As parents, your active involvement and guidance as your teenager starts going through relationships can help refine their understanding of what real and healthy relationships should look like. As a Teen Treatment Center in Los Angeles, we know that relationships can affect a teenager’s emotions, which can lead to depression, anxiety, or trauma, at the worst.
However, we also recognize that you, dear parents, may face a challenging time of bridging the so-called generational gap. Hence, we share the following techniques of reaching out to your teenager especially when it comes to their relationships.
Explain to them what a healthy relationship is so that they can have something to build upon and pursue. The elements of a healthy relationship involve the cycle of love and respect, coupled with trust, good communication, and honesty with each other. When your child recognizes what a healthy relationship looks like, they can easily spot the unhealthy trend in their relationship if it arises.
Let them know that relationships can also be abused by the persons involved. They have to be able to see the signs of abuse such as the following:
- Physically harming the other like pushing, hitting, or choking
- Emotionally harming the person through insults, manipulation, or humiliation
- Sexually harming the other through a forced sexual activity
- Financially abusing the person by using money for control or manipulation
- Digitally discrediting or harassing the person through social media, text, or other ways using technology
Discuss with your child about setting boundaries and expectations in their relationships. If they’re dating, for instance, discuss with them about curfews, expenses, and even how you expect them to behave on dates. Along with that, give your teenager the opportunity to contribute to that discussion.
Remember to express your support in their choice and dating process. Encourage them to talk to you if they would like to know some dating tips. The most important factor is for them to truly see that whenever they need your assistance, you’re very accessible to them.
When talking to your teenager about their relationship prospects, remember to use gender-neutral concepts. Do not assume on your teen’s sexual orientation. This may be able to inspire them to go out of the closet when they perceive that you’re open about it. Many teenagers today have been keeping this issue to themselves for fear that their parents will not be supportive. As a center for teen anxiety treatment in Los Angeles, California, we encourage you to have an open mind with your child so they can be more confident in their relationships.
Many breakup stories have led to a teenager’s depression and anxiety. Hence, you as parents should know that being there for your child is their source of strength. Our team of counselors at Teen Anxiety is also here to back you up when your teenager is battling with mental challenges caused by their relationships.