Parenting children 5 – 11 years

Children are growing and dealing with changes and different challenges all the time. It can be helpful to acknowledge with your child that change can feel difficult and it takes time to adjust.


You might notice some behaviours in your child during times of change or when life is feeling difficult, for example:

  • They might be especially clingy, tearful or reluctant to go to school.
  • They might have physical symptoms like an upset stomach, feeling sick or a headache.
  • Their sleep might be affected and they might wet the bed.
  • They might be very argumentative, be uncooperative or behave in a way that you find really challenging.

If your child is having particular problems or worries and in need of extra emotional support, you might want to take a look together at MindMate’s pages for young people about coping with common issues. If your child sometimes feels overwhelmed with anxiety and is prone to worry a lot, it might help to take a look at this leaflet on Coping with Anxiety.


What helps?

Some general things  which you can do at home will encourage children to be more resilient and able to cope with life’s ups and downs

  • Agree house rules and be consistent as far as possible. Routine is really helpful for children to feel safe.
  • Reward good behaviour and acknowledge this by clearly saying what it is your child has done well and why you are pleased.
  • Provide a healthy and balanced diet and try to eat family meals together as much as possible.
  • Encourage your child to talk about their day, and offer reassurance and praise. Talking and listening properly require hard work and patience, but are really important especially as children get older or when things feel tense or difficult.
  • Support your child to sleep well. Ensure wind down time at bed time, read a book or tell a story.

Useful links