As your child enters his teen years, he may find himself more intrigued and attracted to the opposite sex. Talking with your teenager about love, relationships and sex may feel awkward at first, but being available for your teenager could prevent him from getting seriously hurt in a relationship or from making decisions with great, long-lasting consequences. Let your teenager know you have an open ear and be prepared to offer him advice on love when needed.
Healthy Relationship Building
Before a teenager is ready to date and fall in love, she needs to know what constitutes a good, healthy relationship and what makes a relationship unhealthy. As a parent, you should instill in your child good relationship skills from an early age, long before she is ready to date, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teach your children how to show respect to others, how to work with others to solve problems and how to control their anger and they will be more likely to build healthy dating and love relationships later in life.
Warning Signs of Abuse
Despite your best efforts to teach your teenager about healthy relationships, he may end up in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship. According to the CDC, 1 out of every 11 teenagers has said that her partner has hurt her physically in the last year. Signs that your teenager’s love relationship is an abusive one include an overly jealous partner, a partner who tries to control what your teenager does and who she hangs out with, and any physical signs, such as bruises, that your teenager is being hit or punched, according to Kids Health. If you sense that your teenager is in an abusive relationship, give her the support she needs and encourage her to get out. Seek outside, professional help if you need to.
Dealing With Rejection
An unfortunate part of love and dating is dealing with rejection. Sometimes, a teenager is attracted to a person who has little or no interest in her. If your teenager loves someone who does not love them back, reassure her that there are plenty of other people out there. When a person says “no” to a date or a relationship, it does not mean there is anything wrong with the person being turned down. Encourage her to keep asking boys out, because even though one has turned her down, several more might be happy to date her.
Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Break-ups go along with teenage love and relationships. If your teen has recently broken up with his girlfriend, lend a supportive ear and encourage him to share how he feels about the break-up. Focus on the positive when talking to your teenager post-break-up. Let him know that he is a smart, funny or kind person and that breaking up with his partner did not change those things. Encourage your teenager to get out and live his life after a break-up. Sitting at home moping will only make him feel worse.
Teens and Sex
Along with love comes the pressure to have sex. Some teenagers often confuse having sex with a person with loving them. Talk to your teenager about sex long before she is ready to date. Be frank and honest about what it is and what the risks, both emotional and physical, are. Tell your teen that she does not have to have sex to prove she loves someone and that she should wait until she is ready.
- teen romance image by .shock from Fotolia.com