Your children are very lucky to have a parent who places such a high value on their emotional health and wellbeing, and who recognises and meets their basic needs for safety, security and love.
The risk factors for mental health problems include a range of biological, psychological and social/environmental factors. In other words, it is not inevitable that children with a family history of mental health issues will go on to struggle with similar difficulties themselves.
It sounds like the thougts you are having are painful and distressing, and I'm wondering where they take you? In other words, how easily can you engage with your children when you are hooked by thoughts about your own mental health and needing to protect them? What do they lead you to do? How easy for you is it to relax and be available for your children when you have these thoughts?
Parenting is as challenging a role as it is rewarding, and unfortunately it doesn't come with instructions! There is evidence, however, that when parental warmth and nurturance is balanced with parental limit setting, children do well emotionally and psychologically. But we won't always get it right!
If you are finding that your concerns for your children are impacting your ability to parent and/or your parenting satisfaction, then perhaps you would be willing to learn ways to reduce the impact of these thoughts. Mindfulness techniques, in particular, would seem especially useful. Mindfulness increases present moment awareness and in doing so reduces the control that unhelpful thoughts have over our behaviour. As a result, we are better able to engage in behaviours that are meaningful and important.
I hope this is helpful.
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