Family is the most important thing in children’s lives. A loving, caring family helps children to feel good about themselves and their world.
Families are where we learn how to live, how to behave, how to treat people and how to respect culture and country. Our families share togetherness and responsibilities. We share our time, advice, support and our love!
In strong families everyone feels that they belong and have a place. They feel connected to kinship and culture.
Things that strong families do
- are loving and caring
- talk and listen to each other
- celebrate together
- handle problems together.
Strong families are the foundation of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Being part of a family gives us our sense of who we are and our place in the world.
Strong families communicate
- talk and really listen to each other
- value and respect each other
- listen to children’s feelings.
Strong families spend time together
- play and laugh together
- go out together as a family
- try to eat together and talk about the day – even when they are busy
- celebrate special occasions
- go to cultural events together. This builds identity and connection to community.
Keep an eye on each other.
If someone doesn’t seem their usual self, ask if they are OK.
Strong families encourage each other
- Let people know you are proud of them.
- Show you value learning — read to children and help with homework. Older siblings can do this too.
- Celebrate successes such as achievements at school or sport.
- Help each other to enjoy social activities, sports or hobbies.
Strong families have clear rules
- make sure everyone knows what is OK and not OK, especially children
- say ‘No’ to children when needed
- change rules as children get older and more responsible. As they grow up children can have a say in what the rules are
- involve children in household chores. It helps them learn responsibility.
Strong families face hard times together
- talk together about how to handle problems
- support each other if there is separation from loved ones
- keep to children’s routines as much as possible — school, friends, other activities. It helps children feel secure
- don’t let children know too much about adult problems
- make sure children and young people have someone to talk to — a trusted family member, friend or worker
- check up on each other — make sure everyone is OK.
Strong families work together to create a happy home.
Children grieve too
When there is a death, remember children grieve too. You could tell them about death simply and honestly and involve them in funerals or ceremonies. It’s up to you. Sometimes being involved helps children to deal with their feelings.
Children may be upset at a funeral. If you are too upset to comfort them, arrange for a trusted friend or family member to be there for them.
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)