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Share Power - Part 4 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

April 30, 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.

SHARE POWER: Treat me with respect and give me a say

This step would be very important to youth because adolescents often feel as if their voices aren’t heard or maybe that they are not as important as adults may be. I think by showing them respect and letting their voices be heard can overall boost their feeling of their own self-worth. As they grow, at this time they might be finding themselves and by doing this, they will feel as if they are not alone.

To do this, Search Institute’s article mentions a couple of points:

  • Let youth have a say in your adjustments to the new working and living conditions as well as asking them their classes or groups rules and the norm

  • Let young people lead or create their assigned online activities

  • Ask for their feedback and constructive criticism into their work

  • Offer them choices rather than one option

I think that by doing these points, youth could feel more empowered as it gives them a chance to be in control as well as have their input heard.

For example, before online schools began, my mother asked me to create a schedule so that I could manage my time and get my work done accordingly. She gave me freedom with my schedule in letting me plan it by myself with only a couple of conditions such as the schedule must be able to have enough time to complete my school work. By doing so, I felt as if I wasn’t being forced to do exactly as I was told and to strictly follow rules without a say in it.

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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