Crushes and love are a HUGE part of the teen years. But are we talking with our daughters about what healthy romance looks like? Or are we leaving it to the movies and social media to teach them? Let’s make sure we’re talking about love with our girls.
Help them define love
- Do they confuse it with lust, obsession, infatuation, idolization
- What are they attracted to and why?
Teach them what a healthy relationship looks like
- Point out relationships in shows you watch or books you read
- Signs of a Healthy Relationship (national domestic violence hotline)
- Freedom to be yourself
- Mutual Respect
- Limited Jealousy
Teach them what an unhealthy relationship looks like
- Unhealthy relationships are based on power and control, not equality and respect.
- Signs of an unhealthy relationship
- jealous accusations
- pulling hair, pushing or other abusive behaviors
- Remember that abuse is always a choice and you deserve to be respected. There is no excuse for abuse of any kind.
Teach them about Consent
- Don’t wait until they’re in a relationship to talk about consent and what’s healthy and what’s not.
- Basics of Consent
- mutual agreement between partners
- needs to happen every time
- your relationship status does not make consent automatic
- consent is not a free pass
- there’s no such thing as implied consent
- it’s not consent if you’re afraid or unable to say no
- nonconsent means stop.
- if anyone involved isn’t consenting, then what is happening is or could be rape, sexual assault or abuse.
- Dr. Robyn Silverman, How To Talk to Kids About Healthy, Caring, Romantic Relationships, https://drrobynsilverman.com/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-healthy-caring-romantic-relationships-with-dr-richard-weissbourd-rerelease/
- Planned Parenthood, What Should I Teach My High School-Aged Teen About Relationships, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/parents/high-school/what-should-i-teach-my-high-school-aged-teen-about-relationships
- Sarah Aswell, The Complete Guide to Teaching Kids Consent at Every Age, https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/consent-at-every-age
- Amy Joyce, The Washington Post, The Sex Talk Isn’t Enough: How Parents Can Teach Teens About Healthy Relationships, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2017/05/17/how-to-teach-teens-to-have-healthy-romantic-relationships/
- Michelle Drew, Love vs Infatuation, https://psychcentral.com/lib/love-versus-infatuation/
- National Domestic Violence Hotline, Teaching Teens About Healthy Relationships, https://www.thehotline.org/2013/02/28/teaching-teens-about-healthy-relationships/
- Love Is Respect, Healthy Relationships, https://www.loveisrespect.org/healthy-relationships/
- Love Is Respect, Understanding Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault, https://www.loveisrespect.org/understanding-teen-dating-violence-and-sexual-assault/