Talk With Your Teen About Healthy Relationships

Reviewed Feb 18, 2016

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Summary

In a healthy relationship:

  • Both people feel respected, supported and valued
  • Decisions are made together
  • Both people have friends and interests outside of the relationship

You can help your teen build strong, respectful relationships. Start by teaching your son or daughter about healthy relationships.

Unfortunately, many teens have relationships that are unhealthy. About 1 in 10 teens report being physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year.

You can help your kids:

  • Develop skills for healthy and safe relationships
  • Set expectations for how they want to be treated
  • Recognize when a relationship doesn’t feel good

Talking with your teen is a way to show you are available to listen and answer questions.

When should I start talking with my child about relationships?

It’s never too early to teach your child about healthy relationships. You’ve probably been doing it all along. When you taught your child to say “please” and “thank you” as a toddler, you were teaching respect and kindness.

Your own relationships also teach your kids how to treat others. When you treat your kids, partner and friends in healthy, supportive ways, your kids learn from your choices.

Kids learn from unhealthy experiences, too. When they experience violence at home or in the community, kids are more likely to be in unhealthy relationships later on.

When should I start talking about dating?

The best time to start talking about healthy dating relationships is before your child starts dating. Start conversations about what to look for in a romantic partner. For example, you could ask your child:

  • How do you want to be treated?
  • How do you want to feel about yourself when you are with that person?

What makes a relationship healthy?

In a healthy relationship:

  • Both people feel respected, supported and valued.
  • Decisions are made together.
  • Both people have friends and interests outside of the relationship.
  • Disagreements are settled with open and honest communication.
  • There are more good times than bad.

What makes a relationship unhealthy?

In an unhealthy relationship:

  • One person tries to change the other.
  • One person makes most or all of the decisions.
  • One or both people drop friends and interests outside of the relationship.
  • One person yells, threatens, hits or throws things during arguments.
  • One person makes fun of the other’s opinions or interests.
  • One person keeps track of the other all the time by calling, texting or checking in with friends.
  • There are more bad times than good.

People in unhealthy relationships may have many excuses to try to explain away the hurtful parts of the relationship. If you see any of these signs, talk to your teen.

What is dating violence?

Dating violence is when one person in a romantic relationship is abusive to the other person. This includes emotional, physical and sexual abuse. It can happen in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships.

Both boys and girls can be unhealthy or unsafe in a relationship. Sometimes, both partners act in unhealthy or unsafe ways. It’s important to talk to all kids about how to have respectful, healthy relationships.

Who is at risk for dating violence?

Dating violence can happen to anyone. Teens may be more at risk of being in unhealthy relationships if they:

  • Use alcohol or drugs
  • Are depressed
  • Hang out with friends who are violent
  • Have trouble controlling their anger
  • Struggle with learning in school
  • Have sex with more than 1 person

What are the warning signs of dating violence?

It’s common for teens to have mood swings or try out different behaviors. But sudden changes in your teen’s attitude or behavior could mean that something more serious is going on.

If you are worried, talk to your teen to find out more.

Watch for signs that your teen’s partner may be violent.

If your teen is in a relationship with someone who uses violence, your teen may:

  • Avoid friends, family and school activities
  • Make excuses for a partner’s behavior
  • Look uncomfortable or fearful around a partner
  • Lose interest in favorite activities
  • Get lower grades in school
  • Have unexplained injuries, like bruises or scratches

Watch for signs that your teen may be violent.

Teens who use physical, emotional, or sexual violence to control their partners need help to stop. Start a conversation if your teen:

  • Is jealous and possessive
  • Blames other people for anything that goes wrong
  • Damages or ruins a partner’s things
  • Wants to control someone else’s decisions
  • Constantly texts or calls a partner
  • Posts embarrassing information about a partner on websites like Facebook (including sexual information or pictures)

Help your teen stay healthy.

Dating violence can have long-term effects for both partners—even after the relationship ends.

By helping your teen develop the skills for healthy relationships, you can also help prevent the long-term effects of dating violence.

Someone who has experienced dating violence may struggle with:

  • Depression
  • Low self-confidence
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance or alcohol use disorders
  • Other violent relationships

A partner who has been violent may experience:

  • Loss of respect from others
  • Suspension or expulsion from school
  • Loneliness
  • Trouble with the law

Watch for signs of dating violence and help your teen stay healthy now and in the future.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Health Information Center, http://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/parenting/healthy-communication-and-relationships/talk-with-your-teen-about-healthy-relationships

Summary

In a healthy relationship:

  • Both people feel respected, supported and valued
  • Decisions are made together
  • Both people have friends and interests outside of the relationship

You can help your teen build strong, respectful relationships. Start by teaching your son or daughter about healthy relationships.

Unfortunately, many teens have relationships that are unhealthy. About 1 in 10 teens report being physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year.

You can help your kids:

  • Develop skills for healthy and safe relationships
  • Set expectations for how they want to be treated
  • Recognize when a relationship doesn’t feel good

Talking with your teen is a way to show you are available to listen and answer questions.

When should I start talking with my child about relationships?

It’s never too early to teach your child about healthy relationships. You’ve probably been doing it all along. When you taught your child to say “please” and “thank you” as a toddler, you were teaching respect and kindness.

Your own relationships also teach your kids how to treat others. When you treat your kids, partner and friends in healthy, supportive ways, your kids learn from your choices.

Kids learn from unhealthy experiences, too. When they experience violence at home or in the community, kids are more likely to be in unhealthy relationships later on.

When should I start talking about dating?

The best time to start talking about healthy dating relationships is before your child starts dating. Start conversations about what to look for in a romantic partner. For example, you could ask your child:

  • How do you want to be treated?
  • How do you want to feel about yourself when you are with that person?

What makes a relationship healthy?

In a healthy relationship:

  • Both people feel respected, supported and valued.
  • Decisions are made together.
  • Both people have friends and interests outside of the relationship.
  • Disagreements are settled with open and honest communication.
  • There are more good times than bad.

What makes a relationship unhealthy?

In an unhealthy relationship:

  • One person tries to change the other.
  • One person makes most or all of the decisions.
  • One or both people drop friends and interests outside of the relationship.
  • One person yells, threatens, hits or throws things during arguments.
  • One person makes fun of the other’s opinions or interests.
  • One person keeps track of the other all the time by calling, texting or checking in with friends.
  • There are more bad times than good.

People in unhealthy relationships may have many excuses to try to explain away the hurtful parts of the relationship. If you see any of these signs, talk to your teen.

What is dating violence?

Dating violence is when one person in a romantic relationship is abusive to the other person. This includes emotional, physical and sexual abuse. It can happen in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships.

Both boys and girls can be unhealthy or unsafe in a relationship. Sometimes, both partners act in unhealthy or unsafe ways. It’s important to talk to all kids about how to have respectful, healthy relationships.

Who is at risk for dating violence?

Dating violence can happen to anyone. Teens may be more at risk of being in unhealthy relationships if they:

  • Use alcohol or drugs
  • Are depressed
  • Hang out with friends who are violent
  • Have trouble controlling their anger
  • Struggle with learning in school
  • Have sex with more than 1 person

What are the warning signs of dating violence?

It’s common for teens to have mood swings or try out different behaviors. But sudden changes in your teen’s attitude or behavior could mean that something more serious is going on.

If you are worried, talk to your teen to find out more.

Watch for signs that your teen’s partner may be violent.

If your teen is in a relationship with someone who uses violence, your teen may:

  • Avoid friends, family and school activities
  • Make excuses for a partner’s behavior
  • Look uncomfortable or fearful around a partner
  • Lose interest in favorite activities
  • Get lower grades in school
  • Have unexplained injuries, like bruises or scratches

Watch for signs that your teen may be violent.

Teens who use physical, emotional, or sexual violence to control their partners need help to stop. Start a conversation if your teen:

  • Is jealous and possessive
  • Blames other people for anything that goes wrong
  • Damages or ruins a partner’s things
  • Wants to control someone else’s decisions
  • Constantly texts or calls a partner
  • Posts embarrassing information about a partner on websites like Facebook (including sexual information or pictures)

Help your teen stay healthy.

Dating violence can have long-term effects for both partners—even after the relationship ends.

By helping your teen develop the skills for healthy relationships, you can also help prevent the long-term effects of dating violence.

Someone who has experienced dating violence may struggle with:

  • Depression
  • Low self-confidence
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance or alcohol use disorders
  • Other violent relationships

A partner who has been violent may experience:

  • Loss of respect from others
  • Suspension or expulsion from school
  • Loneliness
  • Trouble with the law

Watch for signs of dating violence and help your teen stay healthy now and in the future.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Health Information Center, http://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/parenting/healthy-communication-and-relationships/talk-with-your-teen-about-healthy-relationships

Summary

In a healthy relationship:

  • Both people feel respected, supported and valued
  • Decisions are made together
  • Both people have friends and interests outside of the relationship

You can help your teen build strong, respectful relationships. Start by teaching your son or daughter about healthy relationships.

Unfortunately, many teens have relationships that are unhealthy. About 1 in 10 teens report being physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year.

You can help your kids:

  • Develop skills for healthy and safe relationships
  • Set expectations for how they want to be treated
  • Recognize when a relationship doesn’t feel good

Talking with your teen is a way to show you are available to listen and answer questions.

When should I start talking with my child about relationships?

It’s never too early to teach your child about healthy relationships. You’ve probably been doing it all along. When you taught your child to say “please” and “thank you” as a toddler, you were teaching respect and kindness.

Your own relationships also teach your kids how to treat others. When you treat your kids, partner and friends in healthy, supportive ways, your kids learn from your choices.

Kids learn from unhealthy experiences, too. When they experience violence at home or in the community, kids are more likely to be in unhealthy relationships later on.

When should I start talking about dating?

The best time to start talking about healthy dating relationships is before your child starts dating. Start conversations about what to look for in a romantic partner. For example, you could ask your child:

  • How do you want to be treated?
  • How do you want to feel about yourself when you are with that person?

What makes a relationship healthy?

In a healthy relationship:

  • Both people feel respected, supported and valued.
  • Decisions are made together.
  • Both people have friends and interests outside of the relationship.
  • Disagreements are settled with open and honest communication.
  • There are more good times than bad.

What makes a relationship unhealthy?

In an unhealthy relationship:

  • One person tries to change the other.
  • One person makes most or all of the decisions.
  • One or both people drop friends and interests outside of the relationship.
  • One person yells, threatens, hits or throws things during arguments.
  • One person makes fun of the other’s opinions or interests.
  • One person keeps track of the other all the time by calling, texting or checking in with friends.
  • There are more bad times than good.

People in unhealthy relationships may have many excuses to try to explain away the hurtful parts of the relationship. If you see any of these signs, talk to your teen.

What is dating violence?

Dating violence is when one person in a romantic relationship is abusive to the other person. This includes emotional, physical and sexual abuse. It can happen in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships.

Both boys and girls can be unhealthy or unsafe in a relationship. Sometimes, both partners act in unhealthy or unsafe ways. It’s important to talk to all kids about how to have respectful, healthy relationships.

Who is at risk for dating violence?

Dating violence can happen to anyone. Teens may be more at risk of being in unhealthy relationships if they:

  • Use alcohol or drugs
  • Are depressed
  • Hang out with friends who are violent
  • Have trouble controlling their anger
  • Struggle with learning in school
  • Have sex with more than 1 person

What are the warning signs of dating violence?

It’s common for teens to have mood swings or try out different behaviors. But sudden changes in your teen’s attitude or behavior could mean that something more serious is going on.

If you are worried, talk to your teen to find out more.

Watch for signs that your teen’s partner may be violent.

If your teen is in a relationship with someone who uses violence, your teen may:

  • Avoid friends, family and school activities
  • Make excuses for a partner’s behavior
  • Look uncomfortable or fearful around a partner
  • Lose interest in favorite activities
  • Get lower grades in school
  • Have unexplained injuries, like bruises or scratches

Watch for signs that your teen may be violent.

Teens who use physical, emotional, or sexual violence to control their partners need help to stop. Start a conversation if your teen:

  • Is jealous and possessive
  • Blames other people for anything that goes wrong
  • Damages or ruins a partner’s things
  • Wants to control someone else’s decisions
  • Constantly texts or calls a partner
  • Posts embarrassing information about a partner on websites like Facebook (including sexual information or pictures)

Help your teen stay healthy.

Dating violence can have long-term effects for both partners—even after the relationship ends.

By helping your teen develop the skills for healthy relationships, you can also help prevent the long-term effects of dating violence.

Someone who has experienced dating violence may struggle with:

  • Depression
  • Low self-confidence
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance or alcohol use disorders
  • Other violent relationships

A partner who has been violent may experience:

  • Loss of respect from others
  • Suspension or expulsion from school
  • Loneliness
  • Trouble with the law

Watch for signs of dating violence and help your teen stay healthy now and in the future.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Health Information Center, http://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/parenting/healthy-communication-and-relationships/talk-with-your-teen-about-healthy-relationships

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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