Healthy relationships and strong connections with others don’t just make us feel good, they are also good for our health. Studies have shown that healthy, fulfilling relationships with others lead to less stress, fewer health problems, a greater sense of well-being and purpose, and a longer life.
These positive relationships can be found between any two people who love, encourage, help, and support each other. They are based on open, honest, and safe communication coupled with mutual respect, compromise, empathy, and connection.
In order to develop these critical connections, we must teach our children and teens about healthy relationships. Here are some tips:
As teens are learning to navigate relationships with dating, school peers, at home, with friends, and within the community, encourage them to speak up, respect others, compromise, be supportive, create healthy boundaries, and respect other’s privacy. If you see warning signs of an abusive relationship such as excessive texting, depression or anxiety, or major changes in behavior or dress, take them seriously, be supportive, and seek help.
If you are concerned about a relationship and are looking for support, visit the Healthy Barrington website for local resources.
Whether it’s a relationship with a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or a partner, learning how to establish and talk about healthy relationships is vital. Talking about relationships shouldn’t just come in times of conflict. Thinking about and reflecting upon your relationships can help you to grow. To help, Stanford University has created a wonderful resource - the “Let’s Talk! A Relationship Check In” guide.
When talking with your children and teens about important topics such as this, it’s essential to remember that it isn’t just one 60-minute conversation. It’s 60 one-minute conversations, sharing your family values and teaching these lifelong lessons, that make the difference.
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