Quick tips: Guiding your teen in managing relationships
Ah, teens and relationships. As your child grows up, he or she will naturally start being interested in the opposite sex. Here's how to guide him.
Ah, teens and relationships. As your child grows up, he or she will naturally start being interested in the opposite sex. Do not panic! This is a natural phase of growing up. It is important that as parents, you approach your teen from an attitude of seeking to understand them, to guide and support them, rather than “dictate”. This will keep the atmosphere at home positive and the doorway to communication open.
Here are 3 quick tips to help you guide your teen:
1. Have a dialogue, not a monologue
When parents do all the talking, even with the best intentions, you might sound like you are nagging, lecturing or preaching. Instead, engage your teen with open-ended questions and have a two-way conversation so they have the liberty to express their thoughts, clarify uncertainties, and discuss options.
Share your convictions but do not impose them. “Because I said so” doesn’t work at this age. Instead provide logical explanations and compelling reasons. This way, your teen will feel a lot more comfortable and willing to approach you with their concerns and seek your advice.
2. Set ground rules and expectations
Rules and boundaries on your teens and relationships will vary from family to family depending on the maturity and age of your child. Let your teen know the consequences upfront. Once the boundaries and consequences are clearly spelt out, your teen will have clarity on your expectations so there’s no confusion. In addition, it is important to be consistent!
3. Affirm his worth
Affirm your teen’s qualities and character and explain the value of virginity – a one time gift that is valuable and worth saving for marriage. When your child has your affirmation, he will value and respect himself within the context of a relationship as well.
Seek to also understand why your child wants to be in a relationship. Is it peer pressure, to the fear of being left out, loneliness, sex and/or status? Use teachable moments to discuss the consequences of pre-marital sex and talk about living out values in the context of relationships.
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