New research out today reveals that bullying is a major concern to over half of children (51%) surveyed, with more boys (59%) worried than girls, and this issue is ranked higher than relationships (20%), drugs (17%) and sex (11%).
The research was conducted by Relate for Parents, a website dedicated to helping parents with their family relationships. It found that with children turning to the internet for advice on personal issues, less than one in five dads (18%) know if their children are seeking advice online, despite 74% of dads saying that they would rather their children came to them. However, with only half of dads regularly making time to talk to their children, the first step for some fathers may be for them to dedicate more time to talking with and listening to their children.
To help parents with their family relationships, Relate for Parents has launched the new Relate for Parents website, www.relateforparents.org.uk, which provides online support and expert help for parents and families.
www.relateforparents.org.uk’s top five tips on giving advice to children:
- Listen to your children. Really listen to their problems and individual concerns. You might know that it’s part of teenage life to break-up with friends and have fights, but for your child it is a real experience happening to them and they will want to know you are taking them seriously.
- Be consistent in what you say and do. It sounds obvious but say what you mean and mean what you say. Children are very good at noticing when you don’t follow through on your own advice. However that doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. In fact it is good for your children to see you admit your mistakes and don’t be afraid to apologise.
- Make time. Sitting down and talking to your children shouldn’t just be reserved for the big things, if they feel they can talk to you easily about the small things, this might help when they have big concerns.
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Children remember broken promises and this is something that can damage their trust in you. It is better to make no promises at all than ones you think you might break.
- Your children will not love you less if you don’t have answers to all their difficulties. They will feel supported just by the fact that you have listened and understood their struggle.