For any parent, seeing their kids grow up to be successful and in great relationships is something they strive for when raising them. In order to get them on the right path to achieving this, it’s important to teach them life lessons along the way. Education about what healthy relationships mean is one of the most important lessons, especially as they grow into their teenage years. If you’re looking for pointers to help you have this conversation, some great information and tips can be found below.
Starting the Discussion
Begin discussing healthy relationships by giving examples that they would easily recognize. This could be their grandparents, couples in television shows or movies, or any other positive role models you can think of. Talk about why these couples are in a healthy relationship, whether it’s their mutual respect, open communication, or general kindness.
Explaining the Qualities of a Healthy Relationship
– Both parties feel safe and are never pressured
– You’re able to talk freely with your partner about concerns
– You don’t feel constantly judged and aren’t put down
– You feel like you’re respected and listened to
– You enjoy being a couple but are free to explore your own independence
Teaching About Abusive Relationships
This subject can be hard, especially since no parent wants to imagine their child being in an abusive relationship in the future. However, by discussing the red flags to watch out for, this can guard your child against going into or staying in a bad relationship.
One of the best ways to begin this type of discussion is to use a television show couple as an example. Of course, you’ll want to make sure your son or daughter understands the reference, so you may want to have them watch a show or movie with you. Once you can use that as an example, you can dig deeper into the reasons why the relationship is harmful. Some of the details to touch on include:
– When someone is controlling and won’t allow their partner to have independence
– When someone is physically or mentally abusive
– When someone pressures their partner into doing things that make them
– When someone belittles their partner and makes them feel worthless
– When someone forces sexual contact on their partner
Advice for Starting an Intimate Relationship
Even if your child isn’t ready to start an intimate relationship, it’s important to prepare them for what to expect. This can tie in with sex education at school or it can be something you take on alone. Some important details to touch on include:
– What happens during sex
– What intimacy means both mentally and physically
– What to do if you feel pressured
– Sounds and sensations they may hear during sex
– What oral sex means
– How to protect themselves during sex
– Consequences of unprotected sex
Making Conversation a Priority
Talking about sex and relationships can be difficult as a parent. However, keep in mind that creating a safe space and making it “normal” in your house will make you both more comfortable. More importantly, it can help your child recognize the signs of abusive or healthy relationships so they grow up making positive decisions.