How To Teach Teens to Evaluate Relationships as Healthy or Unhealthy

One of the most important aspects of a teenager’s life is learning about and building relationships.  It’s not always easy to navigate them.  However, it is definitely worthwhile since relationships offer us many positive things.

How To Teach Teens to Evaluate Relationships as Healthy or Unhealthy

However, not every relationship is positive.  An important thing that your teenager needs to learn how to be able to do is evaluate relationships as either unhealthy or healthy.  Mistakes are inevitable and it does take some time to be able to do this.  However, if you focus on the relationship you have with your child and you are there for him, your teenager will be much more open to listening to your advice on the subject.  So how do you help your teen learn how to evaluate relationships on his own?

Building a Strong Relationship Between Your Teen And Yourself

Building a strong relationship with your teen is probably the best thing you can possibly do to help him find healthy relationships for himself.  Be non-judgmental and open.  Always encourage an atmosphere that allows him to be vulnerable and open with you.  Keep any information that your teen gives you confidential, and always try to take an unbiased look at his situation.  That will provide you with a better perspective that can help your teen assess the situation for himself.

Provide Personal Examples

Be open with your teen while you are encouraging him to be open with you.  Without breaking anyone’s confidence or providing too many explicit details, talk about struggles with friendships you have had.  Let your teen know how you were able to figure out which relationships were unhealthy and which ones were healthy, and what you were able to do to change situations that needed it.

Discuss What Types Of Characteristics And Values Should Be Looked For In Friends

Talk with your teen about the type of values and characteristics a good friend should have.  Discuss what makes a friendship healthy or unhealthy, and what to look out for.  Speak about positive characteristics like honesty and loyalty.  Ask your teenager whether or not they feel they have ever been take advantage of.  Also, have they ever felt they have ever taken advantage of someone else?  Talk about how both individuals have to be healthy in order for the relationship to be healthy.  Explain what the warning signs there are when a relationship might be starting to turn bad.

Set An Example By Being A Good Friend

As parents, it is necessary to have boundaries with our child.  However, during the teenage years it is also important to nurture a type of friendship also.  Be everything for your child that you’ve said he should be looking for in a friend.  Do your best to be as trustworthy, kind and honest as you can towards them.  You want to be the role model that your child will use for comparing all their friends in the future against.

Be Accepting Of Their Friends

Your teen might choose friends that we approve of and like, or they could turn out to be a nightmare.  Unless someone appears to be potentially dangerous for your child to be friends with, try to be as accepting and open as possible.  Do your best not to label any of your teenager’s friends as “bad apples.”  This will just damage the relationship you have with your child and push them to be even closer with their friend.  You want to be the person that your teen will feel comfortable discussing things with.

Teenagers all have to deal with various types of relationships.  It isn’t easy for either our kids or us to learn how to navigate relationships.  However, it’s all part of growing up.  Provide your teen with the best support that you can during this stage of his life.  If you do, he will always be grateful for your strong support.

Leave a Reply