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Resources

How to check on your child’s mental health

Redkite’s team of social workers are experts in child counselling and have some suggestions that may help you connect with your children.

As parents, we always want our children to be healthy and happy. Adding cancer into the mix means there’s a whole lot of extra pressure on your child’s mental and emotional wellbeing – whether they’re watching a brother or sister go through treatment, or they’re the one being treated. It can be hard to find the right time or the right words to ask them how they are doing, especially when they might be struggling with some big emotions.

Redkite’s team of social workers are experts in child counselling and have some suggestions that may help you connect.

1) Put your child at ease

Find a comfortable place where your child feels calm, comfortable and likes to talk. Often children choose to share things during an activity, so you might like to try chatting to them during a favourite game or hobby. This could be Lego, playdough, basketball or colouring in – anything that your child loves doing, to put them at ease and in the right frame of mind to share their thoughts and feelings.

2) Listen with your ears and your eyes

Children share what is going on for them through their behaviour as much as their words. Look for their body language and other non-verbal signs. Don’t try to fix everything for your child – sometimes listening is all they need.  

3) Let others help

Remember that it is ok to ask for help from others to check in with your child. Some children may be more at ease sharing what’s going on with an aunt, a grandparent, a teacher or a counsellor. Redkite is here to help too. We provide free counselling for children up to 18 years.

4) Regular check-ins

Things can change quickly for children, so it is important to keep in touch frequently. They may not tell you much every time you try, so if they don’t feel like expressing themselves, check-in again another time.

5) Make time – even if it’s a bad time

Most importantly, be open to responding to children when they come to you with something important, even if it’s an inconvenient time. Your child has been brave enough to share what is really going on for them, so don’t let this chance pass you by.

Redkite provides counselling for children aged 0-18 years who have been affected by cancer. This includes the diagnosed child, their brothers and sisters, friends and relatives. We also help provide music therapy on-ward in most children’s hospitals Australia-wide.

To find out more about our child counselling services or to book a session with our social workers.

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1st Oct

Telling people your child has cancer

Talking about cancer can be daunting. You may have fears about how people will react, and voicing it can make it feel more real somehow

Telling people your child has cancer

Talking about cancer can be daunting. You may have fears about how people will react, and voicing it can make it feel more real somehow

Relationships
2nd Sep

Other childhood cancer support services

A list of childhood cancer support services in Australia

Other childhood cancer support services

A list of childhood cancer support services in Australia

Adult mum and daughter hugging

Relationships
30th Sep

Managing family relationships

Going through cancer treatment can lead to some very positive experiences in relationships, but the stress can also cause immense strain.

Managing family relationships

Going through cancer treatment can lead to some very positive experiences in relationships, but the stress can also cause immense strain.

Man reading to his daughter

Emotions
7th Oct

How books can help children with their emotions

It can be hard to talk to your children about how their feeling. In this article, our social workers suggest some books that may help your conversations.

How books can help children with their emotions

It can be hard to talk to your children about how their feeling. In this article, our social workers suggest some books that may help your conversations.