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Building Healthy Family Relationships

Building strong family relationships supports your child to cope with challenges and to learn to be independent.

Parents and kids lying together

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

“Having good and healthy relationships between family members will assist your child to feel safe and secure - a child needs this kind of emotional environment to learn and grow.”

- Jen, Parentline Counsellor

Healthy family relationships have a positive impact on your child

Healthy relationships between family members means 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

Support your child’s wellbeing and development by trying these tips and strategies at home with your kids:

Regularly spend time together

Use that time to have conversations with your child 

Strike a balance between work and family to reduce stress

Set a positive example by being respectful and kind toward others

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

Give clear and consistent boundaries so your child knows what is expected

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

Seek an outlet for your frustrations and worries by talking with someone you trust

Look after yourself. It is much harder to support your child when you are tired and run down

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

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

“All families face challenges and hurdles as a normal part of life. This doesn’t have to impact on your family relationships negatively – it can be an opportunity to create a stronger bond with them.”

- Sarah, Parentline Counsellor

If your family is having relationship difficulties, you’re not alone

Support is always available for you and your family.

This content was last reviewed 17/05/2018

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