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Relationships & Sex Education

Risk and resilience

Resilience skills increase your ability to manage difficult situations, feelings, and experiences that you might face. It helps you to move on from those experiences with confidence, being optimistic about the future.

All your RSE lessons will have elements in them where you will be able to develop the skills you need to become more resilient. 

Having confidence is about believing in yourself, who you are, your abilities and ideas. This could be knowing an idea you have is a good one, the feeling of learning a new skill or knowing what you want out of life. Sometimes you might experience low levels of confidence. It’s important to know that although big emotions are part of being a teenager, feeling overwhelmed and anxious are things that you can get help with. You don’t have to cope in silence.

Building up your confidence and learning to cope with emotions takes time, but you can take small steps that can lead to a big change.

  • Talk to a trusted adult about how you are feeling
  • Celebrate what makes you unique and different
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Look after your basic needs – eat healthy and sleep well
  • Be kind to other people
  • Try something new that you enjoy
  • Learn to say no – if something causes you to overly worry or stress, don’t do it

As you grow older, it can be really tempting to do whatever you can to fit in with your friends and peers, but making certain choices can lead to risks.

How can you reduce these risks? Where can you go to for help? Is it okay to say no?


Peer pressure is when you do something just because your friends or peers are doing it. It is important that you feel comfortable making your own choices and being okay saying no.

As you grow older, the people around you – friends and peers – will have the biggest influence on you, even if you don’t realise it. An influence can be good, like encouraging you to overcome your fears, but sometimes an influence might pressure you into doing things that might have bad consequences.


Abuse is when someone causes another person intentional harm, and it can take many forms.

Emotional abuse: name calling, constant criticism, silent treatment, etc

Physical abuse: hitting, punching, kicking, biting, shaking, hair pulling, etc

Sexual abuse: being touched, exposed or forced to look at sexual pictures, watch someone do something sexual, have sex without consent

It is not always easy to know what to do, but it is important to remember being abused is not your fault.


Physical abuse – spot the signs

Sexual abuse – spot the signs

Emotional abuse – spot the signs

Neglect – spot the signs

There are many great things you can do online, but the cyber world can also be a dangerous place. It is important not to share information about yourself or click on unknown links. There are easy ways to stay safe online.

Some things to think about…

  • Never share personal details online
  • Don’t give out your password or log-in details
  • Think before you post, for example don’t share your location
  • Report any bullying or abuse immediately
  • Talk to a trusted adult if you have any concerns


A drug is a chemical which alters how the body functions. It might change the way you feel and act. Some drugs are illegal, unsafe and can be harmful. Some drugs are legal, such as caffeine, tobacco, or medication prescribed by a doctor for an illness, but they can also be harmful if they are misused.

Drugs can:

  • Make you feel like you cannot cope without taking them
  • Become addictive
  • Cause you to fall out with family and friends
  • Cause long term mental health and physical health problems
  • Lead to problems with the police

Whether you are feeling pressured or curious to take drugs, it is important to understand that there are always risks when taking any kind of drug. When it is difficult to say no, remember:

  • Talk to a trusted adult and ask them for help
  • Think about what is right for you and express how you feel
  • If they are your true friend, they will respect you


It is important to look after your sexual health. Having unprotected sex can lead to an unplanned pregnancy, or getting a sexually transmitted infection.

Remember, you should only have sex with someone if you are of legal age and feel ready. Nobody should pressure you into doing something you are not comfortable with.

For help and information, you can visit our FAQ page, visit ChildLine, or contact us.