Parenting Strategies: 
Protecting your child’s mental health

Mental health problems like depression and anxiety are common in young people.

Parents have an important positive influence on their child’s mental wellbeing. There’s now good evidence to show that by supporting parents in their parenting we can help children and teenagers to stay well.

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This website provides practical guidelines on how parents can support their child’s wellbeing. Our guidelines are based on high quality scientific evidence and international expert consensus.

Currently, most of our content focusses on reducing risk of depression and anxiety disorders. We also have a set of guidelines on school reluctance and refusal, and on preventing alcohol misuse in teenagers.

Although these guidelines were developed to help parents prevent these problems in their children, the suggested strategies may also be useful for parents whose child is already experiencing some problems with depression or anxiety.

Are you a parent of an 11 to 18-year-old? We'd love your input!

We're seeking Australian parents to help us pilot a new survey, which will form part of an online parenting program for parents of teens struggling with school attendance. 

You'll be asked to complete an anonymous online survey, including questions about your parenting, your child's schooling and attendance, and your own and your child's mental health. Your child does not need to be struggling to attend school for you to take part.

You can also enter the draw to win one of five $50 gift cards.

Click the button on the right to read more or complete the survey.

If you have any questions, please email anna.smout@monash.edu

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NEW: Guidelines for parents of children and teenagers with school reluctance or refusal difficulties 

Responding to school reluctance or refusal:
Strategies for parents

New evidence-based parenting guidelines for parents of primary and secondary school-aged children who are struggling with school attendance. These guidelines are intended for parents who are worried about their child’s engagement with school and those whose child is already experiencing school reluctance or refusal.

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Guidelines for parents of teenagers 
(aged 12-17 years)

NEW: Parenting guidelines for prevention of depression
& anxiety (COVID-19 update)

We’ve recently updated our original parenting guidelines for prevention of adolescent depression and anxiety disorders. These guidelines contain all of the original content, plus new expert-endorsed recommendations for protecting teen mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the most up-to-date advice, we recommend downloading these guidelines.

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Parenting guidelines for prevention of depression 
& anxiety (2013 edition)

Our original parenting guidelines for parents of adolescents, based on decades of scientific research on what parents can do to help prevent these problems in their teenage children. These guidelines do not contain the latest COVID-19 content.

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Parenting guidelines for adolescent alcohol use

Evidence-based parenting strategies to help prevent or reduce your teenager’s alcohol use, as recommended by the NHMRC Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol (2009).

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Would you like to go through the guidelines for parenting TEENS in an interactive online program? Join Partners in Parenting PLUS!

The new and updated version of the FREE award-winning, evidenced based parenting program designed to help parents raise their teenagers with confidence in ways that may reduce your teen’s risk of depression and anxiety problems.

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Guidelines for parents of
primary-school aged children (5-11 years)

Evidence-based and expert endorsed strategies for parents of primary-school aged children, to help reduce their child’s risk of developing depression and anxiety disorders.

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