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Supporting your child

11 September 2017

Being a supportive parent means more than just having your child’s best interests at heart. Kids really look to you to be there for them — even though they might not say it — and as a parent, it's all about being present, involved and helpful at times when your kids really need your support.

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to supporting your child. You may be doing these things already, but are all good points to keep top of mind.

  • Actively encourage them to do their best with school, their hobbies and interests.
  • Try listening without judgment; seek to understand their concerns and challenges.
  • Acknowledge their achievements and support them through their mistakes.
  • Be consistent with expectations and consequences to help them to feel secure and able to predict outcomes.
  • Treat them fairly with respect to develop a trusting relationship.

Give them the foundations they need to do their best.

Kids feel safe and secure with love, support, trust and optimism from their immediate family, and it starts with their parents. Knowing they have support is a powerful weapon against peer pressure, life’s challenges and disappointments. So, the aim is to keep your child safe and to give them the foundations they need to do their best.

Try to be as loving and supportive as you can.

Your child needs you at this time just as much as they have always needed you, but in a different way you may never have experienced before. As a parent, decide what’s important to your family and how you’ll share those expectations and values with your child. This way, they’ll have the knowledge to help them navigate life on their own and make decisions which fit with what you and your family value.

There’s no doubt the teenage years will probably cause you some worry and frustration. There may be times when you feel as if you don’t know your child, or are disappointed by some of their choices. Try to be as loving and supportive as you can through all of their trials, no matter how seemingly small they are to you. If you can do this, they’re more likely to rely on you, share their struggles and come to you when they need help.

Quite simply, just be there for them in the way you wanted your parent to be there for you when you were growing up.

Reach out logo

ReachOut is Australia's leading online health website for young people and their parents. Working with registered counsellors, psychologists and mental health professionals ReachOut provides online self-help tools that are used by over 1.5 million Australians each year. A valuable resource for many parents, teens and young adults.

If your child, or anyone you know is having issues with self-esteem, confidence or mental or physical health, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

This content includes the views and opinions of a third-party, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Suncorp. Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, personal situation or needs.

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