Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

Relationship Problems for Young People
and Parents and Carers

What are relationship problems?

Sometimes relationship can be really difficult.  It is normal to feel like your parents or carers don’t understand you, or your child doesn’t want to talk to you anymore, that can all be part of growing up, but it can be a really upsetting, confusing and stressful time when relationships between family members break down. 

Friendships can sometimes be difficult to navigate and if children and young people are struggling with friendships, or experiencing bullying, it can impact on how they feel, how they cope at school or college, and even whether they want to take part in activities, or spend time with family and friends.

Sometimes it might feel like events or situations in your life have made it hard to build a relationship with your child or other people. Traumatic events or problems in a child’s early life can make it hard to build relationships with parents, carers and other people and this can sometimes show in a child or young person’s behaviour.  

How might this affect me?

  • Having low self-esteem and lacking in confidence, feeling not good enough or not as good as anyone else.
  • Feeling worried and panicking; feeling responsible and guilty for things that may not be their responsibility
  • Feeling angry towards other people, being aggressive or refusing to do as they are asked
  • Difficulties concentrating and struggling with motivation
  • They may not feel like hanging out with family, their friends or doing sociable things
  • Poor peer relationships, has difficulties maintaining friendships, having fun and sharing with others, can be overly competitive in games and seen as a ‘bad loser’.
  • Problems with sleep (difficulties getting to or staying asleep or nightmares)
  • They may have thoughts about harming themselves or ending their life.

What can I do to help myself?

Talk to someone you trust. This might be a teacher, school nurse, a friend or a youth worker. Remember lots of people struggle with their relationships so you aren’t alone. If you are being bullied by someone it’s important to speak up, there are people who can help.

Check out some of the resources available which can explain and normalise some teenage behaviours Teenagers’ Brains – Solihull Approach | Parenting

Acknowledging and normalising that it is usual to feel a range of emotions. Try to keep normal routines going as much as possible.

Encourage your young person to keep doing activities they enjoy and not avoid social opportunities when they arise.

Remind young people: if they are being bullied, it is not their fault and they do not deserve to be abused or made to feel any less of a person.

Encourage young people to practice ‘safe social media use’ block, unfriend, mute and delete anyone or any group that is unhelpful. If social media is a problem, delete the apps on their account.

Get some advice from professionals. Contact Us

When should I make a Referral?

If the problems have persisted and it is impacting on your child’s wellbeing to the extent that you are seeing worrying changes in their mood, or issues such as self harm or suicidal thoughts then you should speak to a professional 

What can I expect?

A member of the team will meet with you first to understand what is going on and how this is impacting on you and/or your family.

It might be that there are other services that are better placed to support you and so we might signpost you to others services for help.

As well as working with young people directly, we often work with parents on their own, or with whole families. We might ask that other people join the work we are doing. This helps everyone in the family know how they can help.

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