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. 

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

Feedback on the latest series of our BBC Sussex radio show Raising Teens has been amazing and the feedback we love the most if from teens who have contributed to the show. This is from Gemma who talked movingly on Raising Teens about losing her mum, loneliness and grief. On her Instagram post, Gemma called it “a heartbreaking yet necessary conversation” about grief and loneliness.

“Raising teens is a platform dedicated to giving young people a voice, this in itself was one of the reasons I decided to get involved and share my story. When meeting Jane, Lola and Beren back in October, I was immediately struck by their passion to allow our voices to be heard, our opinions to be shared and our thoughts to be spoken about. 

“The topics we discussed were certainly not the easiest nor the most exciting. However, they were topics that are so universal, yet often set aside. I feel that the series has demonstrated how there are a number of young people out there, just like myself, wanting their story to be heard. As you can hear in a number of the episodes, there can be one topic but each individual’s take on it can be of complete, opposing ends of the spectrum – all dependent on their own experiences, yet this is what makes it so interesting.

“There is conversation out there waiting to be had and Raising teens appears to be the platform for that conversation to take place.

“When speaking up about my experiences surrounding grief and loneliness I felt vulnerable. Now I look back and see that through sharing my vulnerability i gained the strength to allow others to do the same. Thank you to all the #raisingteens Make (Good) Trouble team for allowing me to have this opportunity.”

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Raising Teens – please leave your feedback via our short survey here.