The words parents and teachers use and the ways they respond offer a powerful guide to children and young people.
The words parents and teachers use and the ways they respond offer a powerful guide to children and young people. pixdeluxe

Remember to tell your kids you believe in them

HAVING two marvellous kids, I am constantly amazed by their knowledge, wisdom and opinions on things that matter.

I wonder if I tell them often enough how loved they are and how proud I am to be their mum. My words as a parent can do much to cultivate their spark and help them navigate their way through this world where anxiety, emotions and struggles abound.

What the research is showing is the huge impact that our parenting and teaching behaviours have on our children.

When our children are struggling we need to make the environment better.

For those of us who are parents and teachers, we need to see ourselves as our children's community of first responders - we are the first ones who are likely to encounter our kids in crisis.

There is much we can do to build a sense of well-being into our families and classrooms.

First, we need to recognise the significance of our roles as parents and teachers.

Our relationships with our children can provide them with tools to cope and help them engage differently with the emotions and challenges they are facing.

Sharing our own stories with our children and making space for them to give voice to their challenges - listening rather than fixing - are recommended strategies.

The power that our words as parents and teachers carry is immense. The words we use and the ways we respond offer a guide to our children and young people. Our words and behaviours influence how they feel about themselves and influence their sense of self.

Karyn Phillip, a parenting and relationship expert, says our responses as parents and teachers are "fundamental for the learning of the children” because we are "their leaders, their models”.

They use us to work out their identity and worth.

Telling our kids we are proud of them for who they are, and showing them we accept them unconditionally, is incredibly important.

Our children need to know that we have got their back, that we believe in them.

When children feel positively connected to their parents and family the risk factors for depression decrease. The stronger the relationship and parental engagement, the better the outcomes for children emotionally and mentally.

So, if you haven't told your child how much they mean to you in a while, make time this week to let them know you are their biggest fan and you are there to help if the going ever gets tough.