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Parents helping parents!

Ideas for parents

There is no doubt about it, being a parent is a very challenging job. A small group of parents and staff have met and researched what help is available in Somerset and put together some resources that we hope may help you and your child on subjects such as anxiety and sleeping. Please leave a note in the office if you would like information on other areas and we will try to add them.


What can you do to help and support?

Ask them how they are feeling: Even young children can understand about feelings and behaviour if you give them a chance to talk about it.


Make time to listen: Let them say what they want to say. The more you talk and listen - the sooner your child will know that they can talk to you when they need to.


Give them space: Older children might not want to talk at first. Let them know you’re concerned about them and you’re there if they need you. Sending an email or a text can work better if this is the way your child likes to communicate.


Self-help: Ask them what they think would help - they often have good ideas about solving their own problems. Offer them information to read and some privacy, so they have the chance to use it at their own pace.


Healthy body, healthy mind: Encourage them to look after themselves by eating healthily, getting enough exercise and sleeping well. How they feel physically will have a huge impact on their emotional health.


Be a good role model: Make sure you try and deal with stressful situations in a healthy and positive way. Children learn from what they see at home or from the people who are closest to them.


For online resources to help you and your family, take a look at the Somerset Children and Young People Health and Wellbeing website (link below). It’s packed with lots of helpful information and resources for young people, families and carers including.


The Parent and Carer Toolkit, which is full of information, resources and links to specialist organisations on topics such as sleep and cyberbullying.


The Little Book of Mental Health Life Hacks that was developed by young people in Somerset. It is full of ideas to support your mental health and includes true stories from people who’ve tried them out and ideas of how to support friends you may be concerned about.


The Mental Health Toolkit, which provides information and support about mental health and emotion wellbeing. It is designed to support staff in schools and colleges, but also offers advice and information for anyone who has responsibility for children and young people, including parents.

EATING PROBLEMS? Try these mealtime tips


Mealtimes can be particularly difficult. You may find the following advice helpful.


  • If your child is in treatment, ask their treatment team for advice on how to cope with mealtimes.
  • Try to make meal plans with your child that you both agree to.
  • Agree with the family that none of you will talk about portion sizes, calories or the fat content of the meal.
  • Avoid eating low-calorie or diet foods in front of them or having them in the house.
  • Try to keep the atmosphere light-hearted and positive throughout the meal, even if you do not feel that way on the inside.
  • If your child attempts to get too involved in cooking the meal as a way of controlling it, gently ask them to set the table or wash up instead.
  • Try not to focus too much on them during mealtimes. Enjoy your own meal and try to make conversation.
  • A family activity after the meal, such as a game or watching TV, can help distract them from wanting to purge or overexercise.
  • Do not despair if a meal goes badly – just move on.

Wetting and Soiling