Do you know a young person who is struggling with emotional well-being, connection, belonging, confidence, or healthy relationships? As they head back into a new school year, use these tips to let them know you’ve got their back.
Here are some “Ask, Share, Do” tips to help you have their back through this tough time. Read the tips below or download the PDF.
Belonging and Community Connection
Ask: “Are you nervous about reconnecting with friends?” “Who have you missed lately?”
Share: What makes you feel like you belong in your community.
Do: Participate in an activity together – it could be a community event, volunteering, or visiting a cultural site in your area. Take time to ask how they feel after the activity.
Ask: “On a scale of one to three, how ready are you for school to start? What makes you feel uncertain about it?”
Share: two things that affect your confidence day-to-day and how you work through them.
Do: work together to make a “Confidence Plan” for the first weeks of school. What can they do in week 1 to feel confident? What about week 2, 3, and so on?
Ask: “What do you think students and teachers at your school can do better when a student isn’t being treated right?”
Share: a time when you saw a situation of bullying or disrespect between people who were friends or dating. What did you do? What do you wish you did?
Do: Model a healthy relationship with your loved ones through active listening, validating, setting boundaries, and mutual respect.
Ask: “Do you feel you have someone you can talk to when you’re struggling?” Let them know you can be a trusted person who will listen without judgement.
Share: A time when you or someone you knew dealt with sadness or anxiety as a young person. How did you or they deal with it, and who helped them?
Do: Explore mental health information websites for children and young people like Kids Help Phone and Jack.org.
The Canadian Women’s Foundation supports programs all over Canada that strengthen belonging, community connection, mental health, confidence, and healthy relationships for girls and gender-diverse young people aged 9 to 19. They offer their participants safe and inclusive spaces, and they do it even when school doors are closed.
Support Got Your Back to help make sure programs are there for girls and gender-diverse young people who need them most.
This is a good tool to have and use. I wish it had been available when I was young