Hello again – with schools and colleges closing, we want you to know that we’re here for you and that we’ll keep Make (Good) Trouble going for as long as is humanly possible. 

If you’re a parent or a young person struggling to cope, or just worried about the next few weeks and months, we’ve set up a Facebook group to help you. It’s called Raising Teens in Lockdown (what else!). We’ve gathered some of our Raising Teens experts to give advice and you can also share your own ideas and tips or simply have somewhere to talk and be heard. And we have our small army of amazing Make (Good) Trouble teens on hand to help out. 

We’re planning Q&A advice sessions, cook-alongs, home-based activities and more – our teens are brainstorming ideas as I type! We’ll be trialling and sharing the best ways to keep in touch with friends and family – which apps and digital media wok best, including which are free – so no one feels alone. 

We also have every episode of our Raising Teens radio show available to listen to if you need specific help while we get Raising Teens in Lockdown going. Parents, teens and brilliant experts share stories and give really practical advice. 

Communication is so important, as is understanding each other when we’re feeling anxious and in close proximity. Listen to our pilot episode which covered dealing with flare-ups and how to get a teen to talk. We also discussed where to get support for yourself as a parent as well as broaching difficult subjects.

We also have episodes on understanding the Teenage Brain in series 1 – and The Return of the Teenage Brain in series 2 which are amazing insights into the workings of the adolescent brain and really do help us understand why teens act the way they do. 

If your teen is struggling with anxiety and other issues are flaring up, these episodes may help:

Kicking off

Loneliness

Eating Disorders

Self-harm

Family breakups

Relationships

Resilience

Sleep

Social media & devices

You can also join us on TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn – we’ll share the best bits from our Raising Teens in Lockdown group there too. 

Gemma spoke about grief and loss on Raising Teens  last year. Here she talks about how that experience has helped her to open up and seek support.

It seems in a world so digitalised we often lose sight of reality; words are said with little truth behind them and conversations go unspoken. 

Make (Good) Trouble has initiated that conversation; discussing topics that are so often pushed aside, avoided, or even feared. It was for that exact reason that I’m determined to speak about the avoided, feared or pushed aside as these are normalities that are made anomalies. Having understood the topics at hand to be discussed, I was initially reluctant in opening up about the state of beings that I am far too familiar with; grief, loneliness and social anxiety. These three states of being tend to be intertwined and when one is taking the limelight the other two tend to sneak up slowly behind. 

After losing my mum at the age of nine and entering the foster care system at 14, I think it’s fair to say that adapting to change is now a skill I am far too familiar with. Anyone who has experienced a loss at such an age would understand when I say, the years that soon follow on from this are the ones you wished them were around to see; the start of secondary school, prom, birthdays and just general adolescent changes. I suppose losing a parent at any age is the greatest loss one can ever experience and as I said in my Raising Teens interview, I know as life progresses, there’ll be times when my mum is the only person I wish to share these moments with. 

We’ve heard from some amazing teens on the latest series of #RaisingTeens. This is Gemma talking about her mum. You can catch up on all the episodes via https://t.co/RYvFHBTVZb pic.twitter.com/GPHFTWLTp3— Make (Good) Trouble (@makegoodnews) 8 January 2020

The labels and judgement associated with foster care and losing a parent previously led me to avoid all conversations about it completely. While socially I would laugh and joke the situation away, internally the feeling was completely different. Make (Good) Trouble has helped me to break out of that mindset, to speak more openly and expose my vulnerabilities. 

Now, seven years on from where it all started, I’ve realised that I speak about my experiences for no other satisfaction than my own. To show pride in my determination to achieve all that my heart desires in aid of my mum’s legacy, and for those that are reading this, I urge you to do the same. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, a destined outcome is there for the taking if you’re willing to work hard enough for it and neither your past nor surroundings should determine the outcome of that. 

My message here is simple; communication is key. Often talking can be the initiating factor behind that new friendship you never saw coming, the factor that resolves that argument that you no longer remember how it started. And it can be the beginning of the process that eventually heals, in some way, the wounds you’ve long tried to hide away from. 

I want to thank the Make (Good) Trouble team for providing me with the platform to open up on and for allowing me to share my experiences with a purpose to allow others to do the same. 

Listen to Raising Teens: Grief

We were chuffed to bits to hear that Raising Teens guest Ceri Walker spoke at the House of Commons earlier this month about deciding to “say yes to everything” and making it her mission to “be the voice of children of alcoholics”. Part of that meant that she said yes to us when we asked her to come on our BBC Sussex programme and talk about being the child of an alcoholic, something she mentions in this inspiring clip of her speech in the House.

Ceri helps to promote the amazing work that NACOA does to give support and a voice to children of alcoholics.

Listen to Ceri on Raising Teens: Teens, Parents & Booze on BBC Sounds

You can support Ceri and NACOA on social media

on Twitter:

@dreamingofeden_
@NacoaUK

on Instagram:

@NacoaUK
@dreamingofedenbtn

And Facebook

Nacoa UK

Liv, 16, is a young carer and became a Make (Good) Trouble production assistant after she was interviewed for Raising Teens about Loneliness. Liv has penned a blog post to talk about this year’s theme for Children’s Mental Health Week: find your brave.

Being brave is something we’ve all done in our lives. It’s also one of the most amazing things that we do. Being brave can initiate the feeling of empowerment and adrenaline. (They feel pretty great!)

Remember the time when you were meeting someone for the first time? You didn’t know what to expect? You were strong, fearless and brave! 

In my life, being brave is such a key role. I meet new people all the time. Constantly shaking hands and making conversation with a stranger. 

The last dominant memory of me being brave was meeting the wonderful people who make up the Make (Good) Trouble team. I had signed up to do an interview with them which i hoped would help them with their radio series “Raising Teens”.

As i entered the room I distinctly remember being overwhelmed as six other college students stood around me, they all seemed familiar with each other. I stood with my earphones in and had a five minute battle with myself over whether I should turn and leave, or stay and attend the interview.

I stayed. It was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. The one thing that will stay with me is what I told myself as I entered the room: “Just be brave. It’ll be great”.

I walked in there and the room was filled with beaming, radiant smiles from everyone. I remember feeling very warm inside. I was proud of myself. The warm smiles felt comforting and I remember feeling proud of myself. I was proud, because I was brave. 

After doing the interviews, I left the room with a beaming smile. I realised I wasn’t alone. Everyone in the room was brave. We all shared vulnerable parts of ourselves. We all accepted one another. We were brave. 

After doing the interviews, I stayed in contact with the Make (Good) Trouble team. I was invited to get involved in their further work and for that, I am eternally grateful. I feel like I’m part of the team. I have the same beaming smiles around me, it’s magnificent.

Without my act of bravery, I wouldn’t have been open to some of the extraordinary experiences I’m involved in now. 

Being brave may not seem like a lot at the time, but it can do so much for you, it can open you up to new experiences and to meeting new people. 

It can change your life for the better.

Even the smallest acts can have a huge impact. So, talk to someone you’ve never talked to before, go for that job interview you may have been putting off, go on that first date. Say yes to new things!

Because, being brave, is brave!

Listen to Liv on Raising Teens: Loneliness on BBC Sounds