Supporting Young People Through Difficult Times

Building young people’s resilience has never been more important.

There are many things you can do to help build a young person’s resilience, to enable them to get through difficult times ahead and in the process, develop skills and knowledge to bounce back from future difficult circumstances.

So, how can you support your child to build resilience?

Health

Without our regular routines, it’s easy to neglect our health.  Encourage your child to eat balanced meals including fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water. You could even ask your child to pick a healthy meal from BBC good food or a recipe book to make together at home.

It’s important your child gets fresh air and regular exercise. This could be a daily walk, run or cycle. If you have a garden, encourage your child to spend time outdoors. Even if you don’t have a garden, there’s plenty of free exercise routines for your child to do at home on YouTube and Instagram.

A regular bedtime routine will help your child keep some level of normality and get their important eight hours of sleep a night. It will help them to remain energised and motivated, even at home.

Friendship

Good friendship is important for building resilience but without their usual clubs and activities, it may be hard for your child to communicate with their friends and they may be at risk of feeling lonely or isolated.

However, there are so many different technologies available to keep in touch such as phone calls, texts, social media, video calls and conference calls. Ensure your child knows how to behave safely online and encourage them to speak to their friends regularly.

Talents and Interests

Having more time at home is a great opportunity for your child to dedicate time to something they enjoy, or to discover a new talent or interest.

You could encourage your child to spend extra time practicing an instrument, learning a new language or baking that cake they have always spoken about. Again, there are resources available on YouTube and Instagram, and many companies are offering free resources for a number of months to learn a new skill or enjoy a hobby virtually.

Have a look at our resilience activities page to find our favourite free activities.

Spending time on talents and interests can be short term but still effective, why not set your child a challenge to improve their keepy-uppies score in the garden, draw a self-portrait or discover new music.

Emotions and Behaviours

It’s important to speak to your child about how they are feeling. Help them to understand their feelings and share how you are feeling to show it’s normal to go through different emotions. You can point them towards our young people’s campaign page, featuring real life stories of young people facing difficult situations.

Reassure them it’s okay to feel anxious, upset or scared and remind them of what they can and cannot control.

Being at home and inside for longer periods of time may also lead to frustrations, bickering or arguments. If this happens, make sure your child understands their behaviours, how they may have made others feel and speak about the situation to find a solution together.

If you are worried about your child’s emotions during this time, there is a range of further advice available:

Your child may also be dealing with grief or bereavement. It is important to help your child through this process and assist them with identifying what emotions they are feeling. There are several online resources that can help you and your child deal with grief including: