Help children build strong, caring relationships:
• It’s important for children and youth to have strong relationships with family and friends. Spend some time together each night around the dinner table.
• A significant person who is consistently present in a child’s life plays a crucial role in helping him develop resilience. This person—often a parent or other family member—is someone your child spends a lot of time with and knows he can turn to when he needs help.
• Show your children how to solve problems that arise.
Help children and youth develop self-esteem, so that they feel good about themselves:
• Show lots of love and acceptance.
• Praise them when they do well. Recognize their efforts as well as what they achieve.
• Ask questions about their activities and interests.
• Help them set realistic goals.
Listen, and respect their feelings:
• It’s OK for children and youth to feel sad or angry. Encourage them to talk about how they feel.
• Keep communication and conversation flowing by asking questions and listening to your kids. Mealtime can be a good time for talking.
• Help your child find someone to talk to if she doesn’t feel comfortable talking to you.
Create a safe, positive home environment:
• Be aware of your child’s media use: TV, movies, Internet, gaming devices (whether hand-held, or played through a computer or television).
• Be careful about discussing serious family issues—such as finances, marital problems, or illness—around your children. Children can worry about these things.
• Provide time for physical activity, play, and family activities.
• Be a role model by taking care of your own mental health: Talk about your feelings. Make time for things you enjoy.
In difficult situations, help children and youth solve problems:
• Teach your children how to relax when they feel upset. This could be deep breathing, doing something calming (such as a quiet activity they enjoy), taking some time alone, or going for a walk.
• Talk about possible solutions or ideas to improve a situation and how to make it happen. Try not to take over