“Mummy, what do you do all day whilst I’m at school?”

Munchie has started a new preschool this year and I’m happy to be getting back in to a routine after the summer. When she asked me this question one day last week, I pondered: when can I start explaining to her that I regularly see a psychiatrist? I know she doesn’t need to know any intimate details, but I’m interested to know how and when it is OK to talk to your four and three quarter old daughter about mental health in more detail. I thought about it the day after she asked as I took the long drive to Manhattan for my appointment. ‘I’ll tell her I went to the doctor’s if she asks and then perhaps say it was for a check-up and kind of see where it goes from there’ I thought. Of course I want my daughter to have a clear and healthy understanding of what it is to be mentally well and how important it is to look after yourself and others in this regard. I would love to hear any thoughts on how others have approached this and I will read up on it for future posts. On collecting Munchie at the usual time and getting her strapped in to the car seat, I asked her about her day and she dutifully asked me about mine. I swallowed. “I went to the doctor’s.” “Oh. We played on the tire swing and did some painting….” She chattered on. Not an eyelid was batted. I guess, when I think about it, I’ve told her I’ve been to the doctor’s before, so come on mummy – what’s the big deal?

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