Mother and daughter smiling. Daughter has her arm around her mother's shoulders.

Children need to know and feel that they are loved and valued. They may not always listen to your words but they will always remember your actions and how you made them feel happy. Children need to feel this in different ways at different ages. By praising them when they show desirable behaviors such as helping around the house, being kind to others, or getting a good score in school will help create physically, mentally and emotionally healthy children.

Parents are the #1 Influence in a Child’s Life and believe it or not, you’ve been a role model for your kids since they first entered this world. This means that every time you say something, behave in a certain way, or react to someone or something, your kids are observing your behavior. Not only is it important to show your child your love it’s important to be mindful on how you handle your personal relationships, care for yourself or work stress as your kids are always watching. The good news is that teaching by example is often easier and more effective than forcing your kids to obey rules by scaring, threatening, or bribing them with rewards.  

How do I support my children?

  • The love, support, trust, and optimism you provide at home will not only help your children feel safe and secure, they will act as powerful weapons against peer pressure and the many challenges of everyday life, making your kids more resilient, happy, and healthy. Here are a few tips to get you started:

    • Actively encourage finding their interests, skills, and passions.
    • Listen without judgement and do your best to understand their concerns.
    • Acknowledge their achievements and provide support through mistakes and challenges.
    • Set clear and consistent household expectations and consequences.
    • Be fair and trustworthy.

Many of the most important ways to support your children are things you already do every day. Here are five of the basics to get you started:

  1. Respect yourself and others.
    Your kids learn how to value and respect other people by watching you. So be careful about how you talk about friends, family members, neighbors, and even yourself when they’re around. This includes how you talk about school, so consider your words wisely when discussing their teachers and coaches as well.

    And remember, your kids also take cues on self-worth from you. Respect yourself and practice self-care. Your kids will follow your lead.

  2. Practice positive communication skills.
    Words are powerful, which means if you use hurtful criticism or disrespectful language, your kids will likely do the same. This includes listening to your kids without interrupting and being respectful when responding, even if you disagree.

    By giving your kids your attention, you are showing your respect their thoughts and feelings. And you’re teaching them to do the same for you.

  3. Be positive.
    If you’re hard on yourself or have a tendency to see the glass as half empty, your kids may take on the same kind of negativity in all aspects of their lives. So the next time you make a mistake, think about what your kids could learn from a negative reaction. It’s usually simple mistakes that become the best opportunities to model good behavior.
  4. Teach the value of health.
    Your kids learn healthy habits from you. So if you have a tendency to eat unhealthy or watch too much TV, it’s likely your kids will follow suit. And that goes for the alcohol, tobacco, or other substances as well. If you consume alcohol at home or at social settings, you might unintentionally send the message that it is normal and accepted. Start practicing healthy habits at home and your kids will do the same.
  5. Manage your anger.
    Responding to stress, anger, or frustration in a healthy way is essential for your kids to develop healthy emotional regulation. Anger is a natural feeling, but how we handle it is most certainly being watched by our kids. The next time you are faced with a challenge, try to remain calm, take a deep breath and talk through the issue. Your kids will learn to think about his own reactions the next time he gets mad.


Follow one of these 30-day calendars for fun and creative ways to engage with your child(ren)!

30-Day Calendar

Holiday Edition

New Year's Edition


Resources to Engage with Your Child During Mental Health Awareness Month - May


Resources to Engage with Your Child in the New Year