700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

How Parents Can Help Support Healthy Teen Relationships

Feb 13, 2024
teen boy and teen girl walking and talking together

In the challenging and sometimes confusing years of adolescence, teenagers navigate a maze of emotions, social dynamics, and self-discovery. As parents, supporting your teen in developing healthy relationships is crucial for their emotional well-being and future interpersonal success. It’s important to foster a positive environment for your teenager to develop healthy relationships.

Communicate Openly

Communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship. Start by creating an environment where your teen feels comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment. Encourage open dialogue about their experiences, concerns, and emotions. Active listening is also key. Pay attention to their words and avoid interrupting or dismissing their feelings. By promoting a safe space, you build trust and strengthen your connection with your teenager.

Set Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries are essential in all relationships. Help your teen understand the importance of respecting others' boundaries and setting healthy boundaries of their own. Teach them to recognize signs of unhealthy boundaries in friendships or romantic relationships. By teaching this awareness, you can empower your teenager to develop relationships based on mutual respect and consent.

Educate on Consent and Respect

Teach your teenager about the importance of consent in all aspects of relationships. Equip them with the tools to communicate openly about consent, ensuring they understand the necessity of mutual agreement in any relationship and respect the choices of others.

Teach Digital Safety

In the age of technology, it's essential to promote healthy digital boundaries — what a young person is comfortable doing, seeing, and feeling while using technology and how they would like to be treated by others. Discuss responsible online behavior, the potential pitfalls of social media, and the impact of cyberbullying with your teen. Stay informed about their online activities without invading their privacy. Open communication about their digital experiences can help avoid potential issues.

Support Independence

As your teenager develops relationships outside the family, support their growing independence. Allow them to make choices and learn from experiences, while providing guidance when needed. This balance helps build their confidence and decision-making skills, needed for healthy relationships in adulthood.

By actively participating in your teen's journey and providing guidance, you can contribute to their emotional growth and lay the foundation for developing and maintaining healthy relationships throughout their lives. Helping to foster healthy relationships during the teenage years requires a combination of skills and it can be difficult to navigate, but you are not alone. Help is available.

For additional resources and support visit The Center for Family and Safety and Green Flags.

Featured Expert

Alena Schuckmann
Alena Schuckmann
The Center for Family Safety and Healing

Alena Schuckmann is the Digital Communications Specialist for The Center for Family Safety and Healing. Alena graduated with a degree in communications and a minor in art from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Alena is a skilled digital content creator who has had various articles and photographs published locally and nationwide.

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Pediatric News You Can Use From America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital and Research Center

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.