Relationships: How to talk to your teen about dating and relationships

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Community Manager

Relationships: How to talk to your teen about dating and relationships

Ask a young person!

 

Parent question: "How can I talk to my teen about dating and relationships?"

 

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Our youth volunteers have shared their thoughts, what are yours? 

 

What are your tips for talking to teens about dating and relationships?

 

What's worked well, and what could have been done differently?

Community Manager

Re: Relationships: How to talk to your teen about dating and relationships

Text version

 

Ask a young person!

 

Parent question: "How can I talk to my teen about dating and relationships?"

 

Youth Answers:

 

"I can only speak for my own experiences, so my suggestions might not fit your situation. What I would find helpful is having a parent, family member or another trusted person be open to me coming to them for advice. If a family member was supportive of my choices every time I came to them for advice, I was more likely to confide in them in the future. Most teenagers don't want to feel as if they are being made to feel bad about themselves or their sexuality. I think most teens would want to have someone who they feel is on their side...

 

I would personally find it beneficial to have a parent tell me that I could talk to them about anything and that I would be supported no matter what. I think it's wise to keep in mind that social norms are different for each generation. The rules regarding relationships and dating are constantly being rewritten. Just because something was acceptable in your generation does not mean that it is acceptable in theirs, so saying things like 'When I was your age...' might not be helpful for them.

 

There are also new issues that previous generations might not have had to deal with, such as sexting, cyberbullying, social media and increased awareness of gender and sexuality. Perhaps you could do some research or ask them what is considered 'normal' for them. You could also discuss peer pressure. I have known some teens who felt pressured to get into relationships by their friends. It's important to emphasise that this isn't a good reason to date someone. You could discuss the signs that could indicate when someone is ready to have a relationship.

 

Another important issue you could talk to them about is abuse in relationships and how to have healthy relationshipd. You could discuss what the possible signs of abuse are and where they could get support about these issues. I missed a talk like this growing up and therefore didn't recognise when I was being taken advantage of. The Line is a good resource for information about these issues. Maybe you and your teen could brainstorm what would make a good partner together.

 

Parents also need to be aware that there is a lot of misinformation and urban myths about teenage relationships and sexual activity... Not every teen is eager to get into a relationship or having sex. It's important not to assume that your teenager is."

 

- WheresMySquishy (Youth Volunteer)

 

Our youth volunteers have shared their thoughts, what are yours? 

 

What are your tips for talking to teens about dating and relationships?

 

What's worked well, and what could have been done differently ?