KidsMatter has a new nameBe You is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools and is proven to make a positive difference to the lives of Australian children. It provides the methods, tools and support to help schools work with parents and carers, health services and the wider community, to nurture happy, balanced kids. Be You was developed in collaboration with BeyondBlue, the Australian Psychological Society, and the Principals Australia Institute, with funding from the Australian Government's Department of Health and Ageing and beyondblue and was formerly known as Kidsmatter Primary.
Organisation that support and provide parenting advice
Play Suggestions for Families
Children’s play builds social and emotional skills and nurtures and develops children’s mental health and wellbeing.
As we embark on the school holidays, parents and carers are encouraged to follow this link to find out how they can optimise their child’s wellbeing over the summer break. Learning to Keep Balance
While children can be negatively affected by events in their lives, they can also grow up with the ability to cope with life’s demands, such as having a job and building relationships. This ability is called resilience and all children can benefit from this.
Supporting Students to cope with Stress
Children who cope better with life’s everyday setbacks develop good mental health and wellbeing.
PlayAll children have a right to play. In our busy world, where parents and children are rushing from one thing to another, it is essential to make time for children to play.
AngerWhen children lack skills for managing anger it can lead to aggressive behaviour. Usually, it is the aggressive action that follows anger that most concerns parents, carers and school staff. Learning to manage anger involves developing social and emotional skills for calming down and having ways to express angry feelings assertively. This means learning to use words rather than aggressive actions to communicate feelings. Parents, carers and school staff have an important role in helping children learn to manage anger effectively.
Resolving Conflict: Suggestions for Families
The skills needed for resolving conflict effectively are complex. They involve managing feelings, understanding others, communicating effectively, developing options and making decisions. Parents and carers play an important role in helping children resolve conﬂicts.
When conﬂict is poorly managed it can have a negative impact on children’s relationships, on their self-esteem and on their learning. However, teaching children the skills for resolving conﬂict can help signiﬁcantly. By learning to manage conﬂict effectively, children’s skills for getting along with others can be improved. Children are much happier, have better friendships and are better learners at school when they know how to manage conﬂict well.
Parents and carers who provide boundaries as part of a loving and secure relationship with their children help children feel secure and self-conﬁdent. Children beneﬁt from knowing that their environment is stable and that a competent adult is taking care of them.
Children’s decision making is strongly influenced by the expectations and values they learn from those around them. This occurs through observing others (particularly those close to them), hearing about and discussing values, and having opportunities to make decisions and experience their consequences.
Adults sometimes look back on their childhood as a time when they were always happy, but life’s ups and downs are a part of childhood too. Children need to build resilience skills to be able to both enjoy good times and deal with hard times. Helping children learn how to manage life’s ups and downs and build their coping skills supports their mental health and wellbeing now and into the future. Feeling good protects mental health and wellbeing.
Motivation and Praise
Children who are confident are motivated to engage in more experiences. Parents and carers play an important role in supporting children's developing curiosity and confidence.
Children grow and change in many ways during their primary school years. As well as growing physically, children develop socially, emotionally and cognitively. Children’s responses to the different feelings they experience every day have a major impact on their choices, their behaviour, and on how well they cope and enjoy life.
Good values guide good behaviourValues are the internal guides we have for our behaviour. They help us to make choices, and to make judgements about what is right and wrong, good or bad, fair or unfair. While cultures differ in the emphasis they place on particular values (eg. individual freedom or duty to family) there are many which are common to all cultures like respect, caring, and justice. Parents and carers are children’s ﬁrst and most important teachers of values.
Everyone needs a friendEmpathy is important to friendships and children who are able to empathise with others are less likely to bully or exclude other children as they get older. Social and emotional skills are also essential to being able to do well at school. Children’s mental health and wellbeing is supported when they develop a positive sense of self and the social skills to help them relate well with others.
Social developmentThrough their daily contact with parents, carers, family members, school staff, as well as with their peers, children learn about the social world and about the rules, practices and values that support it. By actively participating in these relationships, children also affect the ways that adults and their peers relate to them through their social development.
The Victorian Department of Education Training explains that resilience is the ability to cope and thrive in the face of negative events, challenges and adversity. You can play an important role in enhancing your child's resilience.
Life's ups and downs
The Victorian Department of Education and Training has suggestions that parents and carers can do to help their children to become more resilient and to navigate through the ups and downs of daily life.
KidsMatter introductory video
Childhood is a crucial time for growing healthy minds. All children need care and support to develop and learn. Some children need additional help to reach their potential. Watch the introductory YouTube clip to find out more about KidsMatter.
The Department of Education and Training has suggestions that parents and carers can do to help your child to become more resilient and navigate through the ups and downs of daily life.
Westgarth Primary School are also joining the Safe School Coalition so we can help to foster a safe environment that is supportive and inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer students. Creating this environment is key to tackling bullying, discrimination and harassment at school, particularly arising from homophobia and transphobia. Safe and inclusive schools benefit all students and are critical to students achieving their full potential. Students who don’t feel safe or included at school cannot learn effectively. Safe schools does not have a curriculum and the students will not be taught any specific skills or knowledge under this umbrella program. It is about creating an environment of acceptance of diversity and a safe and inclusive environment for all of our students. For further information about safe schools see the DET website www.education.vic.gov.au/safeschools.