It may come as a surprise to some, but teen dating violence has become all too common during the teenage and young adult years. As stated by the Centers for Disease Control, in the time leading up to their survey, 1 in 10 teenagers had been hit or otherwise intentionally hurt at least once by their dating partner. Even more shocking is that 1 in 10 teenagers had been kissed, touched or forced into sexual intercourse that they did not want to engage in by their partner. With February being National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we want to show teens what a healthy dating relationship looks like. For more information on how to protect your teen from teen dating violence, check out our post Teen Dating Violence: How to Protect and Support Your Teenager Through Awareness.
One of the key elements of a healthy relationship is communication. Talking through things can help teens in a relationship be on the same page. Here some tips to share with your teen for having a healthy relationship, from Love is Respect:
- Support Each Other. Encourage each other and don’t be afraid to ask your partner when you need support. A key component of a healthy relationship is building each other up as opposed to putting each other down.
- Say What’s on Your Mind. Remember that your partner is not a mind reader. If something is on your mind, bring it up to your partner and have a conversation about what is going on.
- Come to a Compromise. There are going to be conflicts in any relationship. It’s okay not to agree on everything. When in conflict, you need to find a way to come to a compromise that is fair for each other.
- Have Respect. Each partner’s feelings have value. It is important to consider not just your own feelings, but also your partner’s feelings. Having mutual respect is a component to any healthy relationship.
- Have Respect for Privacy. Having one’s own space is crucial to a healthy relationship. It’s okay to not do everything together and to tell each other every little thing.
- Have Clear Boundaries. By doing this, you can determine what makes each other comfortable or not and help guide the direction of the relationship. It is important to note, that by having clear boundaries, one partner should not feel restricted. Each person should be able to still do the things they enjoy, spend time with friends, or have their needs respected.
To further understand what a healthy relationship looks like, it is important to point out what a healthy relationship doesn’t look like:
- One partner should not be controlling over the other partner.
- A partner should not be jealous, humiliate, be possessive, yell, insult, or be verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive to the other.
We hope that these tips will help you show your teen how to create or further build a healthy relationship. However, if you are concerned that your teen is in an unhealthy relationship, help them end the relationship. Additionally, we have teen counselors that specialize in helping teens that suffer from dating violence that can help.