TIPS: TALKING ABOUT HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR YOUNG TEEN
- Encourage open, honest, and thoughtful reflection. Talk openly with your young teen about healthy relationships. Allow your child to articulate his or her values and expectations for healthy relationships. Rather than dismissing ideas as “wrong”, encourage debate — this helps your child come to his or her own understanding.
- Be sensitive and firm. Parenting a young teen is not easy—especially when it comes to helping him or her navigate their way through relationships. To be effective, you will need to find the balance between being sensitive and firm. Try to adapt to the changes faced by your child. Be willing to talk openly and respect differences of opinion. And, realize that the decisions you make will sometimes be unpopular with your young teen.
- Understand your teen’s development. Adolescence is all about experimentation. From mood swings to risk taking, “normal teenage behavior” can appear anything-but-normal. New research, however, reveals that brain development during these formative years play a significant role in shaping your preteen/young teen’s personality and actions. Knowing what’s “normal” is critical to helping you better understand and guide your child.
Tips: Talking About Healthy Relationships with your Young Teen | Start Strong