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Express Care - Part 1 of 5

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

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

By: Tanvi M., Halton Youth Initiative Website Team

April 27, 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.

Express Care: Show me that I matter to you One technique is to express care and show someone that they matter to you. Through this, they are reminded that they have people who care about them, and in difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, this can be an important reminder.

This can be achieved through:

  • Sending a personal message (ex. text, e-mail, video, note.). Examples include mentioning that you hope they are doing well or sending them something that reminds you of them (ex. a picture, an object).

  • Ask them how they are spending their time. You could also send them some activities to do at home (ex. links to online activities such as coloring, origami tutorials).

  • Remind them that you are here to support them and they will get through this, as well as encourage them to keep developing.

When I receive a personal message, it makes me smile as sending a personal message shows that you are considerate, an important quality to hold and is a great act of kindness.

Photo credit: Tanvi M.

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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