22 Feb Teens and Healthy Dating Relationships
Talking to our teens about dating and relationships can be tough, or even awkward (for both!) at times, but it is critical to ensuring youth have appropriate expectations of what is healthy and what is not when it comes to dating and relationships. Healthy relationships consist of trust, honesty, respect, equality, and compromise. Teens and pre-teens often think some behaviors, like being controlling and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship. However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.
Teen dating violence can be any one, or a combination, of the following:
- Physical. This includes pinching, hitting, shoving, or kicking.
- Emotional. Threatening, harming his or her sense of self-worth by name calling, being controlling or jealous, consistently monitoring them, isolating them from family and friends, or shaming, bullying, or intentionally embarrassing them.
- Sexual. Forcing a partner to engage in a sex act when he or she does not or cannot consent.
Unhealthy or abusive relationships can have negative short and long-term effects on teens, but you can help prevent this. As a parent or caregiver, you can support the development of healthy, respectful, and nonviolent relationships. You can foster healthy relationships by effectively managing your feelings and using healthy communication towards your child.
Several of our Face It partners provide prevention or treatment services for teens and adults who have experienced dating violence.