When children feel loved, safe and secure, they feel good about themselves, and can learn and develop to their best.
When children do well
Children are doing well, if most of the time they:
- are happy and having fun
- like being with people
- are interested in learning
- do well at school
- cope with changes at home or school.
The best thing you can give children is your love
Children need to feel loved and special
It really helps if they have:
- a loving family
- a happy, peaceful home
- regular routines
- help to learn
- a healthy lifestyle — eating well, being active and getting plenty of sleep.
Children need to be kept safe and sheltered from adult problems
Teaching our children about culture and identity builds a strong foundation for their future.
Your role in children’s wellbeing
It helps children when you:
- talk, play and have fun together
- share books, songs and stories
- help them have friends
- take them to activities, sports, play groups or to spend time with friends and family
- help them to be optimistic and positive about life
- encourage them to be self-confident and proud.
Good health helps children grow and develop their best.
Children need healthy food, plenty of sleep and to be active
- Make sure children have a variety of healthy foods — fruits, vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals, meat, eggs, fish, beans, milk, cheese.
- Keep things like lollies, soft drink and takeaways as an occasional treat.
- Water is best for children and the whole family.
- Let children play outside — but make sure they are safe.
- Limit time watching TV or playing video games.
Having rules at home helps children learn the behaviour you want. If children ‘misbehave’— think about what could be causing it:
- are you expecting too much for their age?
- what else is going on for them?
- what’s happening at home or school?
- is anything worrying them?
- are they eating well and getting enough sleep?
- are they unwell?
Young children can be overwhelmed with strong feelings and have a tantrum. Stay with them and help them calm down. They will gradually learn to do this themselves.
Seeing things from children’s point of view helps you understand their behaviour.
When to get extra help for your child
Most children cope with life’s ups and downs with support from family and friends. Your child may need extra help if they:
- are unusually quiet or don’t want to do things they usually enjoy
- seem upset a lot
- are angry or ‘misbehave’ more than usual
- hurt themselves, pets or others
- talk about suicide. They may say ‘I wish I was dead’ or ‘I don’t want to be here any more’.
If you are worried, see your doctor or health worker.
Racism and bullying
Many children experience racism or bullying at school or in the community. Make sure they know:
- the problem is with the other person — not them
- to stay calm and not to put themselves in danger
- to come to you or another trusted adult for help.
- You can:
- talk with teachers if it happens at school — most schools have anti-racism and bullying policies
- help children be confident and proud of their culture — they will be more resilient
- be a good role model. Show that you respect all race and cultures
Looking for more information
ParentLink - for other parenting guides, online parenting information:
Child and Family Centres - for parenting information and support
Raising Children’s Network - covering topics for parenting newborns to teens
Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation t 6296 8900
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service t 6284 6222
Relationships Australia Dhunlung Yarra Service is dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples t 6122 7100
This guide’s content was produced by Parenting SA.
© Department of Education and Child Development, Government of South Australia. Reproduced with permission and adapted by the ACT Government to reflect Australian Capital Territory laws (11/17).
Important: This information is not intended to replace advice from a qualified practitioner.
Published by ParentLink
Community Services Directorate, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601, email firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 13 34 27.
ACT Government Publication No. 17/0604 (June 2017)