Families are the biggest influence on a child's mental health and wellbeing. Research says children thrive when they belong to a caring and supportive family
It's the quality of a child's relationships within the family that matters ... much more than:

  • family size, culture, language or religion,
  • the number and gender of parents,
  • biology or whether a family is blended or extended. 

From birth, relationships help children:

  • feel secure,
  • to believe they will be kept safe,
  • to trust in others and in the worldeven when problems arise.

Family relationships

The relationships children experience with the people around them has a big influence on their wellbeing. Families give children a model that they use to build relationships throughout their lives.
Strong, positive relationships help create trust, a feeling of support, and a greater ability to deal with stress and hardship.

More information about family relationships:

Healthy relationships and families
The building blocks of healthy family relationships
Supporting family relationships: Suggestions for families and staff
Family relationships: Resources for families and staff

Positive mental health for parents and carers

The mental and physical health of parents and carers is just as important as a child’s.
When parents and carers look after themselves, they are more likely to feel good and are better able to care for their children.
Being healthy helps parents and carers relate to and make good decisions for their children. This promotes positive mental health and wellbeing in children and allows families to enjoy time together.

More information about the mental health of parents and carers:

All about parents’ and carers’ mental health
Supporting parents and carers to look after themselves
Promoting self-care: Suggestions for families and staff
Supporting mental health and wellbeing: Resources for families and staff

Dads make a difference

Dads come in many shapes and sizes.
A father may not be biologically related to his child or live with his child all the time. He might be a grandfather, step-father, foster father or adoptive father. Children can have more than one father, or have relationships with other males who parent and care for them.
There is no one right way to be a father. Each father brings unique ideas and experiences to being a parent or carer and contributes to the mental health and wellbeing of his child and family.

More information for and about dads:

Dads make a difference
Fathers connecting with their children
Dads involved: Suggestions for families and staff
Positive fathering: Resources for families and staff