September 01, 2022 3 min read


child getting emotional support

Image credit: Pexels


According to a BMC Public Health study on effective parenting, among the necessities parents should aim to give their children is emotional support. This is essential in leading the early childhood development of young children, and in nurturing their potential to meet their goals. Parents should then prioritize open and transparent communication to ensure their children are emotionally healthy, seeing as children primarily learn how to acknowledge and process emotions through their parents. Understandably, this will take a lot of time, patience, and energy — and can prove to be more challenging in the case of working parents.

Working parents can find it difficult to balance a career and caring for a child. However, being present in your child's life, especially at a young age, helps in teaching them the right behaviors and skills to navigate different situations. Maryville University expounds on parental influence in child development, saying that early childhood is a key period for mental and emotional growth. During this time, what children perceive and experience can shape their future, and these influences often reflect how parents act, discipline, or set boundaries for their children. Whether parents approach or circumvent different situations in a healthy way or not, a child can internalize and even embody how their parents act. As such, working parents should dedicate a portion of their time assisting their children as they attempt to understand their surroundings.

Though you may feel overwhelmed at first, especially if you’re juggling multiple tasks at work, it'll all be worth it when you see your children grow up to be emotionally secure and well-adjusted individuals. To help you get started, here are three ways to provide your child with the emotional support they need:

Share meaningful activities, no matter how small

In our article on ‘Modeling Self-Care Practices for Your Kids’, we explained that implementing self-care measures can bolster your child’s mental and emotional health. With that in mind, you can also partake in these activities to reinforce the importance of anxiety-reducing practices. You can definitely find the time to do something as simple as sharing a healthy breakfast before you leave for work or joining your kids in an exercise routine during weekends. If you arrive home a bit late from work, you can also consider setting a time to write alongside your child in a gratitude journal. These small acts of togetherness can go a long way in making sure you’re present in your child’s emotional life.

Make conversations part of your routine

Time is invaluable considering the busy lives working parents lead, and we understand that communication entails availability. While the intersection of the two may present an obstacle for working parents, one thing to remember is that conversations need not be long and winding. In fact, regular encouragement or questions about your child’s well-being are easy enough to incorporate into your routine. For instance, ask them if they liked their lunch, or what activity they enjoyed in school. Constant conversations do not only foster a supportive environment, but they also improve your child’s self-perception alongside regular positive reinforcement. In an examination of the effects of parent-child communication, Yue Zhang discusses how children translate parental encouragement as an indicator of how well they can achieve their goals. Though you’re likely tired from a busy day, consult your child about their worries before going to bed. This way, you can affirm them and say they’re capable of performing a task well.

Get them emotional support at school

For working parents, it’s crucial to understand that asking for help isn’t a weakness, nor does it mean you fall short in taking care of your child. Seeking advice and assistance from school counselors or educators ensures that your child’s adjustment to foreign environments is not only monitored but also supported. This is particularly relevant in low-income families or children with ethnically diverse backgrounds. In a study on families engaged in their children’s schooling, Shana Cohen explains that a good collaboration between parents and educators allows for family-driven learning, which in turn focuses on the strengths of the child. This means children who are culturally or economically diverse are given the right tools and support to be active and joyful learners. As there are numerous parents who work hard to ensure their child’s education, enlisting help at school reinforces care that can keep their child mentally and emotionally empowered.



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