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Making healthy choices

As your child gets older they will be able to do more things without your support.  This is an important part of their development and journey towards independence. It is good for your child to start and make decisions about their life on their own, but they will still need your guidance to encourage them to make choices that are healthy. This might be in relation to what to eat, what activities to take part in, friendships, relationships with other adults (teachers, relatives and community figures), online safety, attitude to learning or managing routine and taking care of themselves.

There are lots of decisions for your child to make from age 11 onwards and you might notice some changes in the way they behave, act or organise themselves or the people they choose to socialise with. With your support you can help your child to make positive day-to-day choices and develop good healthy behaviours.

What you can do to help

Topics you might like to talk to your child about are:

  • Eating well.
  • Staying hydrated.
  • Maintaining good personal hygiene.
  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Looking after emotional wellbeing (mental health).
  • Being active.
  • Healthy relationships and boundaries.
  • Respect for others.
  • School attendance.
  • Behaviour.
  • Being focused and keeping up with homework.

At times your child might seem reluctant to talk about these things with you, but by being a positive role model, offering frequent reminders of how to be healthy and seeking further support if you have problems or worries this will all help towards your child developing lifelong healthy behaviours.

You can access more information about the above topics on our website.

Sometimes your child might make a decision you do not agree with.  Allowing them to make this choice, even if it is not sensible, can be good for their learning, as long as it does not put their safety at risk.

Remember to be patient and calm whilst supporting your child through this stage of their development, listen to what they have to say and show them that you are there for them. Allow opportunities for them to reflect on their experiences and work through any problems together. This can be a challenging time for parents too and it’s ok to ask for help. Maintain good communication with your child’s school and make sure any issues are dealt with quickly. If you are finding this difficult, you can speak to us for advice.

Who can help?

For more advice about making healthy choices speak to one of our team. You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation. **Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm excluding bank holidays**

Older children (aged 11-19) can ask advice from a school nurse by texting our confidential ChatHealth service on 07480 635 443.

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Delivering excellence in Children and Young People’s Services:
a partnership between Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council

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