Reader’s letter from a Childline Volunteer

By Aaron Hearne, Childline Volunteer

The start of a new year is a time when lots of us look back and reflect on things that have happened, both good and bad.

It’s normal for this reflection to make us feel a bit down – especially children.

They’ve had so much to contend with over the last year.

From disruptions to schooling to not being able to see friends and family– it’s created a perfect storm of anxiety and isolation.

New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to start making changes but they can put a lot of pressure on children and young people to succeed.

At Childline, we have some advice to help you support your children if they want to set themselves some goals:

Be realistic
Encourage them to set a target they can reach, then break it down into smaller things to achieve gradually. If they try and do too much at the start, they could feel despondent and give up.

Get support
Let them know they can tell their friends and family about their resolution, or another adult they trust like a teacher, and not to be afraid to ask for their help. Getting support means they’re more likely to succeed.

Don’t be too hard on themselves
If they have a bad day or week and don’t do everything they wanted to do, don’t give up. They can always start again the next day.

Chart their achievements
If they’ve set lots of smaller goals, be sure to chart their progress. Why not write it down each time they do something and put the paper in a jar. At the end of the year you can open the jar together and they’ll get a big boost remembering all the little things they’ve done.

Reward themselves
If they’ve had a good week, do something nice as a reward. They could go out with friends or watch their favourite film. And remember our Childline volunteers are here to help, 24 hours a day, free and in confidence, on 0800 1111. Or visit for further advice.





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