Healthy Relationships can sometimes be hard to form for teens these days.
In the age of technology and social media, it is hard for some teens to tell what friendships and relationships are genuine and which ones are superficial. Maybe your teen has been betrayed by a friend and it still hurts. Possibly it seems like it’s a pattern and your teen doesn’t understand why she keeps getting taken advantage of or manipulated.
Your Teens Unhealthy Relationships May Look Like This:
Your teen meets a friend, and they seem to get along fine in the beginning. Over time you notice that your teen is always focused on their friend’s problems. You notice that when they spend time with their friends that’s all about your teen trying to console their friend. Your teen looks lonely and when you really dig into it you realize that they don’t feel that their friend is their for them. That it feels pretty one sided. And your heart breaks for them.
You know that living your life never really knowing who your real friends can be very confusing and lonely. This can affect your teens trust and confidence in future relationships and friendships.
Here we are going to talk about 5 steps to empower your teen to have healthy relationships. Knowing what makes a healthy relationship can not only help the teenage years but this information is something that you and your teen can take with you into any relationship into the future. Hopefully helping prevent unhealthy or toxic relationships, that we are all too familiar with, and that can be very detrimental to our identity and our self-esteem.
5 tips to empower healthy relationships in your teen
One: Communicate with your teen with respect the same way you hope they communicate with others.
We all know and have been taught the importance of treating others as you want to be treated. This same concept will come down to how you interact and communicate with your teen. Parents don’t often realize how much their kids pick up from their parents. Attune to this when having conversations with your teen and encourage yourself and them to practice giving space for each person to speak. Ask about their own feelings even if you are communicating with them on a topic that you need them to listen to you. When you do this both you and your teen will feel heard and understood. This is the same way you would like your teen to feel within their other relationships.
Two: Encourage open, honest, and thoughtful reflection.
Make sure to have an open space to talk about your teens values, opinions, and thoughts without judgment of something being “wrong.” In those moments, try to encourage a debate so that you can help your teen come to their own understanding. Talk openly with young teens about healthy relationships. Allow them to articulate his or her values and expectations for healthy relationships. This will help you reconnect in your relationship with your teen as well.
Three: Help your teen distinguish “right” and “wrong” friends
Help your teen see what it is they were hoping for in a particular friendship and if they are getting their needs met. It is important to encourage your teen to think about what type of friendships they are wanting in their lives.
What do they value in a friend? Do they feel that their friend is there for them too? Having these types of conversations encourages them to think of things like this that may have not normally thought through. As a result, your teen will be given some seeds to be thinking about what they want in their friendships.
Four: Make the most of “teachable moments”
There are so many small moments that can be used to discuss a healthy or unhealthy relationships. This can be moments of watching television or a movie, or even listening to music lyrics or news.
Five: Explore ways to know more about your young teen’s friends and interests.
Find activities you can do together. This will help you get on the “inside” and really help you connect with your teen on a fundamental level. All the rest will come much more naturally and you will be given more space in your teen’s mind for your opinions and thoughts.
And very importantly, understand that you will make mistakes. Also understand that the teenage years can come along with some ups and downs.
Simi Psychological Group really understands how hard these years can be for parents.
We know how much value having someone help guide you during this time can be. We also know how nice it is to hear that YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE!
If you are someone that is feeling the pressure of parenting a teen and could really use support from a professional and fellow parents, this is the place for you. We are here to support you and your teen in teen therapy.
If you’d like to sign up for our group schedule a call with Tiffany, our care coordinator.
Written by: Reena Becerra, Ph.D. Registered Psychological Assistant PSB 94024849
I believe that through self-compassion, inspiration and hope it is possible for anyone to reach their deepest and truest goals. My focus is working with children, adolescents, and families that struggle with Anxiety, ADHD, Depression and relationship issues. Learn more
At our therapy practice in Simi Valley, CA we offer Child therapy, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing. We are now offering online therapy for most services.