Descriptive study with a qualitative approach, involving 14 families of children with mental disorders assisted at the Psychosocial Child Care Center of Maringá, Paraná, Brazil. The objective was to understand the experiences, feelings and reactions of families of child with mental disorder. Data were collected from January till April 2013 through open interviews and then analyzed using thematic Content Analysis. Two categories emerged "Living with mental disorder in childhood: a daily battle" and "Feeling and reacting: experiencing the mental disorder in childhood". It is concluded that the family needs to understand the disease to accept it and thus learn how to live with it, and it is up to the nurse to provide support in order to face the difficulties.
Family; Child health; Mental health; Nursing