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Building healthy family relationships

Healthy family relationships are important for your child’s wellbeing and development. Building strong family relationships supports them to cope with challenges and to learn to be independent.

Dad playing with blocks with daughter

What is family?

There are many different types of families.

  • Family is said to be a place we feel that we belong

  • Traditionally families were based on biological or marital connections

  • There are many different types of families - with and without biological or marital connections

  • Our culture can influence what the word family means to us

  • Some cultures have more extensive networks that they call family than others

“Parenting can be frustrating but when I stay calm and really listen to what my child is saying, something shifts and we understand each other a little better”

- Mother of 7 and 10 year old

Healthy family relationships have a positive impact on your child

Healthy relationships between family members means that your child feels loved, safe, secure and supported as they grow into independent adults.

Supporting healthy family relationships as a parent can mean:

Being loving, caring and respectful
Being warm, supportive and positive
Communicating when disagreements occur
Spending time doing things together to build strong bonds

Some practical tips for building stronger families

We know that healthy family relationships support your child’s wellbeing and development.

Here’s some tips and strategies you can try at home with your kids:

Set a positive example by being respectful and kind toward others

Give clear and consistent boundaries so your child knows what's expected

Learn about child development and what is typical behaviour for your child’s age

Try and remain calm in front of your kids during challenging situations

Use time together to have conversations with your child

Strike a balance between work and family to reduce stress

Regularly spend time together

Seek a healthy outlet for your frustrations and worries

Know that as your child gets older they need space to explore and express their independence

Praise your child’s healthy and appropriate behaviour and give specific feedback about what they did well

Look after yourself - it's much harder to support your child when you're tired and run down

Find opportunities to involve your child in family life and decision making that is appropriate for their age

This content was last reviewed 14/02/2018

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