rcasa

RCASA’s Saturday Prevention: A Healthy Relationship Guide for Teens

In Advocacy, Outreach on February 20, 2010 at 9:00 am

Healthy relationships are fun and make you feel good about yourself. You can have a healthy relationship with anyone in your life, including your family, friends and dating partners. Relationships take time, energy, and care to make them healthy. The relationships that you make in your teen years will be a special part of your life and will teach you some of the most important lessons about who you are. This guide was written to help you understand different kinds of relationships, what makes each relationship special, and how to communicate in a positive way. We have included common stories and fun ways to work on many kinds of relationships.

 What makes a relationship healthy?

Communication & Sharing: The most important part of any healthy relationship between two people is being able to talk and listen to one another. You and the other person can figure out what your common interests are. You can share your feelings with the other person and trust that they will be there to listen and support you. In healthy relationships, people don’t lie. Communication is based on honesty and trust. By listening carefully and sharing your thoughts and feelings with another person, you show them that they are an important part of your life.

 Respect and Trust: In healthy relationships, you learn to respect and trust important people in your life. Disagreements may still happen, but you learn to stay calm and talk about how you feel. Talking calmly helps you to understand the real reason for not getting along, and it’s much easier to figure out how to fix it. In healthy relationships, working through disagreements often makes the relationship stronger. In healthy relationships, people respect each other for who they are. This includes respecting and listening to yourself and your feelings so you can set boundaries and feel comfortable. You will find that you learn to understand experiences and feelings of others as well as having them understand your experiences and feelings.

 How do I know that I have a healthy relationship with someone?

  • You know that you are in a healthy relationship with someone because you feel good about yourself when you are around that person. Unhealthy relationships can make you feel sad, angry, scared, or worried.
  • Healthy peer relationships involve an equal amount of give and take in the relationship. In unhealthy relationships, there is an unfair balance. You may feel that most of the time you are giving the other person more attention than they give to you.
  • You should feel safe around the other person and feel that you can trust him/her with your secrets. In a healthy relationship, you like to spend time with the other person, instead of feeling like you’re pressured into spending time with them. Unhealthy relationships do not include trust and respect, which are very important parts of a family relationship, good friendship, or dating relationship. No one deserves to be in an unhealthy relationship.

If you don’t feel that there is communication, sharing and trust, you are probably in an unhealthy relationship. You may want to try talking to the other person about how you are feeling. You may even need to end the relationship. If it’s hard for you to stop spending time with the other person because you care about them, talk about how to make your relationship healthier or ask a trusted adult for advice. By learning how to build healthy relationships now, you will be able to have healthy relationships with the people you meet throughout your life!

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