Signs of a Healthy Teen Relationship

As children become teens, one subject that makes most parents nervous is dating. Having your child enter into a romantic relationship may seem scary, but it is a normal and universal part of life. As a parent, it is essential to help your child recognize and learn how to develop healthy relationships with you, friends and partners. This will influence their ability, now and throughout their lives, to make safer decisions and to resist peer pressure when it comes to other risky behaviors.

When considering what a healthy relationship is, common features to look for are:

  • Your child continues to act like him or herself, participating in the same activities and hanging out with familiar friends
  • Your child continues to express his or her opinions without the partner getting overly upset or jealous
  • Your child continues to make choices based on his or her own wants, needs and desires – and is not being controlled by the other individual
  • Your child continues to excel in academics, athletics or any other activities they may participate in
  • Your child continues to respect him or herself, their partner, family and friends

If you become concerned that your child is not in a healthy relationship, make sure to keep the dialogue open and make yourself available. It will not be a single conversation, and your child won’t necessarily want to talk when it is most convenient for you. It’s key to not belittle the relationship or the emotions, or make it seem as though it’s not substantial. If it’s important to your teen, it should also be important to you. Remember that you were once in his or her shoes. And even when you don’t think that they are listening to you, they often are.

These are among the subjects that will be discussed at your teen’s yearly physical exam at their pediatrician’s office. Your pediatric provider can also provide guidance and resources to you or your child. Please give them a call to further the conversation.

Additional Resources

High School Parents’ Handbook -

What Is a Healthy Relationship? - Talk With Your Kids

Teen Love Connection -