As you are growing up, you may find that your relationships with other people change and develop. You might argue with people and fall out with them. Most arguments don't last long and are soon forgotten about. However some can last for a long time and this can make you feel sad and alone.

Parents

If you feel your parents always seem to be telling you what to do, it's useful to remember that they have a legal duty to look after you. The law requires that your parents are responsible for you until you reach the age of 18, so it's understandable that they might look out for your best interests. You might have an argument with them from time to time, but this is all part of living at home and growing up.

Many people leave home only to find their problems become much worse. If you do argue with your parents, the best thing you can do is let it blow over and after a few days you will probably have forgotten about it. If you have any serious problems you can always talk to your Connexions Personal Adviser in confidence.

Girlfriends/Boyfriends

You might be at the age where you have a girlfriend or boyfriend, and maybe sometimes you find you have difficulty getting on. This is something we all experience at some point in our lives. Try sitting down and talking and make sure that you each get the chance to speak while your partner listens.

If you are feeling lonely or upset because of a problem with a relationship, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser for confidential help and advice.

School friends

School friends are an important part of growing up. We don't get on with everyone but instead tend to have our own circle of friends. Sometimes an argument or disagreement can mean we don't speak to our school friends.

If you have fallen out with someone at school, the chances are you're probably both sorry but just won't admit it. It's better to say "Sorry" and be friends again than to stay silent. Try saying "Hello" next time you see them, they will probably say it back.

Bullying

Bullying is when anyone deliberately tries to hurt you, intimidate you or put you under stress for periods of time. No one should have to put up with being bullied and there are people who can help. If you are being bullied you must tell a parent, a teacher or someone else you trust. Many people get bullied at some point in their life, and it can happen almost anywhere - at home, school or even at work. Don't be frightened - please tell someone.

Sex and the law

Many young people think that if they feel ready to have sex and as long as they use protection, it has nothing to do with anyone else. This is not the case, so it's important that you know the facts about sex and the law.

Relate provide expert help on relationships including advice, counselling and support. Support is available face-to-face, by phone or on the Relate website.

The Samaritans provides confidential emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair. If you're worried about something, feel upset or confused, or you just want to talk to someone call Telephone 08457 90 90 90 or visit the Samaritans website.