Healthy relationships play an important role in all of our lives, but for children they’re particularly significant, helping to shape them into both the adults they’ll become and the relationships they’ll continue to forge. Once our children hit puberty and begin to experiment with romantic liaisons it’s therefore important that we’re aware of their interactions, demonstrate healthy relationships in our own lives, and—although difficult for many parents, and embarrassing for the kids involved—have an open-door policy for discussing their relationships with them.
What is a healthy relationship?
A healthy relationship is one that is respectful and supportive. Communication and boundaries are both key here.
How do you talk to your child about a healthy relationship?
Share your values and express what you want for him/ her in their relationships. It’s also important that you ask them to express what they want from their relationships.
What is the importance of talking to about dating violence?
This has got to be one of the most challenging phases of parenthood; especially because while your child, arguably, needs you more than ever, he/ she is most likely seeking their independence. However, given that 1 in 5 teens is in an abusive relationship it’s extremely important that you address this topic with them early on in their dating experience.
Signs of an unhealthy relationship?
- Spending less time with family and friends
- Excessive text messaging, phone calling, emailing or visiting with their partner
- Giving up things that used to be important to partner
- Starts having declining grades or missing school
- Being pressured by a partner about what to do, where to go, or what to wear
- Worried about upsetting her/his partner
- Apologizing or making excuses for her/his partner’s behavior
- Has injuries he/she tries to cover up or can’t explain
If you suspect a teen is in an unhealthy relationship, it’s important that you speak with them immediately and seek the necessary help.
Conversation starters include:
- Does your partner understand how special you are and appreciate all those things that make you special?
- Do you trust your parter and does he/she trsut you?
- Do you have ongoing, open, two-way conversations about topics that are important to you?
- Is your relationship a two-way street? Do you feel safe expressing your feelings, thoughts, and dreams?
For more information and ways to get involved with Voices for Children of Broward County, please contact Erica Herman via email at email@example.com.