Healthy Teen Relationships play a significant role in our lives, especially during the teenage years. Not all are healthy ones; some people do not have our best interests in mind. In this article, you will learn to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
REAL LIFE: FAMILY Your older siblings may try to tell you what to do and your younger siblings may borrow your belongings or follow you around constantly. When you argue with family, you may become angry, but it is not OK to hurt them. Living together will be much easier if you discuss and agree upon rules with your brothers and sisters. To avoid fights: go to another part or your home, talk to your parents, set up your own personal space, respect your brother or sister’s space, make a schedule for sharing the computer, share the remote and finally, pick your battles. Some issues are more important than others. Work on getting along with your family members, discuss matters calmly and do things together.
REAL LIFE: FRIENDS Sia and Ally have been friends a long time. Lately, Ally has been upset. Sia is the one who decides what their plans will be and who Ally can be friends with. She feels pressured into listening to Sia. This is peer pressure; when you chose to do something you usually would not do; or stop doing things you normally would do because you worry about what your friends will think. You may be pressured to do something because “everyone does it,” like constantly teasing someone. One of the biggest challenges you may have is standing up to a friend. Know that you have the right to say “no.” Good friends respect one another’s beliefs. A disagreement does not mean your relationship is unhealthy. It’s normal to disagree. Your friends and your relationships will help you discover much about yourself.
REAL LIFE: DATING When you decide to begin dating, it should be because you care about someone, not because you feel you need a boyfriend or girlfriend. Healthy dating relationships begin with communication, honesty, and respect. They differ from friendships because they may include physical affection like hugging or holding hands. Spend special times with your dating partner, but remember to spend time with your friends and family. NEVER feel pressured to do something that you don’t want to. He/she should always respect your right to say NO to anything that makes you uncomfortable. Be clear from the beginning about your values and your limits. TIPS FOR A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP AND WAYS TO STAY SAFE:
- Before going out with someone, get to know them.
- The first few times you go out, do so with a group of friends to a public place.
- Be clear about what you are comfortable with and about your curfew.
- Let at least one friend and especially your parents where you are going, who you will be with and how to reach you.
Remember to stay safe, especially when you first begin to date someone.
REAL LIFE: PARENTS Your parents set limits because they care about you and want to protect you. You may argue with them more because you feel that you are able to make your own decisions. TO AVOID OR HANDLE ARGUMENTS: Discuss rules before you make plans. Show your parents that you are responsible and mature by remaining calm when you are having a discussion and by listening to what they say. Follow their rules. Pick your battles: Is it worth arguing? Spend time with your family and think of activities everyone will enjoy.
Feeling good about who you are and feeling SAFE with another person mean that the relationship is healthy. If you know who you are and what makes you happy, you will be able to know the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. REMEMBER, communication, trust and respect promote healthy relationships.