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A mother, father, and young adolescent son and daughter are using the internet together for entertainment.
A father and his three young adolescent daughters are having fun playing board games together.
Two Middle Years students are playing a game of basketball against each other.

Helping Your Child Succeed

Support healthy living choices for your child and family.

  • Help your child schedule, and keep, regular, adequate sleep times. Young adolescents need nine to 10 hours of sleep each night during their adolescent years.
  • Provide healthy food and drink choices. Plan school lunches and meals with your child, using Health Canada’s Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. Some parents keep a kitchen drawer or cupboard shelf stocked with healthy snacks for their children to take when hungry.
  • Shop for groceries with your child after planning the grocery list together. Shopping will give your child a realistic idea of the cost of living.
  • Sit down to a family meal with pleasant conversation as often as you can. Have a list of conversation starters ready if you’re not sure what to talk about. For ideas, refer to “100 Conversation Starters for Family Discussions” on the Aha! Parenting website.
  • Go for a walk, take a bike ride or participate in physical exercise together with your child.
  • Help your child learn to save and manage money.
  • Explore the Internet together and be aware of your child’s social network and Internet friends or search sites.
  • Set limits for using technology and electronic devices, so your child has enough time for sleep, physical activity, chores and face-to-face socialization.
  • Do or learn crafts or handiwork (ex: knitting, carpentry, sewing) together with your child. These activities can be enjoyable for adolescents and can help relieve stress while learning a new skill.
  • Watch TV, play videos or board games or do a puzzle with your child.
  • Help your child develop a healthy work-life balance. Time for school, study, work, fun, rest and responsibilities should all fit into your child’s day without making him or her feel overwhelmed.
  • Ask your child questions if you sense something is wrong or notice something out of character. Changes in sleeping or eating patterns or in friendships, for example, can signal that something is worrying your child.
  • Speak to the school counsellor or your child’s doctor if you have any concerns about the mental, emotional, or physical health and well-being of your young adolescent.