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Expand Possibilities - Part 5 of 5

Fostering Positive Relationships in a Trying Time Using the Developmental Relationship Framework 5 Part Series

By: Miriam T., Halton Youth Initiative Website Team

May 1, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis is a challenging time for everyone. It may be intimidating, however, during this time, adults should continue to strive to build developmental relationships with youth while they are in quarantine. According to research by the Search Institute, when young people experience developmental relationships with adults such as their parents or educators, our negative risk-taking behaviours are lower, our outcomes are better, and we are more likely to thrive in life. Search Institute’s article, Building Developmental Relationships During the COVID-19 Crisis, provides a checklist and outlines 5 main relationship building steps including; express care, challenge growth, provide support, share power and expand possibilities.

EXPAND POSSIBILITIES: Connect me with people and places that broaden my world

It is important for young people to continue to learn and experience new things so that we may grow as an individual because our experiences can have great influences on who we are or who we become. Personally, I think that even from being on the Halton Youth Initiative Website Advisory Team, I am able to grow even more as I get to meet new people and have an influence. Through being on this team I have met new people with similar interests and continue to learn.

Some points mentioned in the article to do so for youth include:

  • Send youth new things to read or watch which they normally wouldn’t have time for

  • Share your own personal experience with a crisis or difficulty you faced and tell them how it shapes who you are

  • Encourage use of the web and social media to youth to be informed of how other places are responding to COVID-19

  • Develop opportunities for adolescents to evaluate how authorities are responding to the crisis and if they would do things differently

  • Hold an online chat with someone involved with the focus of your group/class whom you could not connect with in person.

All these factors can greatly contribute to a youth’s growth and in shaping who they are.

Photo credit - Miriam T.

Kids Help Phone is always available for support at 1-800-668-6868 and

Youth in Halton also can contact ROCK Online at

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