Father outside holding his young son

Supporting your child's emotional wellbeing

Stress and anxiety can affect anyone who feels overwhelmed — even children. Helping them find ways to rationalise what’s going on around them and building a strong bond through communication can help build their resilience and develop positive coping skills. Here are a few ways that you can support your child’s emotional wellbeing.

Ways of supporting your child

  • Be available and make time to listen. Ask your child how they’re feeling and let them share whatever they want. The more you do this, the more your child will feel comfortable talking to you when they’re upset.
  • Build self-esteem. Spending time together is a simple way to remind your child you love and value them as they are. It can be as simple as playing games or watching TV. See if they’re happy to tell you how things are going in their lives. You may have noticed them saying negative things about themselves. Ask what has happened that might make them feel that way.
  • Talk to your child about positive relationships. Keep it light – show an interest in their friends and how they feel about them.
  • But also let them know it’s OK to be alone sometimes. We all feel lonely from time to time: it doesn’t make them a failure.
  • Teach them how to manage their feelings. Show your child it’s OK to talk about feelings. Try talking about ways of releasing negative and upsetting emotions. You can also support your child by finding activities that help your child feel calmer and more in control.
  • Let your child know there’s no need to worry about feeling stressed. Teach them to see uncertainty as part of life, rather than something to worry about. Check in with your child regularly to see how they’re doing. Notice how they respond during times of change or pressure. If you sense they feel stressed, ask them what they think might be causing it.

Last, but not least

Remember, your child’s day-to-day lifestyle can affect how they feel in the first place. Are they eating well, sleeping well, and exercising? Gently encourage them develop healthy habits that will ultimately support both their physical and mental wellbeing.