We all know parenting can be a tough – but also extremely rewarding – job. At times, family life can be moving along well and at others, there may be challenges which push you and your child to your limits.
Here are the top 5 issues affecting parents about their school-age children over the past 12 months and some suggestions on handling them.
1. Technology use:
Many parents are finding it extremely difficult to manage the amount of time their children spend on screens. Try avoiding technology in bedrooms, help your child choose what they watch, limit screen time, opt for alternatives to technology-based activities and quite simply just turn devices off.
2. Support during separation:
Research has shown that exposure to parental conflict is more damaging for children rather than the separation itself. Developing a co-operative relationship with your child’s other parent is the best way to support your children. Children often feel responsible for separation so it is vital to reassure your child that it is not their fault and that both parents’ love for them hasn’t changed. Stick to routines as much as possible and, if you become concerned about your child’s mood or behaviour, seek professional support.
3. Managing tricky peer relationships
As a parent, it can be challenging to see our child struggling with friendships. Exclusion, gossip, belittling and conditional friendship can affect a child’s confidence and self-esteem.
Helping children recognise the qualities of good friendships, promoting kindness, compassion and empathy as well as supporting a broad range of friendships, especially those outside of school, can all help.
Anxious behaviour is common in children, especially as they come across new situations and experiences. The goal for most kids isn’t to eliminate anxiety completely. It’s really about giving them the skills to manage anxiety so it doesn’t get in the way of enjoying life.
5. Parent/Carer Wellbeing
The greatest gift you can give your child is a healthy ‘you.’ Parent self-care is an important aspect of parenting which is often overlooked, but there is a direct relationship between parent mental health and the well-being of children. Daily exercise, eating well, prioritising sleep, engaging in an activity which is pleasurable, connecting with family and friends, and having down time are the building-blocks of parent self-care. If you are starting to feel that parenting is overwhelming, it may be worth seeking professional support.