial outcomes that have been found in these children.

This paper describes the parenting strategies that might explain the transmission of vulnerability from mothers with BPD to their offspring, from infancy through adolescence. We conclude that oscillations between extreme forms of hostile control and passive aloofness in their interactions with their children may be unique to mothers with BPD. We provide an overview of interventions that are currently recommended for mothers and family members with BPD, namely attachment therapy and psychoeducational approaches.

Based on an integration of the empirical findings on parenting and child outcomes as well as from the review of current approaches to intervention, we conclude with recommendations for treatment targets. We argue that mothers with BPD need psychoeducation regarding child development and recommended parenting practices and skills for providing consistent warmth and monitoring, including mindfulness-based parenting strategies.

Borderline Personality Disorder BPD is characterized by a pattern of intense and stormy relationships, uncontrollable anger, poor impulse control, affective instability, identity and cognitive disturbances, and recurrent suicidal behavior. There are likely a large number of women with BPD who are also mothers, which when combined with the extensive functional impairments associated with this disorder represents a problem of enormous public concern. Given that parenting impacts both the mother and the child, we feel that developing a parenting intervention specifically for this high-risk population is a particularly important endeavor.

Our overall aim for this work is to review parenting mechanisms that might explain the transmission of psychosocial vulnerability from mothers with BPD to their offspring, from infancy through adolescence. We first review gene-environment interaction models to explain the transgenerational transmission of the disorder.

parenting skills for mothers with borderline personality disorder

Second, we review evidence that suggests children of mothers with BPD should be considered a high-risk group given the wide array of poor psychosocial outcomes that have been found in these children. Next, we highlight parenting practices that may explain the transmission with a focus on particular parenting mechanisms that might be especially relevant for mothers with BPD across key developmental milestones.

Finally, we discuss implications for interventions with mother-child dyads and provide recommendations regarding points of intervention for this population. For instance, family studies assessing the rates of BPD diagnoses and related traits in first-degree relatives have found a 4- to fold increase in prevalence or morbidity risk for BPD compared to the general population e.

Research supports an even stronger familial aggregation of core features of BPD, namely affective instability and impulsivity, compared to the fully diagnosed disorder Silverman et al. These features have been found to aggregate separately, suggesting that they may be inherited independently.

Twin studies offer evidence for the genetic transmission of BPD. The discrepancy in heritability estimates is likely due to differences in sample size and sample ascertainment across the two studies.

In addition, genetic influences may be stronger for individuals with more extreme forms of the disorder i. Thus, findings from the population-based study suggest a relatively strong influence for both genetic and unique environmental experiences in accounting for variation in BPD features. Parenting serves as an important environmental context for offspring of mothers with BPD. Children lower in emotional reactivity may be more likely to maintain a positive parent-child relationship since their caregivers are willing to respond positively to their emotional expressions.

In contrast, negative parent-child relationships can exacerbate both the internalizing and externalizing symptoms in youth who are already emotionally dysregulated Feinberg et al.

parenting skills for mothers with borderline personality disorder

Warm and accepting parenting can shield a child from negative outcomes associated with genetic and physiological vulnerabilities Eley et al.

Alternatively, children with certain genetic and physiological factors may be protected from the effects of social environments characterized by abuse, neglect, and conflict Kaufman et al. First, Hobson and colleagues demonstrated that individuals with BPD displayed dysfunctional moment-to-moment relatedness with a psychotherapist, including hostility and intense, idealizing, and devaluing exchanges when compared to individuals with dysthymia.

Second, individuals with BPD tend to have attachment styles classified as disorganized and unresolved Levy, In sum, findings from moment-to-moment interpersonal exchanges and attachment strategies highlight that parenting styles oscillating between hostile control and passive, devaluating behaviors may lead to poor regulation in infants among mothers with BPD.

Despite concerning epidemiological evidence regarding the heritability of BPD features, few studies, relative to other forms of maternal psychopathology, such as depression, have directly examined outcomes of the offspring of mothers with BPD. We now turn to reviewing the available findings regarding a broad array of psychosocial outcomes of children, from infancy through adolescence, whose mothers have BPD.

Three studies have been conducted using infants of mothers with BPD Crandell et al. The authors speculate that this could lead to avoidant interaction patterns between the children and their mothers.

parenting skills for mothers with borderline personality disorder

The still-face paradigm has also been used to examine infant outcomes. Crandell and colleagues found that during the still-face paradigm, 2-month old infants of mothers with BPD demonstrated more dazed looks, more gaze aversion, and less overall responsiveness toward the mother than infants of mothers without a psychiatric disorder.

The authors interpreted these results as suggestive of emotional dysregulation in the face of an interpersonally stressful situation. Furthermore, after the still-face paradigm, the mother-infant dyads showed less recovery in their interactions as the infants continued to show increasing negative affect and less-satisfying reengagement with their mothers.Metrics details. Dysfunctional relationships and emotion dysregulation are hallmark features of borderline personality disorder BPD.

Women with BPD are, therefore, particularly challenged when raising a child. A group training program was developed for mothers with BPD to enhance their parenting skills and help them raise their children.

After the training, participants and trainers were asked to provide feedback regarding the evaluation of and the changes due to the training. Especially role plays were rated as useful. Raising children is a great pleasure and at the same time a big challenge. The daily life of women with Borderline Personality Disorder BPD is characterized by recurring and frequent changes in mood, self-image, and identity.

In stressful situations, the women tend to react with impulsive or self-harming behavior, easily lose their temper, or engage in excessively self-damaging behavior e. At the same time, individuals with BPD have difficulties engaging in and especially maintaining stable relationships. Taking into account that stability and dependability of the caregiver are crucial for a healthy child development, women with BPD are extremely challenged when expecting and raising a child.

A newly developed group training program for mothers with BPD is described [ 2 ]. The existing literature points to the numerous difficulties mothers with BPD face for an overview see [ 3 ]. Compared to clinical and non-clinical control groups, the level of parental depression is elevated in samples of mothers with BPD; they engage more often in alcohol and drug abuse and show suicidal behavior [ 45 ].


Mothers with BPD often have difficulties in accurately perceiving and reacting to their own emotional needs. By analyzing their speech and behavior in the interaction with their offspring, mothers with BPD were characterized as intrusive and insensitive [ 7 ]. Mothers with BPD were more inclined to inhibit autonomy and relatedness in their teenaged children than a group of healthy mothers, whereby this inhibition tendency of the mothers was associated with adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms [ 10 ].

Regarding mother-infant interaction and parenting perceptions, mothers with BPD reported lower levels of maternal self-esteem, competence and satisfaction, higher distress and less structure in their interaction with their offspring than a healthy control group [ 6 ]. In their attachment patterns, mothers with BPD were significantly more likely to be classified as insecure, preoccupied, and unresolved than a normative comparison group [ 11 ].

The significance of role confusion for the development of mental distress in children and adolescents has recently been highlighted by Macfie and colleagues [ 12 ].The devastating effects of untreated borderline personality disorder BPD can severely restrict the functioning of people with the disorder, create extraordinary emotional distress, and lead to chronic psychological instability.

But the impact of BPD is not limited to the person with the disorder; symptoms bleed into the lives of those around them and deeply shape the quality of interpersonal relationships. Often, the most seriously affected are the children of a mother with borderline personality disorder, as the disorder interferes with normal, healthy parenting behaviors and parent-child dynamics, while increasing the risk of environmental instability, drug and alcohol exposureand poor family cohesion.

As a result, the very foundation of your formative psychosocial development may be compromised, leaving you vulnerable to ongoing psychological, behavioral, and interpersonal difficulties that interfere with your sense of self, quality of life, and capacity for joy.

The damage of borderline personality disorder on children can begin in the earliest stages of infancy and disrupt the development of secure attachment and engagement. Studies have found that interactions between mothers with BPD and their infant children are characterized by insensitivity, high levels of intrusion, and low levels of positive response to infant distress.

These unmet psychosocial needs at critical moments of development increase risk of disorganized attachment and rob children of security, comfort, and safety from the very beginning of their lives.

As children grow older and become verbal, the impact of BPD on their understanding of themselves, their mothers, and the world around them becomes more pronounced. Compassion, empathy, and validation are often withheld as your mother is unable to recognize your emotional needs or formulate appropriate responses. This, combined with the unpredictability, impulsivity, and extremity of those with BPD, is extraordinarily detrimental to the establishment of a secure emotional base from which to grow and flourish.

Additionally, it leaves children without a model for healthy interpersonal functioning, conflict resolution, and emotional regulation, increasing vulnerability to maladaptive and self-destructive behaviors. As April, a woman who grew up with a mother who suffered from untreated BPD, says :.

They are your example. You adopt what they do because you see the world through their eyes. Children of mothers with BPD are also at heightened risk for exhibiting attention difficulties, aggressive behavior, and low self-esteem, in addition to major depressionanxietyand borderline personality disorder itself. As a result, her parenting is driven by the desire to meet her own overwhelming need for validation, security, and love, rather than bestowing them upon you.

Without the freedom and support to engage in the vital work of self-exploration and self-expression, you struggle to establish an authentic sense of self and to trust your own instincts. April describes her own experience of this phenomenon:. Not being allowed to be who I am was huge. Not being able to express yourself creates shame. Their goal is to make themselves the center of your world. It makes you very programmable and insecure.

Instead of being taught that I was a normal person going through normal things and had the power and ability to deal with them, I was taught that the things I was thinking or feeling were wrong. I became a very insecure, needy, shameful, and protective person.

These effects often emerge early. Despite the extraordinary level of distress experienced by children of mothers with BPD, many are reluctant to acknowledge these experiences to others—or even to themselves.

Tips for Parenting with Borderline Personality Disorder

Recognizing the impact your mother has had on your life is necessary to understanding your own suffering and relieve feelings of guilt, disorientation, and shame; while her actions may not be malicious in intenttheir devastating effect on your development and ability to navigate the world must be examined to allow healing to begin. It is only by exposing the roots of your emotional obstacles that you can remove them and move forward with your life. At Bridges to Recovery, we offer effective, comprehensive treatment for the adult children of mothers with borderline personality disorder.

Whether your formative experiences have led to the development of a mood, anxiety, personalityor trauma disorderwe have the resources to give you the guidance and insight you need to heal. Our compassionate and expertly trained clinicians will create a personalized treatment plan that addresses the full scope of your unique needs and give you the support, validation, and empathy you need to heal.

Through a tailored mix of intensive individual psychotherapytherapy groupsand holistic therapiesyou can begin the process of self-discovery critical to recovery and the enhancement of emotional regulation, interpersonal tranquility, and psychological harmony.

Within an immersive, non-judgmental therapeutic community, you can find relief from the suffering BPD brought to your life and allow your authentic self to bloom. At Bridges to Recovery, we specialize in diagnosing and treating psychiatric and emotional issues such as borderline personality disorder.After several counselors, problems at school, relational difficulties, rages over nothing, irrational behavior, and now even a suicide attempt, Megan realized that something was terribly wrong with her year-old daughter.

Finally, a therapist who specializes in personality disorders suggested that this behavior was an early indicator of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Parenting a Child with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Because the official diagnosis cannot be made until 18 years of age, the therapist was stuck explaining the disorder without being able to diagnose. According to Megan, her daughter displayed all of signs and symptoms and she was desperate to learn how to help her daughter. These are the parenting suggestions the counselor gave the mother.

It took a while for Megan to change her parenting methods but when she did, things got so much better. Christine Hammond is a leading mental health influencer, author, and guest speaker. Her practice specializes in treating families of abuse, and trauma, with personality disorders involved which are based on her own personal experience. Based in Orlando, you may connect with Christine at Grow with Christine www.

Find help or get online counseling now. Psych Central Professional. About the Blog. While this is highly effective in schools and home environments for the majority of kids, it is not useful for budding borderline behavior. This method will cause further isolation of the child, increase their fear of abandonment, and incite even more problematic behaviors. Focus on emotion, not logic. Instead of trying to logically explain the consequences of poor decisions, focus on the emotional aspect.

Kids with budding borderline behavior need a lot of emotional support. They can hear the logic better after knowing that a parent understands and empathizes with their emotional needs. Passive is better than direct. Traditionally, direct parenting which encompasses short, sweet statements is effective. But with budding borderline behavior, being more passive is better.


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