If a young person in your life seems to be having a difficult time, trust your instincts if you feel something isn’t right.
There are plenty of signs to look out for that are good to know. If you want to start a tough conversation but don’t know where to begin, you are not alone.
When a young person is feeling down, stressed or anxious, they may become closed off or defensive. They can find it hard to talk about what is going on. Some things can be challenging to communicate. However, whether they feel able to open up or not, a young person will likely appreciate being offered the opportunity to talk. They will benefit from knowing there is someone there to support them when they are ready to accept help.
Choose your time to start a conversation
Finding the right time is important to consider. Once you start, you need to ensure there is an adequate amount of time available so neither of you feels pressure to reach a quick conclusion. It’s wise to choose a time when you are both free without something to rush off to.
If a young person has to meet a deadline for homework, or is distracted by a football game, it is unlikely they are going to want to talk. Remember, your priorities may not be the same.
A convenient time to talk may crop up naturally, when you are both relaxed and doing something together. However, it may not be that easy to start a tough conversation. You might have to deliberately make the time. Don’t try to be a mind reader on this. Let the young person know you’d like to spend some time with them and ask what time suits them.