What you as parents can do
- Help students to keep as fit and healthy as they can – doing exercise that they think is fun and trying to avoid junk food.
- Encourage your child to have fun in a way that they enjoy without upsetting anyone else – with small but meaningful rewards if necessary to encourage it.
- Make sure you notice your child being good and praise them, as well as putting them straight if they do silly or naughty things.
- Encourage, talk about and model ways in which making mistakes can be good learning chances, not a reason to give up.
- Make sure your child attends school and encourage them to do as well as they can, even in subjects they don’t like very much. Talk to them about how their lessons will help them later on in life and help them identify things they would like to do so that there is a point to their learning that they can understand, not just be told about. As far as possible, try and find a role model for them for whom they have respect amongst your wider family or friendship group.
- Encourage your child to have a go at doing things that they think should be done to make life better for themselves, the family or community members, even when it might seem silly to them to tackle social problems, however big or small and praise them for what they achieve, or at least for trying.
- Talk about things that have happened to them or that they have seen and try to get them to reflect on what happened and how it could happen differently another time – keep it small at first and get into deeper issues as they get the feel for reflection.
- Encourage your child to talk about how they feel in some tricky situations so they can identify their feelings and talk about different ways that other people try to deal with them positively and help them come up with strategies for themselves in situations they feel strongly about.