Love and accept your child so they can do that for themself and others.

Children need nurturing and supportive relationships with parents and caregivers to help them know how to regulate their emotions and handle their feelings.

Building positive relationships

  • Regulate your own emotions so that your child feels safe to communicate theirs.
  • Be patient with your child while they find the words to express how they feel.
  • Recognize what your child does when they are sad or angry.
  • Step away if you need to help yourself calm down. Have someone else watch your child for a few minutes.
  • Stay calm when the chaos arrives.
  • Show love in the good times and tough times.
  • Maintain a sense of humor.

Helping kids handle their feelings

  • Praise your child when they tell you how they feel.
  • Let them know what they are experiencing is normal.
  • Allow children some freedoms to make their own choices.
  • Support them even when they mess up.
  • Be consistent in your responses and follow-through.
  • Celebrate when your child does something well.
  • Make sure they have caregivers who nurture and love them.
  • Teach your child something they can do: art, cooking, woodwork, sewing, car repair or gardening.
  • Support their after-school activities.
  • Help your child step away from a situation that may be overwhelming.
  • Make sure your child has a safe, secure place to sleep.
  • Create routines that help your kids eat and sleep on consistent schedules.
  • Be aware that hunger and fatigue can escalate your child’s reactions.

Learn more about protective factors for your family.