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David shows positive relationship-building with his children as he lets them take the lead when they play together. (2 min. 37 sec.)

Download Poster “Understanding”
 

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Resiliency Resources for Parents

CARING RELATIONSHIPS

Building a close, loving relationship with our children is the most important thing parents can do to support children’s resilience. Why? Because children do best when they feel loved, understood and accepted and are protected from harm. Feeling wanted and loved helps us steer through all those bumps in the road.

We can also teach our children how to have caring relationships with other important people in their lives like family members and friends, neighbours and teachers. This helps them develop healthy and fulfilling connections with others. And it makes it easier for children to reach out when they need help.


Heidi shows how using storybooks can help parents connect with their children and teach kids about their own and others’ feelings. (2 min. 14 sec.)

Here’s what you can do

  • Comfort your child when he or she is upset. When children are hurt or frightened, sad or angry, being comforted helps them feel as if they’re not alone with their big feelings. And it helps strengthen the bond between parent and child.
  • Give your child attention and affection – lots of smiles and hugs. This makes your child feel loved and accepted.
  • Play with your child – have fun together.
  • Listen with interest to your child’s feelings, thoughts and ideas.

  • Show empathy. Try to see things from your child’s point of view. Children need to know parents understand how they are feeling.
  • Help identify your child's feelings (glad, sad, mad, scared, etc.). Point out that others have these feelings, too.
  • Read or tell your child stories about people who show compassion, kindness and understanding for others. Click here for children’s books about caring relationships.


My parents were yellers and screamers. And I still sometimes go back to that because it’s what I know. When I can be calm and be respectful of my 3-year old son and how he might be feeling, he responds so much better to me. READ MORE

Tips and Activities

  • Tip sheet on helping your child recognize feelings and develop empathy.
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  • More resources