Parenting SA

When children feel loved, safe and secure, they feel good about themselves, and can learn and develop to their best.

Children are doing well, if most of the time they:

  • are happy and having fun
  • like being with people
  • are interested in learning
  • do well at school
  • cope with changes at home or school.

The best thing you can give children is your love.

Children need to feel loved and special

It really helps if they have:

  • a loving family
  • a happy, peaceful home
  • regular routines
  • help to learn
  • a healthy lifestyle - eating well, being  active and getting plenty of sleep.

Children need to be kept safe and sheltered from adult problems.

Teaching our children about culture and identity builds a strong foundation for their future.

It helps children when you:

  • talk, play and have fun together
  • share books, songs and stories
  • help them have friends
  • take them to activities, sports, play groups or to spend time with friends and family
  • help them to be optimistic and positive about life
  • encourage them to be self-confident and proud.

Good health helps children grow and develop their best.

  • Children need healthy food, plenty of sleep and to be active.
  • Make sure children have a variety of healthy foods - fruits, vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals, meat, eggs, fish, beans, milk, cheese.
  • Keep things like lollies, soft drink and takeaways as an occasional treat.
  • Water is best for children and the whole family.
  • Let children play outside - but make sure they are safe.
  • Limit time watching TV or playing video games.

Children's behaviour

Having rules at home helps children learn the behaviour you want. If children 'misbehave' - think about what could be causing it:

  • are you expecting too much for their age?
  • what else is going on for them?
  • what's happening at home or school?
  • is anything worrying them?
  • are they eating well and getting enough sleep?
  • are they unwell?

Young children can be overwhelmed with strong feelings and have a 'tantrum'. Stay with them and help them calm down. They will gradually learn to do this themselves.

Seeing things from children's point of view helps you understand their behaviour.

When to get extra help for your child

Most children cope with life's ups and downs with support from family and friends. Your child may need extra help if they:

  • are unusually quiet or don't want to do things they usually enjoy
  • seem upset a lot
  • are angry or 'misbehave' more than usual
  • hurt themselves, pets or others
  • talk about suicide. They may say 'I wish I was dead' or 'I don't want to be here anymore'.

If you are worried, see your doctor or health worker.

Racism and bullying

Many children experience racism or bullying at school or in the community. Make sure they know:

  • the problem is with the other person  - not them
  • to stay calm and not to put themselves in danger
  • to come to you or another trusted adult for help.

You can:

  • talk with teachers if it happens at school - most schools have anti-racism and bullying policies
  • help children be confident and proud of their culture - they will be more resilient
  • be a good role model. Show that you respect all race and cultures.


See parent information and support.

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Last published: 07 Aug 2020 3:40pm
Provided by:
Department of Human Services
Last Updated:
02 Mar 2021
Printed on:
03 Oct 2023
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