Social support: TESTIMONIAL

Establish, maintain and call upon healthy supportive relationships as needed.

You can demonstrate your social support through:

  • Establishing, maintaining and nurturing a supportive network of healthy relationships
  • Seeking support from others (e.g., friends, family, Elders, teachers, role models, mentors, coaches)
  • Supporting others’ learning by being a positive and encouraging role model, mentor, coach or tutor
  • Identifying and seeking appropriate support to address harassment, bullying and mistreatment in all its forms
  • Taking appropriate steps to support others who are struggling with physical, emotional, mental, environmental, social and/or spiritual challenges

Dylan’s mom died when he was 14 years old and his dad works away, returning home every 3 weeks. He lives with his aunt while his dad is working, but both Dylan and his dad realize that Dylan needs more support than his aunt alone can offer.

When he’s with his aunt, Dylan has gotten into a routine of staying up most of the night playing video games and then being too tired to function at school. Some mornings he sleeps in and misses his first few classes; other days, he can’t focus and, although he’s in class, he misses most of what the teacher is saying. His grades, usually okay, have dropped dramatically since his mom died. He is now at risk of failing three of his courses.

When Dylan’s dad is home, things are really different. They always eat dinner together and then sit at the kitchen table while Dylan works on homework and his dad works on an online course for work. Dylan enjoys this routine, sleeps better and is able to keep up at school. He doesn’t want to fail, so he works with his dad to make a plan for the weeks his dad is away.

Dylan and his dad agree on a few key changes. First, to keep his sleeping on track, they agree to keeping technology out of his bedroom. Second, for the three courses that Dylan is failing, he accesses a peer-tutoring program offered during his lunch hours. Third, they make arrangements for Dylan to spend a couple of evenings a week with a friend and his family where they can do homework together, just like when Dylan’s dad is home, and then play video games for an hour before Dylan returns to his aunt’s house. Fourth, they agree that while his dad is away, they’ll connect each evening by Skype to talk over the day and look ahead to tomorrow. Finally, knowing how much Dylan misses his mom, they agree that Sunday dinners will be with his grandparents, who can tell him stories about her and help to keep his memories alive.