Milieu relationships provide the critical background presence to staff's attempts to motivate, regulate, and teach patients how to cope with stress. Forging a connection with hospitalized children and adolescents demands attention to how they respond to adults and engage with staff around milieu expectations. Assessment guides that deal with these issues are presented. Important aspects of children's relatedness are presented in the context of their working models of adults and the influence of these representations on their response to staff. Coping skills are explained with particular emphasis on behavioral coping strategies. Tied to the assessment process are interventions that emphasize staff's role in helping patients manage strong affects and avoid the use of nonproductive behavior regulation strategies.