By: Deborah Farbarik
Healthy relationships are based on respect, honesty, and trust, communication, individuality, safety, support, and acceptance.
Engage your teen in discussions about dating relationships using the following guidelines for characteristics that a healthy relationship should include:
Respect –Are you accepted by your girlfriend or boyfriend for who you are
Safety–Do you feel safe emotionally and physically in all your relationships?
Support –Does your boyfriend or girlfriend care for you and want what is best for you?
Individuality –Do you pretend to like something you don’t or be someone you aren’t just to fit in or be liked by certain people?
Fairness and Equality–Do you have an equal say in your relationships?
Acceptance –Does your girlfriend or boyfriend accept you for who you really are?
Honesty and Trust–Are you always honest and is your boyfriend or girlfriend honest with you
Communication–You should listen to one another and hear one another out.
Good communication builds the foundation for healthy relationships:
- Be sensitive to the pressures of adolescence and provide understanding, support, and guidance.
- Create positive connections and interactions with your teen. Spend time listening and talking with your teen every day.
- Be aware of your teen’s use of technology and set age-appropriate limits.
- Be involved. Encourage and support your teen’s individual interests and involvement in his or her school or community.
- Be an assertive parent –with a balance of sensitivity and firmness. Be firm about expectations and the consequences of actions.
- Encourage and model healthy and safe relationships. Discuss what a healthy relationship looks like, feels like, and sounds like.