Ahhh! Teenage love. It’s the only roller coaster some of us ever enjoyed being on. It’s up and down, he loves me he loves me not, and I think I’m going to marry that girl one moment and we’re just friends, the next. Like anything else in their future adult lives, we as parents have a responsibility to teach our kids how to seek out and maintain a healthy relationship.
Most of it should come by example, but in this day and time where the divorce rate is above 50%, that’s less and less likely to be the case. So, below are some tips you can share with your teenager as they navigate the choppy waters of romance.
You Are Responsible For Your Own Happiness
If you are breathing, you have had your share of stressful situations, tragedies, joys, and victories. So has your teen. Each event in life serves to mold us into who we are and who we might become.
Your teen should know that having a boyfriend or girlfriend will most definitely boost their mood, at least in the beginning, and help them even out their emotional reaction to life. It’s a wonderful time in the life of a young person. There’s nothing like the high delivered from having your significant other swoon over you on a regular basis.
With that said, your teen needs to know that in the end, they are responsible for their own happiness. No matter what goes wrong or right, they ultimately make the decision to handle the situation with a smile or turn it into drama city.
Learn to Listen AND Hear
Teenagers are inundated with all types of relationships. Friendships, boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, parents, siblings, and bullies are a constant on the merry-go-round of a teenager’s life. Each has their own boundaries of communication, but one thing that is constant in all of them is the ability to listen and hear.
As a young adult in the making, their level of patience can seem to revert to the levels of a toddler sometimes. This is normal, but there is still a responsibility to instruct them to listen and hear their partner. Explain that listening, even though they may do it patiently, with the intent of putting in their two sense as soon as possible is not hearing.
To hear their boyfriend/girlfriend, they will have to learn to pay attention to how the matter is affecting them, take their time and consider all that they have been entrusted with. Then, they should form a sincere and educated response, if their partner is even looking for one. Sometimes, hearing means you understand that all they need is someone to listen.
Be Friends First
If there is one thing most teenagers don’t have a problem doing it’s making friends. This is so important to the success of a relationship, no matter how old you are. When you are friends first, you get to learn each other with no pressure.
You see each other’s ups and downs and how you handle them. Quirks are revealed much sooner and you get to see the other person they really are because they are not as pressured to be perfect for the sake of a relationship.
This allows you both to make an educated decision on and not a chemically enhanced fall into whether or not taking the next step is something you genuinely want to do or not. Teach your young people to take their time and be friends first.
Young romance is a great thing when parents take the time to teach their children how to think for themselves and be truly empathetic towards people. Use these tips to do just that.