The impact family life can have on young people

We’re almost at the end of the summer holidays now, and while some may have really enjoyed them, many will be looking forward to returning to normality in September.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd September 2019, 5:00 pm
A crying boy.

For some, the spending of more time together over the holiday period can increase friction in family relationships. This can mean more arguments, and feelings of unease and unhappiness at home.

At Childline, we hear a lot about family relationships and the impact this has on young people when they break down, which is why we have launched a new campaign looking at how family dynamics affect their sense of wellbeing.

One young person said: “My dad and I don’t get on very well. Recently it’s been a lot worse and will lead me to lash out and ask why he’s being so nasty to me.

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“He always calls me last and makes me feel bad about myself, but I don’t want to talk to him about it. I also don’t get on too well with my siblings, and the summer holidays are proving a challenge.”

For young people caught in a difficult situation at home, it can be hard to know what steps to take to try resolving things.

We often recommend waiting until things have calmed down before trying to discuss what’s happened, why the argument started in the first place and how everyone is feeling. If someone is still angry, it’s difficult to have a calm and reasoned discussion afterwards.

Saying sorry can a very powerful way of stopping an argument from escalating, and diffusing matters.

Speaking to someone else can also help diffuse a tense situation and offer a new perspective.

Staying calm, but being assertive, can help resolve difficulties arising in family relationships in some cases. This can help get a point across, without things getting out of control and turning into an argument.

We know that a solution for one young person might not be an appropriate or safe way forward for another.

If someone is threatening or hurting a child or young person support should be given.

For free confidential advice and support children and young people can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or