Supporting your young person as they adjust to change

Moving from primary to secondary school, sitting state exams, starting college, peer and family relationships, and bodily changes, there is a huge amount of change in a young person’s life.

In this article, we will talk about

Mind your mental health as you adjust to Irish life

People leave their home countries for multiple reasons to live somewhere else. They may be forced to leave family members, homes, pets, jobs, careers, and their communities.

For some people, this is to seek a better life for themselves and their families. For others, the decision is forced due to war, civil unrest or poverty. The decision to move can be a very difficult one to make and sometimes has to be made very quickly.

As a parent or guardian, this can lead to carrying a lot of worry for your young person.

Your own mental health can be affected by moving somewhere else. While the reasons for moving differ, most people take time to settle into their new country.

Supporting your young person to live in Ireland

Arriving in Ireland as a migrant is stressful and at times can be a painful experience.

The decision to move may have been difficult and sometimes has to be made very quickly.

As a parent, you want to be able to look after your young person’s physical and mental health to the best of your ability. You also need to be able to look after your own mental health to be able to provide support to others.

In this article, we will touch on the different issues that might come up for your young person and how can you support them.

Some of the areas that will likely come up are:

  • Leaving family behind
  • Education issues
  • Social issues
  • Physical health issues
  • Emotional issues
  • Effects of war and conflict on young people’s mental health.

Supporting migrants from war-torn areas

Hearing stories about conflict in other countries can bring up a number of feelings.

Rolling news about events such as the war in Ukraine and other conflict areas, can be overwhelming and leave us with a sense of helplessness at not knowing what to do.

Connecting with others

We can also feel empathy and sympathy for what our fellow human beings are going through.

Part of being human means we can connect with people we have never met, worrying about their situation and feeling their distress. It’s not unusual to feel different emotions at one time.

Fleeing a war-torn country is a very challenging thing for someone to do. People are forced to leave family members, homes, pets, jobs, and careers, as well as their social community.

Adjusting to being in a new country you didn’t necessarily choose isn’t easy. There may be many barriers to settling in, such as language and different cultural norms, like foods that are eaten.

A parent’s guide to Leaving Cert stress

It’s a nail-biting time watching your young person prepare for the Leaving Cert. In 2021, students were given the choice between sitting the exam, receiving an accredited grade, or both. Approximately 58% of students chose to sit the exam in some capacity.

2022 sees the Leaving Cert return to a more traditional format, while incorporating more choice for students. This document has the adjusted assessment arrangements for taking state exams in the 2021/22 school year. These adjustments are designed to take account of the disrupted learning experienced by students during the pandemic.

We asked Jigsaw clinicians how they support and advise parents and young people finding it hard to cope with Leaving Cert stress. They suggested the following strategies and tips to support your young person and cheer them up. They also advised how to keep yourself and your home calm during these challenging times.

One Good Manager

Jigsaw’s One Good Manager is an initiative which supports the mental health of young people in the workplace. 

We know from the My World Survey 2 that young people benefit greatly from having someone to be able to talk to. Having this person in their lives was linked to better overall mental health.

In this article we will learn:

Setting boundaries with young people

As a parent, you have worked hard over the years to set boundaries for your children. To help them differentiate right from wrong and to make good choices.

However, as they get older many young people may seem determined to test boundaries (and their parents) to the limits.

Spend some time thinking about your boundaries and expectations and how they evolve. This can help avoid some of the conflict that inevitably arises as young people progress into adulthood.

In the article, you will find: