Children who have a parent who is a multiple face many challenges that other children do not have to face. Some children accept their parents DID without any problem while others do not. Here are some of the challenges/problems children of multiples may face:
They may be confused as to why their parent acts different sometimes. Children thrive on consistency and a parent with DID is usually very inconsistent! Rules are changed by different alters or forgotten. Punishments can be extreme and then passive. Children are often left wondering which way is the correct way.
Children may be embarrassed or ashamed of their parent's DID. They may not want their friends to come over because they may be afraid their parent will become a toddler in front of their friends. They may feel somewhat responsible for their parent's unpredictable behavior. They may feel resentful or hateful. Feelings of "Why can't I have a normal parent" may come out in emotional outbursts.
Children may feel scared of some of the alters or that they may develop DID someday. It can be scary to a child not knowing how to act around particular alters.
Children may become angry at the parent for having DID. They may think you have DID on purpose. They may get upset because they can't listen to certain music, have certain posters on their walls, watch scary movies etc, because the parent may get triggered by it.
Children may feel sad that their parent has so many people inside. They may be sad for the child who was abused and began fragmenting.
What can you do?
Seek counseling for the child! They need to learn to cope with their parents DID and be able to understand it.
Be honest with your child! Answer any questions they may have. Reassure them that you love them and that they are safe.
Respect your child's feelings. Do not take any negative feelings personally! They are processing the knowledge of your DID the best that they can.
Invite your child to meet all your alters. (Only do this when you and your child feel comfortable with the idea) When they can put a name to a familiar mannerism or change in you, they will tend to be more comfortable.
Don't push your child to accept your DID. They will begin to accept it when they are ready!
I have a small book I have written for children who have a DID parent and it helps them understand a lot of the aspects of the disorder. If you would like for me to e-mail you a downloaded copy of what I wrote you can request it at: Sherryetal@satx.rr.com