Parents can nurture their children’s mental health by getting “back to basics’’, Centacare’s Lynne Thorpe says.
Manager of Family and Relationship Services at Murray Bridge, Lynne is urging families to take the time to reconnect.
“Parents can become so engulfed with what’s going on in their life that while they take care of their child’s basic needs, they forget that little person wants to be heard too.
“They want to talk about what they’re seeing and what’s happening in their life.
“Even though your grown-up world might be full, take the time to listen to them. See your child’s strengths and abilities and spend some one-on-one time with them.’’
Sharing household chores is a good opportunity to chat to your kids about their day, says Lynne, highlighting the benefits of standing together and doing the washing up.
“Get back to basics, put the phone down, and do the dishes together.
“Your children will talk about their day and will really feel heard. Everything now is so complex, those little things are what we all still need.’’
Parents often underestimate the impact on children of challenges such as financial hardship, transiency, unemployment and marital breakdown, says Lynne.
“They might not be the reason a child is at risk, but those sorts of factors are often in the background. They can be isolating.
“Families who are connected with their children and their extended family, and have social supports around them, fair better than those living in isolation.’’