It's time to talk healthy relationships
Did you know February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month? During a month devoted to love, it’s a great opportunity to focus on healthy relationships, especially for young people. Let's explore relevant tools for parents and teens, including SAAM 2014 materials that focus on teens and healthy sexuality.
It’s time to talk day: February 4
Participate this February in "It's time to talk day." NO MORE and Break the Cycle's Love is Not Abuse campaign are inviting parents to start conversations about healthy relationships. Across the country there will also be Talk-A-Thons, encouraging parents, teens and communities to talk about preventing dating violence.
- A conversation guide prepares parents for talking about healthy relationships and dating violence.
- Learn about the stages and opportunites of adolescent sexual development with this overview. It's also good to remember that parents of younger children can open the dialogue and lay the foundation for these discussions. The overview on early childhood development is a great place to start.
- Practice is important for parents talking with children, and this exercise explores comfort level and knowledge on important topics in healthy relationships and sexuality.
- This healthy relationships quiz asks about the dynamics in a relationship and points out positive and unhealthy behaviors. The relationship spectrum looks at health, unhealthy and abusive behaviors. These tools focus on identifying warning signs and healthy behaviors, and I think it's equally important to share tools on building healthy relationships and good communication.
- Explore boundaries and relationships in a discussion of Safe Sex(uality). Use your enthusiasm for a healthy future to be an agent of change.
Healthy relationships for all
On the topic of supporting healthy relationships for teens and young people, I also want to emphazie the importance of parents both talking about AND modeling healthy behaviors. I think it's a great reminder that as we engage parents in our prevention work, we can't assume that they have all the informaiton and skills they need and would like to share with their children. It's also important to give young people credit and know that there are times when they are in the role of supporting the adults in their lives.