It is important to educate our teens on the importance of a healthy relationship. This means sharing the characteristics and signs of both health and unhealthy relationships. Therefore, it is vital to maintain an open line of communication, being able to give them the time to share their experiences. The teen years are that transitional time where they put most of their time, energy, attention and concern into their friendships, peers and dating relationships. Developmentally, teens are supposed to focus on sorting out their identities during this time.
As parents, you naturally hope that your teen will choose healthy, caring, positive peers to have in their life. In healthy friendships and dating relationships, you may notice your teen generally seems upbeat and content. However, almost no relationship is without stress, teens with healthy friendships and dating relationships overall feel connected and have peers they can go to for support. These kinds of relationships make teens feel good most of the time.
Teens in less healthy relationships may feel more alone or misunderstood. They may be moodier, crying more often or seeming more irritable. Some characteristics and warning signs of unhealthy relationships for teens are down below.
Can manifest as non-verbal negativity, resistance, and confusion. It shows up as procrastination, helplessness, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or purposeful failure to handle responsibilities. This is childish behavior is used to manipulate and control.
One dating partner makes fun of the opinions and interests of the other partner or destroys something that belongs to the partner.
One dating partner tries to control aspects of the other's life by making the other partner fearful or timid. One dating partner may attempt to keep his or her partner from friends and family or threaten violence or a break-up.
A dysfunctional issue in which one partner enables and supports the negative behaviors or personality of the other. This could be a passive or active support of addiction, mental illness, immaturity, or irresponsibility. The focus is only on one person’s needs, ultimately leaving the other person resentful, angry, and wounded.
The use of force and violent behavior in a way that injures or endangers someone. It is impossible to have a healthy relationship when one partner is the victim of abuse. This abuse can include hitting, biting, scratching, slapping, kicking, punching, shoving, use of a weapon, or forced sex.