Dad and children walking on beach

10 Ways to Develop Coping Skills in Your Family

Problems are a normal part of life. Many families face situations in life that, despite our best efforts, we simply can’t ‘fix’.  Often there are other options we can explore and developing coping skills helps us to identify what these could be. Good coping skills also help us to learn to accept those situations that are beyond our control so we can feel better and progress, even if the problem still exists. Developing coping skills in our families makes us more resilient. Children learn from what they see and enabling them to develop these skills and resources will help them in countless ways as they progress through life.

This week in our ’10 Ways to’ series we look at ways to develop coping skills within your family. Many of these suggestions are expanded upon in other ’10 Ways to’ articles which you can access by clicking on the links within the points below.

1. Do things together – eat, play, socialise – spend quality time together as much as possible to help strengthen your family’s bonds and relationships.

2. Talk and listen to each other; value the time you spend together.

3. Choose how to use your time. Prioritise what is most important, don’t stress if the little things don’t get done.

4. Show appreciation for each other. Demonstrate it with your words and actions.

5. Take care of your physical and mental needs, and those of your children. It is important to remember to look after the basics such as healthy eating, adequate sleep and social engagement.

6. Develop social supports in your community. This can seem challenging, especially if we don’t have friends or family members who live nearby, but there are many ways to increase our involvement in our communities and invest in building relationships. Get involved.

7. Actively do things which help reduce your stress levels. These can be as simple as a walk in the park, calling a friend, or focussing on taking deep, relaxing breaths.

8. Plan things; the everyday and the long term. Write out your plan, it will seem more manageable and help you to achieve your aims.

9. Don’t spend all day worrying and thinking about a problem – box it, and play with your children.

10. Seek professional supports and use them well. Many organisations offer these supports including One Family which provides a range of counselling and parenting supports focused on the needs of one-parent families, parents sharing parenting, parents experiencing separation, and their children; and those experiencing a crisis pregnancy. Our confidential lo-call askonefamily helpline is 1890 66 22 12 /

This week’s ’10 Ways to’ is by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly.

For support and advice on any of these topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email Find out more about our parenting skills programmes here.