Making Friends And Enemies: Maintaining Healthy Teen Relationships

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    Adolescence is a time when important relationships are formed. Whether they be platonic or romantic, these relationships can make the teenage years the best time of a teen’s life or the worst. Maintaining healthy teen relationships during adolescence is super important to a teen’s overall well being.

    Creating and maintaining healthy teen relationships

    It may seem obvious, but in order to maintain healthy teen relationships, a teen must respect the other person and expect respect in return. Without respect, a relationship will have no room to grow and may become extremely toxic. Teens must be aware of the danger signs of toxicity, such as lack of communication, jealousy, and a lack of balance in the relationship.

    Image source: Flickr user- hepingting

    Another aspect of healthy teen relationships is having shared interests. If teens are able to have fun together doing something they both love, their relationship is more likely to be happy. Compromising too much for another person is super unhealthy.

    Talking to your teen about healthy relationships

    Your teen probably doesn’t want to talk to you about their relationships. For them, that’s WAY too personal. But it’s important that you sit them down and give them the “birds and the bees” talk, as well as a talk about what to expect from any relationship. Here are three things you should mention during this talk about healthy teen relationships:

    1. Setting boundaries: In any relationship, boundaries are important. For teens especially, who are busy juggling school, extracurriculars, and a social life, time is a difficult thing to manage. That’s why teens need to figure out how much time they’ll be spending with people they are in relationships with. They also need to set boundaries (if it’s a boyfriend or girlfriend) in regards to how comfortable they are with the physical aspect of relationships.
    2. Tell them about your experiences: Your teen needs some sage advice from someone who’s lived through their teenage years. Tell your teen about friends and romantic relationships you had when you were young. Let them know what made those relationships healthy or toxic.
    3. Teach them the signs of an unhealthy relationship, these include:
      1. More bad times than good in the relationship
      2. One person must sacrifice friends and interests to hang out with the other person.
      3. One person has to change to make the other person happy
      4. One person is monitoring what the other person is doing at all times- who they are texting or calling, and where they are going.
      5. One person is verbally or physically abusive

    Trails Carolina can help

    If your teen is struggling with emotional and behavioral issues such as depression, anxiety, or defiance, consider sending them to Trails Carolina wilderness therapy.

    For more information about Trails, please call 800-975-7303.



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