Teenagers meet many new people during their adolescent years and form different relationships with them. These relationships may last several years or perhaps end a little before their time, which can be quite stressful for a teen. But with support at home, teens can learn about how to recognize a healthy relationship—or conversely, an unhealthy relationship.
What is a Healthy Relationship?
Talk to your teen about healthy relationships—what characteristics they should look for in a friend or partner and what some warning signs are. Ask them how they would like to be treated and set that as a bar for what they should expect from others and from themselves.
Signs of a Healthy Relationship:
- Both people feel respected and comfortable
- Both people have friends and hobbies outside the relationship and take time for themselves
- There are more good times than bad
- Fighting and disagreements are settled without drama or yelling
Image Send me adrift.
Don’t Shy Away from the Dangers
You want to keep your child safe, but you also don’t want to scare them. The reality is that 10 percent of teens who have been on a date have either been sexually or physically abused by the person they went on the date with. Talking about sexual and physical abuse is tricky to navigate and can be a very sensitive subject for some people, but it is worth taking the time to discuss with your teen.
Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship:
- There is physical harm
- Disagreements turn to arguments and yelling
- Demands to know your whereabouts at all times
- Controlling behavior
- Twists the truth, lies or manipulates to get their way
- Says or does things that make you feel unworthy, but still says they love you
It is important you let your teen know that no one deserves to be treated disrespectfully and it is okay to leave an unhealthy relationship. However, with the right knowledge of what to look for in a healthy relationship, your teen will be able to to make the best choice.
Featured image Joris Louwes