Parents need to apologize to their child when they make a mistake. Saying you’re sorry is not enough. Admit you were wrong and explain how it affected your child (e.g.,
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said your idea was stupid. I know that hurt your feelings.”). Sincere and simple apologies build trust and show respect for your child’s feelings.
If your child has a chance to make choices it helps them develop a feeling of having control, build self-esteem, learn how to solve problems and learn how to take responsibility for their choices. When possible, give your child the chance to make their own choices that are meaningful to them and acceptable for you.
When parents hear their child has a problem, it’s tempting to take over and solve it. But this doesn't help your child to find solutions on their own. Try asking questions that will help them solve problems, such as:
“What do you think you can do about this?” or
“If you choose to do this, what do you think might happen?”
There are many ways to do this. You can give your child tasks that are appropriate for their age, such as feeding the family pet, getting the mail, or making their bed. Together you and your child can volunteer or help a neighbour. This builds self-confidence and teaches your child that what they do can make a difference in the lives of others.
Even if children can already read, they still love reading stories out loud. Take turns reading out loud with your child. Reading out loud is a way to share something enjoyable and learn about other people. For example, stories can show us how people deal with common issues like making or losing friends or handling conflicts. Talk to your child about what they like to read. Ask your child’s teacher or a librarian to recommend stories on themes that interest you and your child.
Current as of: December 10, 2018
Author: Mental Health Screening & Early Identification, Alberta Health Services
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