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Family Skills
18 November 2023

Three Lessons for Each Family. Easy Resilience? Yes Please.

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We’ve picked three of the top challenges we hear from families around resilience at home and have got some quick actions for each family to use


Raising kids is hard, and not everyone has time to read all the stuff we do and get to practise challenging kids every day like we do! We’re always developing skills and working on how to make them as quick and easy to deliver as possible so you can use them at home.

  • Almost all our families report being challenged by, or being worried about how to deliver positive discipline, communicate emotionally with their Risky Kids and manage tech use.
  • These are pretty important! If we don’t manage these then not only do we miss an opportunity to increase resilience, but it could lead to a lack of it.
  • Never fear, Risky Kids is hear! We’ve got a tool for each which you can use at home, every day and you don’t need a psychology degree.

Three Common Challenges At Home Families Face

The world’s moving fast! If you’re reading this and you’re a parent you’ll probably remember a time without mobile phones, or maybe even the internet! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here’s three challenges we hear from so many families that they struggle with each day:

  • Delivering Positive Discipline and Behaviour Management
  • Dealing with Emotional And Psychological Needs
  • Managing Screen Times and Tech Use

So how do we raise kids in a world that’s so different from ours? As a parent you’ll cop advice from every angle, and so often it’s either that you’re not doing enough and it’s your fault, or what you do need to do is so time consuming or practically requires a degree in psychology to do it.

Neither is the case. I’ve met so many families who are ready and willing to help their young people, but the answers have to be real and they have to be simple enough that you can use them right away. Most of our skills and tools at Risky Kids are surprisingly simple!

Why It’s Important To Take Action

These challenges aren’t just a “nice to have” when it comes to raising kids. Families report them for very real reasons, because when they’re not addressed our lives get harder, not easier.

  • Poor discipline often means poor self control and high expectations and entitlement, meaning low contentment through life.
  • Failing to meet emotional and psychological needs can result in weak interpersonal skills, bad judgement and fear.
  • Tech overuse and addiction often results in severe deficiencies across the board, from physical to emotional and social skills.

Discipline is hard. Nobody wants to be the bad guy, but we can’t be our kids’ friends, we have to be their parents and guides! But there is a way to do it with positivity and fairness. If discipline comes from a place of “right by might” just because we’re older or have control it won’t be respected. Just the same as no discipline means no consistency which means no trust.

Emotional needs are just as challenging! It’s been a long time since we’ve been kids, but we need to remember the world is a scary and challenging place, and most of the time we don’t have a big say in what we do. Finding the balance between meeting your Risky Kids’ needs and what is good for them starts with understanding what they need.

When the world is scary and challenging, it can be so easy to retreat into a place where everything is controlled and feels safe. Technology does that for young people, and we often make the mistake of seeing it as safe. But the damage extended tech use does is far greater than a dozen broken bones. Our bodies heal, but anxiety and social disorders will last a lifetime.

Take These Three Skills and Use Them Daily

Time to get to work though! We’ve got three skills for you which you can use at home to overcome each of these obstacles together with your Risky Kids. This will mean more resilience in more situations.

  • Find The Fair – If it’s not fair, they won’t be on board. But if it’s fair, even if they don’t WANT to, they’ll meet you halfway.
  • Validate The Feeling, Not The Behaviour. Letting your kids act on every feeling isn’t the way. But you can strike the right balance.
  • (Understand Then) Meet Their Needs. Tech fills a void for us all, it’s a quick fix for complex emotions. Figure out a better way.

You’ve heard it a million times. “That’s not fair”. Kids are fairness machines and we can use it against them. We figured out a long time ago that if you ask a Risky Kid if they “want” to do something and if they think doing something is “fair” you’ll often get two different answers! For example: “Can you clean up?” will elicit a firm “no” and from here it’s an uphill battle. Instead start with: “We made dinner and bought it, do you think it’s fair if you clean up?”. It’s hard to argue with! But it’s not THAT easy. You have to take the time to make sure your requests ARE fair! If they’re not, you’ll be called out right away..

Validating feelings is one part of a powerful tool at Risky Kids called “Negotiation”. You need to separate how you engage with your Risky Kids’ feelings: Their emotions / The behaviour that emotion wants to trigger. For example, a Risky Kid who doesn’t want to go to school because someone has been bullying them is heartbreaking to deal with. You shouldn’t just say “go to school, life’s hard” and you can’t let them not go to school. Instead validate the feelings: “I hear that you don’t want to go to school, but you can’t just avoid this situation and I know that’s hard to hear. I promise that we’ll work together on this. What do you think we can do to start?”

Ok. I admit I wasn’t completely honest with you about the tech overuse. It’s not a quick fix, in fact it’s REALLY complicated. But we have some really powerful tools developed with our Risky Kids science which work AMAZINGLY. The abridged version is: Technology meets a lot of needs from comfort to socialisation ; But this is a problem! Comfort in abundance is bad, and the socialisation we get online is a lie ; We need to create real (fair) boundaries using the skills above and enforce them consistently. The best I can do in one paragraph is: Create rules before it’s a problem and never budge on them. But! Read on…


There’s small actions and changes we can make every day which can make resilience more achievable. The good news is that even getting it wrong is better than not trying!

If you want to know more about these skills above, or don’t feel you’ve got enough information to use them well, check out the links on the next page to full articles on each of them (the tech one is FIVE articles though!).